The One Design Hurdle That’s Got 66% of Millennials Down

photo by  @taylorsterling

As active participants of social media, we are frequently bombarded with images of perfect-looking homes that feel so far out of reach. Perfect herringbone hardwood floors, custom fireplaces, antique crown molding, it’s all beautifully overwhelming because we want what we can’t have. 

With roughly one-third of millennials certified home-owners, renting is an unavoidable epidemic that most of us are dealing with (or suffering through… well, at least we’re in this together). 

One of the biggest woes about renting is the inability to make any drastic design decisions. Whether it’s updating appliances, new light fixtures, or the biggest of them all….. carpet *gasp*. We dislike carpet just as much as the next renter, but sometimes we’re stuck with it.  And what do bosses like us do when we’re stuck? We work through it, because we’re bad ass like that. 

To help you tackle this major design woe, we tapped three “cool-girl” interior designers for their tips on how to design around that dingy carpet (without compromising your style). 


Meet The Designers

Claire Zinnecker,  of Claire Zinnecker Design, a boutique interior design group based in Austin, TX. 

Kirsten Grove, the leading lady behind Simply Grove,  a creative outlet turned full-time interior design business. 

Ginny MacDonald, a designer and stylist, based in LA (though, she hails originally from England) whose extensive work can be seen here

photo by  @FromTheGroundUp

LESSON ONE: Rugs are Your Friend

CZ: Layering the space with a bright patterned area rug will take away from your carpet woes. The color and texture draws the attention to it and pulls together the space. You won't even notice the carpet.

KG: When you are using throw rugs on carpet, try layering them to create a textured look that will take away from the first layer of carpet. You can play off of the color of the carpet by incorporating it in the colors of the rug.

GM: If the carpet has a crazy pattern to it then go for something solid and tonal that works with the colours in the carpet. If the carpet is light and neutral then you have the option to overlay something bright and colourful or go with something more tonal (i.e if you have cream carpet, you could overlay a sisal or jute in a slightly darker tone, this would also give more texture). Not all rugs work on top of carpet though. Low pile rugs don't sit well on top of thicker pile carpet and end up moving around so try to use a rug and a carpet with the same pile thickness and it should stay snug. You could also use a rug pad or carpet tape to make it stick even better.

photo by  @simplygrove

photo by @simplygrove

LESSON TWO: Pull Focus To The Walls

CZ: Distract with paint. Adding paint as an accent wall or even a pop of color on the ceiling can change the feel of the entire space. It creates a fun distraction and gives your space personality. 

KG: Carpet can easily disappear when you focus on other aspects of the room. Creating a gallery wall with a variety of colors and textures can force the eye up instead of down.

GM: As well as adding a rug to your space you could also paint the walls in a brighter tone so that it helps to detract away from the carpet. A lot of rentals are painted in the contractors fave "swiss coffee" but painting it in a white or neutral grey will help a space feel more fresh and happy.

photo by @ chrislovesjulia

photo by @chrislovesjulia

LESSON THREE: Add Surrounding Textures

CZ: Bringing in textures through rugs, blankets, natural wood, etc. makes your home feel cozy and fresh. The carpet will practically disappear when you liven it up with a variety of textures.

GM:  Layer accent furniture on top of the carpet like fun colourful poufs, baskets for extra blankets and planters. This not only hides the hideous rug but also brings some life, texture and layering to a room.


Are there other design roadblocks you are experiencing as a renter? Let us know in the comments below!