How to choose a carpet: Five must-read tips

The idea of buying a carpet is weirdly stressful. It’s a big investment so you’re supposed to want it under your feet for many years to come. But with so many options out there, what is the right choice? Which weave will really suit your style, not to mention life? These five tips will steer you in the right direction…

1. As a general rule I would advise against cut pile carpets. However, there are occasions where they can work; for example in a strong colour on a staircase (and I would add that stair runners are a must). Instead of cut pile, think about a flat weave instead (Tim Page’s range is fantastic). 

2. There’s no denying natural weaves are beautiful but consider the care they require before investing. For example, medieval matting needs to be watered frequently to ensure it doesn’t dry out and crack.

3. Art felt came into fashion after the Second World War and its matte finish can be particularly smart, especially in bedrooms and halls. Going down this route? Check out Hainsworth 

4. Patterned carpets do wonders for long corridors and transform them into vibrant, open spaces. However be warned, prices of the truly fabulous ones can be a bit eye-watering.

5. Go to showrooms. Browsing online is fantastic research but actually you need to have a proper look, particularly when it comes to patterned carpets. Braquenie has a brilliant range and being in the showroom makes you realise how endless your options are.

RITA SAYS… Four carpets that deserve your attention

Wool: “San Remo” by Tim Page  or “Natural Co-ordinates” in Cord Buckram by Victoria Carpets

Felt: Merino wool 4mm rug runner (yellow and cherry) 130cm wide, £155 a metre, from Hainsworth.

Pattern: Wool carpet, “Les Feuilles de Bananier (vert) by Madeleine Casting and Braquenie, 70cm wide, from £300 a metre, from Pierre Frey.

MORE: For a more in-depth view, check out Rita’s House & Garden column on carpets here.