December 9, 2011

Werner Braun: A makeover should be in your future

I have a question for you: Is there such a thing as starting “too early” when it comes to contemplating a New Year’s resolution?  

Do people start thinking about their yearly pledge in September or October, or do people wake up on Jan. 1 and decide the day of?

It’s an interesting thought, and even though I don’t traditionally make New Year’s resolutions, I feel like I’ve heard them all: Next year I will lose weight, stop smoking, travel to a new place, fix the garage door … and the list goes on and on.

But what about this one: Next year I will update my home’s atmosphere with new carpet, paint and furniture. I’m sure it’s one we have all wanted to do, a makeover of our home or business from top to bottom, and as 2012 approaches, the Carpet and Rug Institute wants to help you do just that — beginning with your floor.

Floorcoverings are one of the most dominant fashion statements for an indoor setting. Colors and patterns in a carpet can create a distinctive atmosphere, serve a practical purpose and send a message.  

Within a facility, bright colors with contrasting highlights can differentiate department or team areas. An accent color on the floor can establish a break between the floor and the wall or stairway, and a printed or tufted pattern carpet can reinforce a corporate or home identity.

Color selection of carpet is as diverse as the imagination can provide. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discussed the color trends for 2012. Beige will be vamped up with shades of teal, dusky red, plum, charcoal and dark navy, and there will be a shift from pale neutrals toward deeper tans and taupe.    

The New Year will also bring quiet colors such as neutral Earth tones, like blue and green, which help create a soothing effect or a corporate look. Warmer colors, like variations of rose, mauve and shades of orange, create a mood of energy and vitality. Also, don’t be scared to experiment with metal shades, like gold, silver and bronze.

Color in homes and businesses have proven to be very beneficial. A realization in health care facilities that Alzheimer’s patients can remember color differentiation better than numbers (according to the Alzheimer’s Association) may be a consideration in any public facility. Color can provide an easily remembered visual link to a specific hall or wing. Brighter colors also aid in depth perception and differentiation of areas such as registration desks or main offices.

There are other components to consider when sprucing up your floor for the New Year, such as colors that mask wear and tear of everyday living. Mid-range colors and multicolor blends are best for hiding soil near entrances. Medium and darker colors, tweeds and textures are good at hiding soil in high-traffic areas. There’s also new stain and soil resistant technologies that help to make today’s lighter color carpet much easier to clean, allowing for more design options. 

Carpet is also being produced to coordinate with other interior finishes such as laminates, upholstery, natural stones, wall coverings and paint, and many carpet manufacturers will produce custom colors and constructions to meet individual specifications for design coordination.

So if you’re still undecided about your New Year’s resolution this year, it isn’t too late to decide that a little home or business makeover is just the pledge you need to start off 2012.  New colors and bold textures can add beauty and style to help represent a company’s desired corporate culture or a home’s inviting environment. Say goodbye to beige, and hello to 2012 — and gold, charcoal gray and mauve.    

Werner Braun is president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.

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