5 Tips for Choosing Carpet

January 30, 2015 | Melinda Miles

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Choose the best-quality carpeting you can afford.

Wall to wall carpet is a hard-working surface that covers a large portion of your floors, contributing greatly to your comfort by providing insulation and warmth. Carpet needs to offer high performance by being soil and stain resistant, easy to maintain, able to withstand foot traffic without crushing, and retain its original appearance. Wool is the highest-performing, but very pricey choice. Nylon ranks next for performance, and is an affordable option. The other synthetics, such as polyester, acrylic, orlon, and olefin, do not perform as well as nylon, and are not cost-saving in the long run.

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Neutral colors are the best investment.

Since carpet covers the most area in any room, the color and texture of your carpet make a significant impact on your décor. Neutral floors that are neither too light nor too dark and that don’t dictate a particular color scheme are the best for resale value and design flexibility.


Determine how light or dark to go based on your decor, maintenance, and sun exposure.

Light color carpet opens up a space, doesn’t show fading from sun exposure, but will show dirt and wear. Dark color carpet cozies up a large area, won’t show dirt and wear, but will show lint and dust, and can fade when exposed to sunlight. Keep in mind that carpet with texture will look darker because of the shadows created by the texture pattern.

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Select your carpet from large samples viewed onsite after the walls and trim are painted.

Don’t try to work off the sample boards with 2” squares. Showrooms offer larger samples that can be checked out to take to your project so you can view the carpet in context. Most carpet styles have over a dozen choices in the neutral range, but even though these colors look neutral, they have subtle undertones that can lean toward pink, green, yellow, gray, brown, etc. These undertones are hard to discern in small samples, but they become all too obvious once the carpet is covering the entire room. The pattern in a textured carpet will also affect the appearance of the color and impact the decor, and this effect cannot be seen accurately in small swatches.

When working with carpet colors, it is critical to select your carpet color in natural light, and not in a showroom with artificial lighting. Color is influenced by the setting and light source. The light sources in your home will change the way the carpet color appears. Also, the paint on your walls, depending on the color, can actually reflect onto the carpet, altering its cast.

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Patterned or bold-color carpet can be used to create a design statement.

Media Rooms, Game Rooms, Home Offices, or Children’s Playrooms are the best areas to let loose and express your creative urges with non-traditional carpet choices. In these areas, creating themed décor can actually add value and increased interest to your home. Carpet in bold colors or patterns becomes the most dominant design element in the room, so in this case, choose the carpet first, and select the other decorative finishes to work with it.


ePerfect Project in the News

January 26, 2015 | Melinda Miles

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This is an excerpt of the recent article by Rhona Schwartz that appeared in the Dallas Morning News featuring the ePerfect Project website and the Perfect Project companion ebook. Read what Rhona wrote.

Satisfy Your App(etite) for Design Using Digital Tools

(Excerpted from the Dallas Morning News)

Internet tools make it easy to amass home decorating ideas, contemplate wall colors and move furniture around. Their volcanic effects are also changing the way interior designers do business.

The Internet has made customers more product savvy and informed. They want convenience, efficiency and waste reduction, said Dallas interior designer Melinda Miles. By using a smartphone or tablet as a shopping companion, they’re “forcing residential professionals to look for ways to improve their process and efficiency.”

Miles’ contribution to the remodeling and building arenas is ePerfectProject.com, her new website, which allows a project team– homeowners, builders, interior designers, subcontractors and suppliers – to store and share product information.

“After years of seeing selection decisions not written down, scribbled on Post-it notes and scrap paper or lost in texts or emails, I decided there had to be a better way,” Miles said.

“The selection process can be overwhelming for clients. Giving them a way to keep track of what they are doing makes the whole construction experience so much better for them,” she said.

The core of ePerfectProject.com is the customizable Design Center, which organizes a project by categories (including plumbing and appliances) and room, creates a virtual shopping list and allows photo uploads.

“The format guides homeowners through the selection process and prompts them to include all the information necessary to specify materials and finishes correctly and to not leave anything out,” Miles said.

Down the line, this system makes it easy to order replacement products, like tiles, and buy the correct color paint for touch-ups. Plumbing and hardware fixtures often have a lifetime warranty and can be replaced for free if they can be identified via the manufacturer’s name, model number and finish.

Because the builder, interior designer and installers can log into a project and see what was chosen, they have the information they need to do their job. The system also helps interior designers keep their clients on track.

Miles’ companion Kindle book, Perfect Project: A How-to Design Guide for Your Home Building Project, is a workbook to use while shopping for appliances, cabinets, flooring, doors, trim, paint, wallpaper, hardware, glass and many more finishes.

“The book takes readers through the design and selection process just as if I were working with them in person,” Miles said. “It covers the most universal design issues and questions that seem to come up with every client I work with who is building or remodeling their home.

“My goal is to give homeowners the right information and tools to increase their confidence and ability to make selections, prevent project mistakes and enhance the design of their project.”

Rhona Schwartz (rds9000@yahoo.com) is a freelance writer based in Seattle.