How to Choose the Right Carpet for Your Summer House


For most of us, a summer house means a home in a setting entirely different from our year-round property. Typically, it is a home in a woodland or natural setting, and most of the time it is close to a body of water. It could be a lake, a pond, the ocean or a babbling brook. The point is, the house experiences materials and conditions that our everyday homes do not, including lots of sand, water, dirt and debris.

That is why anyone updating, decorating or refurbishing a summer house has to consider the right carpeting for each of the indoor living spaces. As one beach house owner so aptly explained, “flooring choices should ideally be water resistance, easy to clean, and have a strong wear layer that will hold up to sand” and other soiling.

Should You Go Wall to Wall?

One of the biggest questions is whether or not wall to wall carpeting is a good idea in a summer house. After all, carpeting doesn’t always do so well when exposed to ongoing soiling. Yet, it can also be a wonderful thing to feel under your bare feet. That makes the answer a lot easier than most of us initially realize. How? Because it means that carpeting can be placed in the bedrooms but may be best if kept out of main entries, family or living rooms and heavily trafficked areas by main entrances or exits.

Are Area Rugs Good?

One of the best ways to make your summer home more welcoming and finished is to decorate it to the same degree you do your everyday home. Carefully choose light fixtures, furnishings, paint colors and flooring. Many point towards wood, vinyl and ceramic tile flooring for those heavily trafficked areas, but if you take a peek at interior design sites and magazines, you’ll also see that area rugs make a strong showing. Used under the dining table, to frame out the sitting area in a living room or open floor planned space, and even as runners in the kitchens, halls, and other areas, they reduce wear on the hard surface flooring while keeping every space warmer and more comfortable.

Fine or Casual?

Again, there comes the worries of the wear and tear that summer life might bring to finer rugs. For example, a beautiful Oriental runner in a wood-floored hallway looks lovely, but if that runner is exposed to sand, grit, dirt and water throughout the weeks it is used each year, it might degrade quickly. This does not mean you are unable to use finer rugs, though. What it means is that you should first assess the spaces you use and determine the heavier traffic areas.

These are the ideal spots for the durable sisal rugs, the blends of materials that might make a rug an indoor/outdoor rug or even a smaller “throw” rug that can serve for a summer without breaking the bank if it gives up by the time Labor Day arrives.

Have fun decorating a summer home but use traffic patterns to decide where to put wall to wall, finer area rugs and the rugs that can withstand the rigors of the summer season.

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