When shopping for a new carpet, you’re probably accustomed to taking a few key characteristics into account. You could be shopping for your carpet based on the length of the rug’s strands, its size, its weight, and even its ability to be cleaned or to resist stains. But are you paying enough attention to color? If not, you should be. When you choose a carpet color, you’re paving the way for what your entire room is going to look like, how it’s going to attract light, and what kind of mood you’re going for. Color isn’t a secondary concern when it comes to choosing a carpet. It should be at the forefront of your mind every time. If you’re looking for a new carpet and aren’t sure about what colors to avoid, here are a few handy tips to keep you in the clear.

Set the Mood and Tone

As a thoughtful decorator and homeowner, you’ve probably given a ton of thought to each room’s mood, feel, and outlook. You’ve purchased furniture that helps give each room a certain style, and you’ve chosen to paint, wallpaper, and accessorize in ways that will make the room’s natural highlights pop. That’s why going with a carpet color that really ties the room together is so important. Why choose a carpet that’s just going to undo all the hard work you’ve done toward trying to make each part of your home unique? A carpet can be whatever you want it to be.

It can be a centerpiece, a statement, or it can seamlessly blend into the background. Try to spend a minute thinking about what you’re already trying to say with each room before you decide on a carpet color. For instance, is your den a meeting and gathering place, or a place for quiet reflection? Do you want your kitchen to be warm, open, and friendly, or cool and elegant? You can mix and match patterns and colors all you want in order to achieve your desired effect when it comes to a room’s mood, but a carpet should be able to reflect this tone without working too hard.

Warm with Warm, Cool with Cool

The next thing to consider with your carpet’s color is undertones. When designing a space, it’s important to think about color as being multifaceted. For instance, within the range of white carpets, there are several different tones of white, ranging from a bright frosty white to a cool, greyish off-white. Each shade of a specific color comes in undertones ranging from warm to cool to neutral.

Knowing how to choose the right undertone will help you elevate your space and give it a bit more of a homey feeling. If you’re placing your carpet in a space that gets a ton of natural light, you might want a bright warm undertone to set off all that golden color streaming in through the window. If you’re placing it in a room that tends to be a bit brighter and colder, a cooler undertone will be able to reflect the outside light even on duller days in order to amplify the brightness and open up a room.

Attract More Light

Whatever color you choose, you’ll need to be mindful of how it attracts, stifles, or repels light. You’ll already be aware of the basics when it comes to colors: Bright, light colors will attract light, while others will hold it in and darken your room. Darkly colored rugs are more likely to trap sunlight and grow hot, while light colors will be able to light up your room without overheating it.

Even if you choose a color you know will work well with the light in your space, try to think ahead to see how that color is bound to change as the seasons change. Whether you have your carpet dry cleaned every six months or go with hot carbonating carpet cleaning, you’ll want to pick a rug that is fade-resistant and able to stay vibrant no matter what. Buying a bright, colorful rug only to watch the colors fade from the sun over time won’t do much to help enhance your room’s natural light flow.

Shape Your Space

Finally, your carpet color will be able to create the feeling of a cozier or more open space depending on what you decide. For instance, if you’re trying to make a larger space more intimate, choosing a darker, warmer color will give your space a nice cozy feeling. For spaces you’re trying to open up, choose a neutral color that works to naturally widen the feel of a smaller room.