Stylish Ways To Conceal Your Dingy Wall-To-Wall Carpeting

If you have old and dingy carpeting, the prospect of replacing it with a new floor likely sounds very appealing. However, that isn't always a viable option. You may be renting an apartment and have no control over major renovation decisions, or you might just not have the funds to spend on such a project right now. Just because you can't replace your wall-to-wall carpeting doesn't mean you have no options to improve the situation.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can give your space a refresh. These ideas will help you hide the carpeting or change the focus in the room so that it is much less noticeable. They'll help you make it through until you or your landlord is able to replace the outdated flooring in favor of something more stylish and modern. If you are renting, make sure to clear any changes to the unit with your landlord before attempting them. Here are some ideas to make your situation more manageable.

Use area rugs

Area rugs offer one of the best ways to hide carpeting that has seen better days or doesn't match the look you're going for in your space. One of the benefits of using area rugs is that there are so many different sizes, textures, colors, and pattern options out there. If you put in a bit of search time, you can find exactly what you're looking for to upgrade the look of your home's room(s).

You may choose a rug with slightly smaller dimensions than the available space, leaving a little border of the original carpeting. Or, if the carpet is in that poor condition or doesn't give the vibe you want, consider choosing a larger rug or pairing multiple rugs together to cover the entire space. In addition to helping you conceal the existing flooring, area rugs can also come in handy for dividing your space and creating separate areas within an open floor plan.

Rearrange your furniture

If you can't get rid of the carpeting in your home or rental unit, you don't have to spend all day looking at it. Use the furniture in the room to your advantage, and work to cover up as much of the flooring as possible — particularly what will be most visible when enjoying the space. For example, consider moving your sofas away from the wall so that they are hiding more of the flooring. You can also pair this idea with the previous one and add a few smaller area rugs to the parts of the floor that aren't hidden by furniture.

If the room feels a bit sparse, and there is still too much visible carpeting for your liking, consider bringing in some new furniture items (or moving them from other areas of the home). Desks, dressers, and bookcases can provide additional coverage. You can also invest in a new coffee table and some puffy ottomans to cover up more carpeting in the center of the room.

Dye the carpet

This may seem a bit extreme — and is definitely not one to try if you are renting — but if you are really unhappy with the color of your carpet or how faded it has become over the years, you can try dying it. Just be prepared, this idea is a bit more involved, and you'll need to completely clear the room of all your furniture and belongings to pull it off. However, once completed, you will have given a new look to your space that should be more in line with what you desire.

After removing all the furniture and any other belongings from the room, tape off the trim and/or remove the baseboards to protect them from getting dyed. You should also cover the walls with plastic wrap in case anything splashes or splatters as you work. Mix the carpet dye following the directions on the bottle, then apply it evenly over each section of the room. You'll need to use a carpet steamer to help infuse the color into the flooring, and then repeat the steps with an additional two or three coats, leaving plenty of dry time between coats.

Be selective when choosing the right dye color to use. You'll have to think about the current color of your carpeting, and what dye colors it will best accept. For example, if you have a faded blue carpet, you won't be able to turn it into a beige or gray. Short of replacing it, your best bet is to dye it a darker blue color.

Try carpet tiles

Whether you don't have the money to afford new wall-to-wall carpeting or can't perform major home renovations to your rental unit, carpet tiles may be the solution you're looking for. While they won't be as plush as a new carpet, these tiles offer an affordable and temporary solution for hiding dingy flooring. And, even better, they're pretty easy to work with. The tiles are designed to connect together, much like the pieces of a puzzle. So, you don't even need much experience to lay them in your home.

Depending on the type of carpeting you currently have and other home features, carpet tiles may or may not be a viable option. If your carpet has a high pile and is very plush, the new tiles could be too high and interfere with doors opening and closing. Carpet tiles can also feel a bit bumpy if the flooring underneath them is not relatively even. So, if there are areas where the carpeting is completely worn down below the rest of the room, you may want to consider using something to even things out before laying the tiles.

Add a wall mural or some statement wallpaper

Adding some statement wallpaper or painting a mural on one of the walls in the room is another option to consider. You might be wondering how changing the way the wall looks will make your carpets look better. It won't. However, making your walls more eye-catching will distract everyone from the flooring. 

If you decide to use wallpaper, consider the best pattern for the room. Consider your style and your goals for how the finished room will look. Pay attention to the colors of the furniture, window treatment, and other decorative elements in the space to choose something that coordinates, but is still eye-catching enough to serve your intended purpose. There are so many different pattern types to consider — from geometric to floral to plaid and everything in between.

If you are painting a mural (or hiring someone else to paint it for you), several of the above considerations will also apply. You want the mural to look like it belongs in the space and be attention-getting to pull everyone's attention to it. Before touching a brush to the wall, ensure you have a detailed sketch and have all the paint and other supplies you'll need ready.

Use stencils and paint to give it a new look

If you own your home and don't have a landlord to answer to, you could also consider transforming your drab carpet into one of the most attractive parts of your room. If you're wondering how this could be possible if your carpet is faded or outdated, all you'll need is some paint and a stencil. That's right; you can paint directly onto your carpet to give it a unique look and a fun pattern or design.

This idea will only be feasible if you have a closed-loop carpet or one with a very low open pile. If the pile is too high, the paint won't adhere properly, and you won't be able to discern the pattern or design you were trying to create. You'll also need to find a stencil pattern online (or make your own). Then, you'll just need indoor latex paint in your desired color(s), masking tape, and a paintbrush. Cut out your stencil and use masking tape to outline it on the carpet in the selected areas, or follow the pattern you want. Then, fill in the areas to be painted, let it dry completely, and remove the tape. Voilà! Your old carpet has an entirely new look.

Paint the walls with a complimentary color

Is your carpet brown, forest green, pink, or another color you're not partial to? You might think that there is nothing you can do that will make you actually like the way the carpet looks in your home. However, one thing might make you change your mind. Try finding a complimentary or style-forward color that will make the carpet more fun and seem like it was selected on purpose.

For example, if you have dirt-brown carpeting, consider painting some or all of the walls in the room sky blue. This is a popular color combination right now, so if you have guests over, they'll think you're just really trendy with your carpeting and wall color choices. Another attractive color to pair with a brown carpet is a nice raspberry pink. A few other color combinations to consider are pine green carpeting with sage walls, pink carpets with gray walls, and hunter green carpets with silver walls. 

Change the focus to the ceiling

If you don't want people looking down at your carpets, give them a reason to look up by making the ceiling a focal point. If their eyes are pulled up to the ceiling or top of the walls, they won't pay as much attention to the outdated or dingy carpeting. There are a few different ways you can draw attention to your ceiling. The first is by adding light fixtures — either a large chandelier that really makes a statement or various pendant lights in a color that says, "Hey, look at me!"

Another way to draw attention to your ceiling is by changing its appearance. We're used to it being white, so any darker color will automatically pull one's eyes upward. Or, instead of painting it a solid color, consider painting a mural on it. You don't have to recreate the Sistine Chapel; just add some colors or designs that mean something to you. Finally, you could also consider adding gold or silver leaf to your ceiling to add some sparkle and shine to your room and give it a more upgraded and elegant look.

Bring in some potted plants and trees

If you've tried a few of the ideas above and still don't like how your carpet looks or how much of it shows, try pulling in some greenery. Rather than opting for smaller planters that you would put on a bookshelf or tabletop, choose plants with large, decorative pots that will cover up more of the flooring. Some smaller trees with woven bases can be an especially good choice because of how large they are and how much space they'll take up.

Once you've selected some plants, be selective about where you place them. Use the plants, bulkier furniture items, and area rugs to break up larger sections of carpeting so that it is less intense in the space. If you have a brown thumb or don't want to deal with live plants, there are many fake options that are very realistic-looking.

Use a carpet rake to restore the existing carpeting

This is another idea you might want to use in combination with some of the others shared above. If your carpets are worn down, packed with dirt, and covered with stains, a carpet rake may get them closer to their original look than would be possible using a vacuum or even a carpet cleaning machine.

Carpet rakes work by agitating the surface of the carpet. This loosens the pile, causing hair, dirt, and other debris to be pulled up to the top. The result will be a cleaner and more plush carpet than was there before. If you or anyone else in your home suffers from allergies, using a carpet rake may deliver additional benefits. Because they can be so effective at pulling out pet hair and other allergens, they may provide some relief from your allergy symptoms. If you live in a rental property with carpeting that several past tenants have used, you could release trapped pet hair from animals that weren't even yours.