Bringing Wall-To-Wall Carpet Back

January 29, 2016

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We have been ironing out details of our downstairs renovation over the past two weeks. Lowe’s jumped on board to sponsor a lot of the big construction components we have planned and one of their corporate partners, Stainmaster carpet, was eager to work with us, too after hearing about our plans to carpet the whole thing. We are going to rock the wall to wall carpet so good. Before I go any further, we are beyond grateful to these companies that really let us stretch ourselves and still have 100% control over our decisions. The carpet in our downstairs (and on the stairs) has been in bad shape since we moved in. We had it professionally cleaned twice and it just looks tired and stained. I don’t even like thinking about how long it has been in the house (ew). Initially, we thought about doing the same tile downstairs as we have upstairs, at least in part of the space, we even saved some all this time thinking we would! But, then when we started thinking about it and planning the space out, it just didn’t make sense to have the wood tile down there for us. Our heating ducts run through the flooring upstairs (ceiling down) so it creates this automatic heated floor situation that would be sorely missed downstairs. Then we talked about maybe putting a cork floor on just the playroom side to keep cleanup easier. These were all ideas Lowe’s was on board with, but we just couldn’t get 100% excited about. In the end, we just want it to be a comfortable, cozy space and carpeting the whole thing actually excites us and I think if done right, it can look really amazing.

Here are three spaces that inspired our wall-to-wall carpet downstairs:




While some of these might be a natural source, like sisal, (which isn’t the coziest underfoot) the biggest takeaway for me is the texture. Some sort of low-piled, patterned rug was what I had my sights set on. We went to Lowe’s and checked out all of the options. Chris was thorough in his testing (haha!):

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

While the high piles were so nice and soft, we were pleasantly surprised Stainmaster had a lot of great, tight patterned carpets for active families and pets! Bingo! That’s us! That’s us! We checked out four different ones to bring home and look at in place.


After some time, we narrowed in on the Medford style which is a highly stain resistant rug for active areas, but is still very soft. The small checked pattern reminded me a lot of our inspiration photos. It has a very modern, traditional vibe to it, too, which is right where we like to sit.


The only issue was choosing a color from a small 1×2 sample card practically had me paralyzed. The area we’ll be carpeting is approximately 1500 sq feet and I really really wanted to make sure we chose the right color. I ran back down to Lowe’s to check out the display board which had much larger samples and Chris came home for a late lunch (btw, he only works a mile away, so it’s quick for him to come home when he wants to–we’ve been getting questions about that lately) so we could try to come to a decision while the sun was still shining.

To start, we each put pieces of post it notes on samples that we like. Any and all. There were a lot of darks and lights and warms and cools at the beginning. Then we started, one at a time, taking turns removing post its until we were left with one that we both liked: Fizz. 


Perhaps something in the 4th column could pass for a natural fiber wall to wall option, but I’m really glad about the option we land on. I even think it will look sleek going down our stairs!


chosen one

We are hopefully having someone come measure for install next week (which means I still have a few days to stew over the color. Just kidding! …not really) and then we’ll start tearing out the old stuff and have everything painted and the recessed lights in before the new carpet is installed. See you on the flip side, Fizz!


Proud to be partnering with Lowe’s and Stainmaster on this project–and happy to be taking you along for the ride! Thanks for supporting our sponsors who support us. Inspiration image sources:1, 2, 3

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What do you think?

  1. Lynn C Maust says:

    glad you are promoting wall-to-wall carpeting. My family began the carpet mill of Philadelphia Carpet back in the 1860s…in Phila. Pa. We always had all our rooms with cozy wool carpets…wall-to-wall. I don’t know how people live with noisy, cold uncarpeted floors.

  2. Karla Laffoon says:

    Would you mind posting finished pictures after your carpet was installed? I’m trying to decide if I want to put this on just my stairs or if want to also include hallway and bedrooms.

  3. Andi Enyiema says:

    Hello, I’m looking to build a house from the ground up and looking for Lowe’s/Home Depot sponsorship on some part of the build as you guys did. I’m wondering how you went about that part of the process, if you don’t mind. Thanks so much for your time.

  4. Sarah Shamah says:

    Hi Julia,

    We are looking into purchasing Stainmaster carpet and I’ve recently run into some pretty negative reviews of it. I’m curious to know how well it has held up for you and your family with kiddos and pets. People have complained that this particular style snags easily and shows stains. Any feedback you may have would be much appreciated!

  5. Susan says:

    Do you happen to know the carpet in your first picture (living room with dark gray walls)?

  6. Rebeca Frisbie says:

    Hello Julia!

    We will hopefully be installing the same carpet for our upstairs but I was just wondering what padding you used for under the carpet? Thank you so much!

  7. Amber Power says:

    Hi! New comment on an old post.
    I’m dying to know…what we’re your second and third choice colors for the carpet? I’m attempting to choose a carpet that will go well with the laminate wood flooring you used in the Baltimore kitchen! Lowe’s has a great deal on carpet installation right now ☺️

    • Julia says:

      Oh awesome! I liked a few of the camel-colored options that would look like sisal, too!

      • Amber says:

        Thank you!! I was finally able to take a sample board home and of course my favorite is…FIZZ (Notable neutral coming in as a close second).

        Now I feel like replying to all of the comments urging you to stay away from such LIGHT carpet to say: It does look darker in person!! I promise! :)

  8. Jennifer says:

    What color is the dark gray wall? I love the color and wanna get it right. Do you mind sharing?

  9. Brooke says:

    Hi! I am in the process of finishing our basement and I LOVE how yours turned out. I like the idea of getting a low pile carpet, and I love the look of light colors but I am worried about wear and tear. I have a baby with plans to have more and I am wondering how your carpet has held up so far with your little ones? Have you had any issues with staining or discoloring?

  10. Kelly says:

    Thanks Julia,
    Yes, its going to cost me quite a bit more (I do have to pay labor) so just wanted to be very sure you are still happy with the look of the carpet and don’t feel it ever looks “dirty”. I did look at your newer post, I think it looks beautiful but wanted to be sure before I tear it all out. Ugh!


  11. Kelly says:

    Hi Julia, Have you had a chance to read the email? So sorry just trying to make this carpet decision and appreciate your input since I’m looking at the exact carpet you installed. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      Kelly, I’ve been thinking. It looks like you got the carpet we had in our old house, not in this house. The main difference (and the lesson I learned) is if your pattern is made with fibers than you will get that “dirty look” you are talking about. If the pattern is made with different colors (like our new carpet in this house), you won’t get those marks and the pattern will never fade. We’re a lot happier with this carpet. Check it out in this post.

  12. Kelly says:

    Hello Julia, I tried sending u an email and couldn’t get it to go thru, can u confirm ur address or send one to me? Thx!

  13. Amy says:

    We have a very similar carpet in our basement. I would suggest not to go so light. It gets so dirty with the kids and dog. Go at least 2 shades darker. Trust me.

  14. laura says:

    What color paint are you thinking for the basement??? Currently finishing our basement so following right along!

  15. Tiffany says:

    I’ll never forget this helpful little tip: Paint goes on darker, carpet goes on lighter. Hope this helps. You’ve got great taste. You’ve got this!

  16. Evelina says:

    Yes! I need help styling wall-to-wall carpet. We aren’t planning on ripping it out since we will be moving in a couple years but I still want things to look good in the meantime.

  17. We have almost the exact same carpet in our upstairs, only in a more dark-sand color! I forget the exact color name. When we moved in two years ago, all that was on the upstairs floor was the original 1930s subflooring boards. No idea what happened to the actual flooring – so weird. I was not excited to get carpet at all – I was convinced I would hate it, but we needed something fast since we wanted it done before we moved all of our stuff in, and we were four weeks away from moving in. And of course… I really really like it now! It is so warm, cozy, and makes the entire upstairs SO much more quiet. It was a great decision! It’s also held up really well for us, after two years and with two little kids and a cat, we have had no issues at all!

  18. That’s what we used in our previous home for the sunroom. It mimicked grass cloth, without the stress! I can’t wait to see it!

  19. Joanna says:

    I have the exact same carpet in an even lighter color. It wears awesome and truly doesn’t get dirty easily. You won’t regret your choice! The pattern gives such a textured look. It makes wall to wall look super classy. Good luck and rest assured that you are making a good choice!

    • Brooke says:

      That’s awesome to hear. Do you have kids? Do people wear shoes on your carpet? I want to get this color but I’m so worried about having dark areas where people walk a lot.

  20. Rebekah says:

    I love the carpet you’ve chosen… it looks great! Some people are able to make lighter carpet work for them.

    The one thought that kept popping into my head was the timing. You mentioned you will be ripping into the downstairs bathroom and remodeling this year. Aren’t you at all worried that if you run into any issues with the bathroom you’ll have brand new carpet to worry about? You guys are the pros and I’m sure this has all been considered, but I wanted to bring it up just in case.

    Good luck… I can’t wait to see it!

  21. Gina says:

    You will love the choice!
    I had the hardest time picking a color/type that was from such a small swatch.
    This is by far harder than choosing paint!
    I also have a large dog and went with a light color. I could not be happier!

    Having been through this, the samples on the computer do not reflect the actual color by the way. I also went with Lowe’s and they were super to work with.

  22. Jen says:

    I love that you chose carpet for the basement! I think wall-to-wall had gotten a bad rep. In rooms that need coziness and warmth, it can be perfect. We put heavily textured carpet with a slight shag quality in our family room, and we love it.

    And don’t be afraid of light colored carpet! We chose one of the palest shades they offered. Somehow, the heavy texture keeps things very clean-looking (or maybe it’s my frequent vacuuming, ha).

    It’s been two years, and even with two dogs and a cat, our carpet looks brand new. My only advice is to get the BEST quality rug pad available. It feels like walking on a cloud.

  23. Megan C. says:

    When we bought our townhouse, the downstairs was all hardwood and the upstairs was freshly carpeted with carpet that looks a lot like the one you have picked actually. Four years and two kids later, man do I wish we had wood throughout! What a pain carpeting is! Solid surface just needs to be swept while carpeting needs to be vacuumed and deep cleaned and if something spills it’s an urgent matter. I agree with the others who have commented, darker is better. Well, I would take it one step further and say, laminate or hardwood is best but it’s not my house or decision. To end on a positive note: your design skills are impeccable so at least I know the finished product will look fantastic (like the rest of your house)!

  24. K says:

    A couple years ago we did carpet in our basement as well. We have hardwood everywhere else and I really wanted something soft and nice for the kids to play on. Best decision ever. We wrestle, roll, do gymnastics, play games, all over our soft carpet. I now have a teenager and she brings all her friends over and I find them laying all over the floor, giggling and laughing. I love my hardwood and rugs upstairs, but carpet downstairs is the best!

  25. Kate says:

    From a mom with young kids and a dog to another, do not go with light carpet. We just did this two years ago in our bedrooms and I regret it everyday! We just laid carpet in our basement remodel and I went the opposite with a steel blue/gray and it’s amazing, beautiful. Same modern texture and cozy underfoot and it doesn’t show a thing. We are actually considering replacing all of our bedroom carpet (again, it’s only two years old) with the color we just laid downstairs.

  26. Exciting!!! I like the color choice as well :)

  27. Susie says:

    Tip: make sure the installer gets the stair treads nice and straight. Ours was installed slightly askew and with the square pattern it drives me a little nuts! I was also surprised with how long the stairs installation took… 6 hours (but we have spindles). Good luck!

  28. Joellyn says:

    My thought too- are you sure you want to go that light? The style is perfect.

    • Julia says:

      We’ve stewed and stewed, and in person it is a little darker. Promise! I think it will be perfect.

      • Krystyn Mancino says:

        If you don’t mind me asking what color did you use on the wall for the fireplace I love that color and can’t find it anywhere? We just bought a new home and we are making a theater room and that is the exact color I want to use.

      • Julia says:

        It’s Simply White by Benjamin Moore.

  29. yasmara says:

    I will chime in & say the same thing as @Pam and @Jess – go at least one shade darker than the one you’ve marked. It will read very white and Every Single Pet Hair In The Universe gets caught in the lower part of the squares.

  30. Jess says:

    I’ve gotta say that you are awfully brave going so light with kids and a dog. I’d maybe go a shade or two lighter. They may not make a mess now, but imagine them as teenagers with all their friends and food in outrageous colors of orange…..

    • Jess says:

      that would be shade or two darker….

      • Allison says:

        I’d also consider going a bit darker. We currently have carpet a little darker than this in our main living area and it looks pretty bad. I clean up spots every few weeks and that helps a ton, but the worst part (to me) is the “tracks” that have have been worn into the natural walkways in the area. There is a literal line to the kitchen and bathroom!

  31. You’re making me rethink my view on carpet! Can’t wait to see how it comes out.

  32. Hilary says:

    Love carpet in a basement! And I love the texture that you’ve picked.
    One suggestion – get a Roomba! We got one last fall and our bedroom carpets are vacuumed way more often! The kids like setting it up (they are 5 and 6). And they don’t even mind picking up their room so that the vacuum can run. And every time we are amazed at the amount of cat hair it picks up (we have two cats). It was gifted to us and we didn’t think we would use it, but now we love it!

  33. SLG says:

    I’m so excited about this post! I live in a condo where I’m actually required to have wall-to-wall carpeting in most rooms, to cut down on noise for the unit below me. It often feels like stylish options are few and far between. Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. Pam says:

    Love the direction you’re going in! We carpeted our bedrooms with a Shaw carpet very very similar to your third inspiration photo. I wanted the look of sisal (in weave and color) while still being soft to walk on, and easy care. I would just advise that you don’t go quite as light as you might be looking at now, as the little “squares” in the carpet can sometimes harbor lint, small pieces of trash, etc. and they would show up more on a really light color.

  35. Emily says:

    I like wall to wall carpet – but I’ve always heard that insurance will not cover carpet or hardwood in a basement. Not sure if that is something you’ve thought about.

    • Jess says:

      Pretty sure that would be based on flood zones. We had flooding in our basement with carpet and it wasn’t a big deal.

    • Emily says:

      You can get water in a basement regardless of where you are in relation to a flood zone. Ground water or backed up sewers being most common. I only ask because our basement condo faced this issue.

    • Shelley says:

      I’ve had water damage to carpet due to plumbing insurance twice and never had a problem with either getting carpet replaced.

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