How to Pick Flooring You’ll Love (hint: make sure it’s not avocado green shag carpet)

Now if that wallpaper (and hair!) doesn't scream 1970, I don't know what does!

Unless we’ve just moved into our dream home, there’s probably a room (or two or three) that we’d like to update. Sometimes we just want to keep up with the Joneses and although our room looks great by anyone’s standards, we’d just like to see something newer. Sometimes, however, the room hasn’t been touched for three decades and it’s decidedly outdated. Maybe it’s so outdated, it could be featured in a museum.  Or perhaps it’s so old, it’s chic again!

Consider these photos of outdated decor.

  • My old kitchen floor 1 of 11
    My old kitchen floor
    This is the tile that was in my old house when I first moved in. Although dark colors do wonders at hiding the dirt that kids and animals have a way of tracking inside, it also closes up a room and makes it feel smaller (as well as dark and dreary).
  • My old living room 2 of 11
    My old living room
    Although I'm focusing on flooring, I just had to throw this picture in here too. Crazy wallpaper (like crazy flooring) might seem like a good idea when you're going through an "I'm all about the country, quilty look" phase. But it never lasts. Believe me.
  • Cheri’s carpet 3 of 11
    Cheri's carpet
    This is the carpeting my friend, Cheri picked out for her room when she was 8 years old. She insists she still loves it. Between you and me, I think she still loves it because it's still in her parents' house which is located 5 states away. I swear I can see a hieroglyphic-looking Egyptian in this carpet. Do you see it? For carpet you'll love a long time, choose subtle patterns.
  • My sister’s old wallpaper 4 of 11
    My sister's old wallpaper
    This is the wallpaper that hung in my sister's room when she was a kid. Her monkey liked it. Can you imagine having this in your house now, sis?
  • My old wallpaper 5 of 11
    My old wallpaper
    My parents had a thing about doing everything in pink for me and yellow for my sis. (My wallpaper was better than hers!)
  • My parents’ old foyer 6 of 11
    My parents' old foyer
    Note the realistic looking stone tile. What's that? You're too busy looking at the girls who look like ugly boys? What can I say - the 70s were not an attractive time for anyone or anything, including flooring.
  • Avocado green shag 7 of 11
    Avocado green shag
    At some point, someone thought, 'Hey, let's get carpeting that looks like Oscar the Grouch's fur! It'll be shagedelic!' I wonder what those people are saying now?
  • My parents’ old family room 8 of 11
    My parents' old family room
    I hit the trifecta with this picture! We have the lovely dark paneled walls, the mirrors with the gold lines going through them, AND macrame pot holders! Score! My dad, on-the-other-hand is looking mighty young and thin there!
  • Colorful carpeting 9 of 11
    Colorful carpeting
    Unless you're carpeting the lobby of a cheap hotel, I'd stick with more neutral colors than orange and green.
  • It’s a party! 10 of 11
    It's a party!
    This is a perfect flooring choice. That is, if you're covering the floor of a Chuck E. Cheese's. Carpet that looks festive today has a way of getting really old really fast.
  • My parents’ old kitchen 11 of 11
    My parents' old kitchen
    This is the pièce de résistance! I just can't decide which I like more - the booth that clashes with the wallpaper, the wallpaper that screams 1975, or the giant fork and spoon on the wall. It's a toss-up, really.

A change of flooring can make an enormous difference in a room, but unlike a new vase for your mantle or a coat of paint on an accent wall, flooring can be a sizeable investment. (And it really is an investment that can improve the resale value of your home.) So what kind of flooring should you choose to avoid having your kids and grandkids make fun of “that avocado green sculptured carpet at grandma’s house”? How do you ensure it’ll be something you’ll love forever (or at least a couple decades)?

My advice on this one is simple. You can’t go wrong with the classics. Wood floors will always look good. Laminate flooring is a great, cheaper, (and more durable, and easily maintained in my opinion) alternative to wood floors. And when you have wood or laminate floors, you can always change it up by adding a new area rug thus freshening the look, yet avoiding the expense of redoing your flooring altogether.

If you opt for carpeting or tile, stick with neutral colors. Although neon orange might be all the rage this season, chances are you’re going to hate it in a couple years (or sooner). Also, when you have a neutral beige, for example, you can always replace or change your furniture without having to redo your floors.

Before taking the time and money to install new flooring, do your homework. Research which brands hold up the best. Take your time looking at different options. Bring home a sample to see what it will really look like in your home, among your furniture, in your lighting before purchasing anything. In the end, you’ll be happy with your investment and your room will be a place in which you’ll enjoy gathering.

A big thanks to The Home Depot for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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