If taking a magic carpet ride just doesn't hold charm, don't despair about floors being bare. Whether you're starting fresh with new construction or redoing carpeting that has been with your home from the beginning, a variety of flooring alternatives are available to treat your feet. Pull the rug out from underneath and try something new.
For a floor covering similar to carpet but smaller and more personal, the needle/fibre art style of latch hooking may be a match. Latch hooking (also known as rug hooking) involves working with a thick canvas, coloured yarn and the latch hook tool, a small metal instrument with a hooked head. Latch hookers create rugs by looping cuts of yarn through the small boxes on the canvas, either following a pattern (which often includes precut yarn) or starting from scratch on their own design. Patterns include Amish quilting squares, flowers, animals and beach scenes ideal for a small area carpet rug or a much larger design. Custom kits are also available; vendors create rug hook kits from photographs and translate the design colour by colour, square by square.
Feel the Zen
Beach lovers and people who would like a way to bliss out in their living room may kick off their shoes and bury their feet in the peaceful sand of an inside Zen garden. While Zen gardens have a history beginning with Buddhist monks in the sixth century, transforming them to modern status takes just a couple of bags of sand, a few tweaks of a room's layout and a little bit of time spent rock hunting. Choose a small room for the project to save on sand expenses, and remove everything from the room's floor, including pulling up old carpet and taking out furniture. Bring in enough sand to cover the floor a couple of inches deep, and scatter stones in piles around the room's corners. Bring the furniture and decorations back into the room. Find inexpensive plastic rakes at the dollar store and start sifting.
If soft carpet fibres don't appeal, try the cool, smooth flooring of rattan. The Sheffield School of Interior Design created a room with rattan flooring for their "safari bedroom," matching the brown of the rattan flooring to the room's bedding and wall decorations. Rattan covering is ideal for a do-it-yourself project as the material comes with slight flaws and intricacies, so installation need not be absolutely perfect. You can purchase rattan flooring at hardware stores or have it installed by a professional flooring company. Even without a safari or outback theme, rattan flooring offers a sturdy alternative to cushy carpeting and provides a reflective surface for furniture and small area rugs placed upon it.
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