Selecting the right carpet for your home if all your walls are one color can greatly simplify your decorating choices.

To start, you will need to study the shade of white and determine if it’s cool or warm.

Most bright whites are cool and have a hint of blue in them. Warm whites are closer in color to vanilla ice cream. If you have plain canvas draperies and your walls match, you have a warm white to work with.

If you put up plain canvas draperies and they appear yellow while your walls look white, your paint color is cool.

Carpets, particularly plush carpets that are not sculpted, have a nap. As you shop, make sure you can look at a large sample of carpet.

You want to be able to run your fingers across the carpet to see what happens to the color. You also want to be able to view it from all angles to note color changes.

The tips below will work both for variegated shades of carpet and pure tones.

carpet colors for white walls infographic

Blue

Blue is a cool color that can be a wonderful pairing with bright white walls. Dark blue carpets can add a touch of elegance to any space. The lighter blue you choose, the more casual the space will feel.

Use this tendency to your advantage. A low-pile carpet with a variegated pattern in pale blue can be a terrific choice for children’s rooms, a family room, or a high-traffic hallway.

You may choose to put plush navy carpets in your bedrooms. Not only will this increase the noise-dampening quality of your carpets, but this carpet will be warm and comfy for your feet.

If these rooms are generally kept dark, you may want to increase your investment and put down wool carpet in these spaces.

Do consider your household when putting in any solid carpet. Dark blue carpet can be lovely to walk on, but if you have pets, hair will show up quickly.

Unfurnished bedroom with blue carpet, and a closet.

Gray

Gray is tricky because it can be either warm or cool. Neutral grays can be impacted by the color of light in your home. If you can get a carpet sample to bring home and study, do so.

Sculpted or Berber weave carpets in gray can be quite striking. In this weave, there is no cut edge at the top surface of the carpet. Unlike a nylon plush carpet, there is no light reflecting off the cut strands.

If you can find a variegated dark gray level loop, put it to use in high-traffic areas. Because this looped weave is unlikely to catch light, it will function well as a neutral against your white walls.

Interior of office lounge area with white walls, carpeted floor, gray armchairs standing near round coffee tables and stylish staircase.

Brown

Brown carpet is a commitment to warmth. If your furniture is leather and you have a lot of different wood tones in the space, a brown carpet choice may be ideal.

Pay careful attention to the amount of traffic that each space gets. For those who prefer a “no shoes inside” policy, it might be quite nice to put down a plush polyester carpet with a low pile.

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Polyester carpets can be quite soft, especially if the strands are tightly packed and short.

Those trying to stick with natural fibers may want to consider cotton rugs for bedrooms or spaces where family members like to be on the floor.

Be aware that cotton rugs can be damaged by exposure to the sun. If your living room gets a lot of light, look for an Olefin, nylon or polyester carpet.

Interior of meeting room with glass and white walls, brown carpet on the floor, long wooden table with beige chairs and two horizontal posters.

Rust

Rust is a beautiful blend of red and brown that can be quite kind to warm pastels. Pale yellow bedding in the baby’s room will glow against rust, as will the peach drapes in your office.

For those who like warmly finished wood tones, choosing rust carpet can be a terrific choice. Do consider your cleaning needs.

A rust-based, low-pile variegated carpet can be ideal for your high-traffic areas. If everyone likes to share a bowl of popcorn in the family room on movie night, be prepared for crumbs to show up.

Rust is rich enough to stand up to both deep green and black. If your decorating style is opulent but not color-specific, or if you have a lot of black furniture, consider a rust carpet.

vacuuming a rust color carpet

Tan

Tan carpets will generally go with anything that suits a brown carpet. Do pay careful attention to traffic areas and eating spaces.

If you choose to put carpet in your dining room or in the kitchen, avoid Olefin as it can be damaged by heat. Nylon and polyester will last longer.

For those planning to use carpet in the bathroom, polyester is the way to go.

The lighter your carpet, the more easily stains will show up. If you’ve already got tan carpet in the dining room of your home and don’t plan to change it out soon, it may make sense to put another rug over your carpet, at least under the table.

Modern bedroom with wood decorations on the walls, hotel room with white walls and carpet flooring.

White

White on white is a lovely decorating choice for the right household. As long as your walls are lighter than your white carpet, and are of a similar warmth, your house will be simple to coordinate.

The choice to put down white carpet must be considered carefully. Over time, no matter how careful you are, there’s going to be a spill. A pet or person is going to track dirt across it.

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Nylon and polyester carpets are the most stain-resistant, but unless you are fully committed to caring for white carpet, consider tan or gray.

man in shoes standing on white carpet

Beige

Beige and ivory are also a lovely pairing. Beige will also be a terrific foil for leather furniture and warm wood tones. The problem with beige comes when dealing with stains and crushed pile.

As pile crushes from simple wear, the light reflective quality will change. If you notice that you can see walking paths on your carpet, even if everyone is shoeless as soon as they enter the house, there’s a good chance that your carpet is getting smashed down.

Regular cleaning by a skilled professional is necessary for any carpet. The lighter the carpet, the more important this cleaning becomes.

Regular vacuuming will also slow crushing. Finally, consider putting down a cut-loop pile in high-traffic areas.

Interior of master bedroom with white walls, wooden floor with a carpet on it and big white and wooden bed with beige blanket.

Black

Black carpet can be incredibly elegant, especially if you love rich upholstery colors. A burgundy velvet sofa will glow against white walls and black carpet, and your olive green armchairs will look terrific.

If you choose to put down a solid black carpet, get the tightest pile you can find. Polyester and nylon are both good choices as they will not fade. Make sure you also invest in a top-quality pad.

You want to protect your carpet from getting crushed. As you care for your carpet, make sure you get in the habit of moving furniture to vacuum up flattened by chair legs.

Take a good look at the carpet before it gets cut off the roll. If someone has a vacuum you can use, run over it to see what happens to the nap.

Carpet that appears black from one direction may turn out to be blue from a different angle. You may need to talk with the installers about the direction you want the nap laid out before they start.

Corner of open space office with white walls, carpeted floor, columns near large windows and rows of white computer tables with black chairs.

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