Everything old is new again….sort of. For me, wall-to-wall carpets are reminiscent of that period in the 1970s when lime green and yellow were trendy and bathrooms were pink, black and white. There also were those orange nylon wall-to-wall carpets that seemed to be impossible to clean. But now let’s forget about all that. A number of designers are championing wall-to-wall’s ability to make a small room appear bigger, hide damaged flooring, unify an irregularly shaped space, or absorb sound. That was true in the 1970s and is true today. It’s the carpet that has changed.
One of the biggest developments in the industry is the rising popularity of handwoven broadloom carpet that incorporates the natural irregularities found in hand-knotted rugs. And this, say experts, has contributed to the explosion in materials, constructions and textures in wall-to-wall carpeting. These include natural organic fibers like knobby, knotted wools, mohair, jute, lush cottons, and linens. Other options include cut pile (shorter than shag) and loop-pile carpet in patterns.
Some claim carpeting harbors dust mites, mold spores and mildew. Interestingly, these charges have be discounted as rumors started by the wood-flooring manufacturers, say the experts. But it is true that they can be harder to maintain than an area rug. After all, you can just roll up an area rug and replace it and moving them around can help them wear evenly. New York designer Hilary Matt has a compromise. She places the carpet a couple of inches from the wall, giving the warmth of wall-to-wall yet showing the underlying wood flooring.