In Praise of Carpet

by Lauren Chorpening Day

Hardwood floors were at the top of my list when looking for a house. They aren’t hard to find in Des Moines, so it wasn’t a big ask. When we toured our home for the first time, there was only one room with carpet — now Austin’s office, which the previous owners used as a less formal dining room. The carpet was avocado green and loose. Pulling it up and refinishing the hardwoods beneath it was not a hard decision.

Our family room had linoleum — we hoped to find hardwood floors under it and refinish them like we had in the office. But when we pulled the carpet up, the floor was a hodgepodge of composite sheets and subfloor planks. There wasn’t anything to refinish. Instead, we laid new subfloor and had to figure out what to do.

In the design community, wall-to-wall carpet can feel like a fail. It’s something you typically take out, not put in. The room already felt like a challenge with the wonky textured walls and strange layout, so I pushed back against the idea of carpet.

When I stopped thinking about the design rules and started thinking about what we wanted from the space, carpet started to feel like the best option. We already had a living room with hardwood floors. The family room was going to be a space where our kids would do tummy time, learn to walk, build forts and have slumber parties. If I truly believe that interior design’s first priority is to serve the people who live in a home, being caught up in the stigma of carpet was ridiculous.

Of course, there were other things to consider with carpet like germs and dust and padding and all that. And we take care of spot cleaning and vacuuming daily, but carpeting this room was a decision my husband and I definitely don’t regret.

It’s been so fun to watch our daughter play and learn to move in this space that is kind on her falls and her knees as she learns to stand and move. The disappointment we experienced when there weren’t hardwoods in the family room is replaced with joy every time we see our girl cruise around without worry. I’m thankful for the original and gorgeous wood floors in our home and I’m thankful for a room with wall-to-wall carpet.—Lauren

Photography by Austin Day

Check out our favorite home tours that make wall-to-wall carpeting shine HERE.


Carpet – Stain Master in Cavern from Lowe’s
Sectional – Gaba from Article
Blanket – CB2
Large Bowl – Target
Baby Gate – Target

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  • Gosh, this is so nice to read! “If I truly believe that interior design’s first priority is to serve the people who live in a home, being caught up in the stigma of carpet was ridiculous.” SO TRUE. I feel the same way when people who live in warm climates remove ceiling fans because they’re not ‘design-friendly.’ They make the room more comfortable – that’s more important!

  • My wife and I were faced with the same decision several years ago. Hard wood or carpet? Our biggest concern was keeping it clean. We love the comfort that comes with carpet but hate the hassle of cleaning stains or spills. We were also planning on getting a puppy at the time. We ended up going to carpet and have never regretted it. We even got the cleaning issue figured out, just like I take all of my shirts to a dry cleaner, we let somebody else clean our carpets. Our carpet still looks like new and any stains from our dog’s puppy days are completely gone! We learned that if you care for your carpet then it will always provide the comfort you want.
    (In case anybody in Omaha is curious about our carpet cleaner)

  • Wonderful and real. I remember the years when we all LONGED for the money to put in carpeting, and while I do like the look of wood more, carpet serves a purpose–it’s warm and soft and comfortable. Good for you to say so!

  • I love this! I replaced the carpet in my condo on the stairs and two bedrooms upstairs and have never regretted it. It is always comfortable on my feet when I wake up, regardless of what season it is. And the simple texture and color add to the space! Carpet in the bedrooms is such a luxurious feel for me!

  • I love having carpet in my bedroom. It’s on the second floor of our house and I’m glad that if anyone is downstairs they don’t have to listen to every step I take not to mention how nice it is to wake up and step onto carpet in the morning.

  • Love the carpet and its color is amazing, goes really well with your couch. I love hardwood floors but I definitely prefer carpet.

  • posts like this is a huge reason i’m going to miss d*s. i’m still not sold on carpet because my life and the needs for my home are different. but that doesn’t matter because this wasn’t meant to win me over or sham me into agreeing. instead it helped me to empathize with other people’s lives, and really focus on putting together a home that reflects what i actually do, need and want not what i think other people might think will look good on the internet etc.

  • Our 1922 bungalow has hardwoods on the main level, concrete in the basement. I love rugs and had fun putting everything together for the more high-traffic areas. When it came to fixing up the attic – I had to think about how we would use the space: play room for our daughter and her friends, a family den with a cozy couch for movie nights, a space for sleepovers…we went with wall-to-wall carpeting with a thick pad and have never regretted it. It remains one of our favorite spaces in the house, especially in the colder months when we feel cocooned by coziness.
    Love “the first priority of design to serve the people that actually live there” — yay for truly LIVING in a space and finding what works for you instead of catering to what you think is stylish or would be good “for resale value”.

  • I just can’t understand the hate the design community has for carpets. Maybe they don’t have kids? Maybe they have perfect kids who never fall or do summersaults indoors? In any case, carpet is what works best for my little family. We have a robot vacuum that runs daily, I do a deeper vacuuming weekly, and we have the professionals over a few times a year to deep clean. It’s really not much work to maintain the carpet!