Your choice of flooring or floor covering – whether it’s part of living room, bedroom, kitchen or even bathroom design – can change how you, and visitors, perceive the size, function and atmosphere of the various spaces within your home. Replacing the flooring in your home need not necessarily be expensive and there are countless cost-effective alternatives to choose from.
Swirly, patterned carpet, for example, is making a comeback although, nowadays, in combination with neutral wall colours to avoid a dated Seventies look. The subtle continuation of a carpet motif – a floral or botanical print for example – in blinds, curtains, etc. can help to provide a unified, contemporary look. If you are on a budget, carpets with foam backing are less expensive – albeit less hard-wearing – than some of the alternatives if you intend to change your floor covering fairly regularly. Off-cuts of carpet can also be bound at the edges to produce inexpensive matching rugs.
Vinyl flooring can be used as an alternative to carpet in high-traffic areas although it can be torn easily, so you do need to be careful if moving furniture around. Its waterproof nature also means that it can be used in bathrooms to give the appearance of mosaic tiles, for example, at a fraction of the cost. If wooden flooring is more to your taste, do remember that scratches in real hardwood, or engineered wood, floors can be difficult to disguise or repair. Once again laminated engineered wood flooring – which often simply clicks together – can provide a cost-effective alternative to real wood, parquet flooring.
There is, of course, nothing to stop you combining different flooring types in a single space with your home to effectively define “zones” within than space. If you have a walkthrough living room and dining room, for example, you might like to carpet the living area but use laminated or real wood flooring to designate the dining area.