Magic Carpet

Our dream house didn’t have dreamy carpet.  Oh no, no.  It was more like a nightmare.  Like a nightmare on Sucky Design Street.  Every bedroom upstairs had a crazy non-neutral color that somehow matched and clashed with the walls all at the same time.

The guest bedroom has muted teal walls and the carpet was teal…but not so muted.  Oh and did I mention the stains?  Yeah.  The weird brown stains with unidentifiable sources?…they were there.

The stains matched the ones on the teal carpet in the master bedroom.

Apparently the previous owners had a thing for teal.  A very BIG thing.

The stains and color aside, the carpet was well worn in some areas.  Sorry I don’t have a photo of it…but the carpet definitely was “well-loved”.  The tread marks were in all the right spots…around the bed, down the hall, doorways, and the closets. 

In fact, the only carpet that wasn’t noticably old was the blue carpet in the “Jack” room…after I vacuumed it, I told my darlin’ boyfriend that we should definitely save it for any of our future random carpet needs.   

Of course the blue Jack room didn’t hold a candle to the carpet in the Jill room (aka the Will room).  Seriously…someone was chuggin’ the crazy juice when they chose this carpet.

Crazy juice and wacky crackers.  Who picks out lavender carpet?  I didn’t even know they made it in this color.

Jeremy & I decided that the best time to replace the carpet would be before we moved in.  That way we wouldn’t have to remove any furniture or repaint (in case the carpet we chose didn’t look good with a room we already painted).  And since we already had a move date, that meant we only had a week to get the carpet picked, ordered and installed. 

After many phone calls and shopping trips, we decided on the Martha Stewart carpet in the Winterthur design.  It looks like a trellis pattern and it was pretty much the only design that both Jeremy & I could agree on. 

We found out that Martha Stewart carpet (which is only available under that name through Home Depot) is actually created by Shaw Industries.  Shaw Industries is a vast creator of carpets and they are sold all over the place (Lowes, Home Depot, etc).  Since we live within a couple hours of one of the largest carpet hubs in the world, we even gave Shaw a call to see if we could get it at a wholesale price.  We were even quoted a lower price than Home Depot offered but then came the bad news…we would have no way of getting the old out and the new in within our time deadline.  AND there would be an even higher installation cost if we used our own contractor (vs. paying Home Depot installers the flat rate of $97 for all five rooms & six closets).  So because the overall cost would be pretty much the same and using Home Depot meant that we would stay within our timeline, we decided to buy directly from HD. 

All of our rooms totaled to roughly 1551 square feet.  That’s a lot of carpet.  And in order to get the warranties through Home Depot it meant that we would also need to replace the carpet pad.  We had already planned to replace that…who knows how moist it got with those brown spots!  Plus, we learned that a good carpet pad can actually extend the life of the carpet and make the carpet much softer (which is great for little knees). 

Since Jeremy removed the blue Jack room carpet (because I am uber cheap and thrifty like that), we actually reduced the cost of the removal and haul away by $45 (hey…it’s like the gift that keeps on giving…free carpet for random future carpet needs and an extra forty-five bones).  And we figured out that the local dump would have charged more for us to get rid of the old stuff anyway (they charge per pound) so the overall cost of $110 was a great steal.  It was like we got the removal labor for free!  

The carpet pad actually was a much harder choice for us than the carpet itself.  We learned that the 8lb carpet pads were priced only a couple pennies a square foot more than the 6lb carpet pads so we immediately gravitated toward them.  Plus, we wanted something recommended for our patterned carpet.  Then we heard the magic words “lifetime pad warranty”…they described the Nike Grind carpet pad.  The cool thing about this pad is that it is environmentally friendly.  Nike sends all their shoe scraps to the foam company who then creates this recycled carpet cushion.  We generally aren’t wooed by all-things-green but in this case, we were oddly excited that we were helping out just a smidge in keeping a little less outta the landfills.   Here’s a link if you are interested in the carpet pad info available at Home Depot.


Yes, that is an installer’s ba-dunk-a-dunk puttin out the carpeting vibe.


When it came to installation, it actually took all four guys well over 8 hours to get the old out and the new in.  They used our front circle drive as the layout space for cutting and prepping. 

I thought it was so interesting that they had to trim the edges before they cut it for our rooms.  I don’t have any clue why that is interesting…but to a girl who ain’t never seen carpet installed….it just was.

Each room required a seam.  This was one of the MANY reasons that we did not attempt to install the carpet ourselves.  We actually considered it (being avid DIYers and total cheapskates) but in the end, we knew that attempting to seam carpet together was one thing that we would have not felt comfortable doing.  We like to categorize things in brackets…there are $10 mistakes and there are $50 mistakes.  Ruining a bunch of carpet with bad seams would have been a $1000 mistake.  That’s when we slapped down our credit card and said “Wewillpayforproperinstallationthankyouverymuch.”

The carpet color is actually something that turned out to be my third choice.  At first, I was attracted to a much lighter, almost white color.  Most of you know that I like white.  I have a white couch, white dishes and towels…heck, I even have a white baby.  But I can’t bleach carpet like I can with all my other white stuff (baby not included).  And being a very dirty girl (heehee) I knew that we needed the rug to hide any future dirt smudges.  So I changed my choice to go with a darker more green based brown.  It was very similar to this color but the undertones were a little more olive.  Then I got to thinking about future paint colors.  And I decided that the green undertones weren’t as neutral as I may like.  That is when I chose this – it’s called Ash Bark.       

I love that it is a beige with gray undertones.  Not too warm…definitely not too pink.  Just right for my whole go-with-anything&hide-dirt idea.

And here it is after it was fully installed (you can see we had immediately brought furniture up into these rooms…that’s how tight our deadline was!):

 From the angle above, you can see where the seam is…but I promise that after the carpet was vacuumed, it pretty much disappeared. 

The other great thing about the neutral infusion was that it actually made the crazy teal rooms a little less crazy.  In fact, if I had a bucket of touch up paint, I would totally keep them this color forever. 

Obviously there are some paint colors that just need to die though. 

 And yes, I let my baby sleep in this room.  I am hoping that it doesn’t scar him for life.  If he has nightmares as an adult about getting trapped inside a can of salmon, we’ll know why.

This photo is probably the closest representation of the actual color…not too shabby, huh?! 

Plus – it is soft.  OH so soft.  Like sometimes I lay down on it just to rub my face on the carpet.  That is not a joke.  It actually happens.

Okay – and now for the detail info…for anyone who is in the market for new carpet:

Carpet – Martha Stewart’s Winterthur in Ash Bark

Carpet Pad – Nike Step Ahead Carpet pad

Cost Breakdown:

CARPET   172.33 square yards (1551 square feet) x $16.70 per square yard ($1.86 per square foot) = $2877.91

PAD 172.33 square yards (1551 square feet) x $6.21 per square yard ($.69 per square foot) = $1070.17


REMOVAL / HAUL AWAY  1105 square feet x .10 per square foot = $110.50

TOTAL $4155.58

Ouch.  That number still hurts.  But in the end, I am so glad that we went ahead and got it done.  It would have truly been a pain in the furniture-haulin-forearms to have to move everything in each room.  Plus now Jeremy doesn’t complain about any smells (he has this hyper-active nose that drives me crazy) and I don’t have to worry about whether or not it was a brown spot from Will or one from a previous owner.

So that’s the whats-what when it comes to our new carpet!  Looks good, right?



  1. says

    Katie – Did the install of the carpet scuff up your baseboards? When we had carpet installed, we had to repaint ALL of our baseboards which was a lot of work. Just curious if that is common?

    • says

      Yikes! No that didn’t happen to us but what a pain in the patootie! Sorry to hear that happened to your baseboards…
      xo – kb

  2. says

    That is some really great looking carpet! I love the color, too; it’s light and neutral enough to go with any wall color, but it’s still warm and cozy looking. How does Will like it? Hoes he rub his face on it, too? :D

    • says

      Will is crazy about it. He even tried to take a nap on it once…something that he never did anywhere in our old house!
      xo – kb

  3. says

    What would you have done if you didn’t have a large circle driveway?? I wonder that since lots of people live in the city or have no driveway.

    • says

      Seriously Robin! I always wondered that too! I guess that the rooms probably aren’t as big in a city apartment (I say that without any knowledge of city apartments…and only based on info given to me by the walls at Ikea who say “Live in the city? Here’s how to decorate 400 square feet!”)…and so the carpet installers probably don’t have to use as much?
      I’ll have to ask carpet installers that question next time I meet some :)
      xo – kb

  4. Emily says

    I know it never works, but it might be possible to color match to the existing wall and save painting it. Just a thought.

    • says

      I thought of that Emily – and probably will try it in at least one room…but honestly, these muted teal walls are the least of my color worries :)
      xo – kb

  5. Addie says

    Love the carpets!!! Looks great!!! But this is a random question-We are currently searching for a PB couch. I was just wondering what color and fabric yours is? There are so many to choose from!

    • says

      Hi Addie,
      Ummm…don’t rightly know. We bought ours from the outlet so there was no choosing colors or fabrics for us. I imagine that it probably just the white twill though :)
      xo – kb

  6. Nicole says

    Ok. Please post more pictures of your brother. He is just oh so nice to look at! I may or may not have been scrolling through to find the one of you squeezin his cheeks. Oh dont get me wrong, I love your blog and read it every day:) Its just a little distraction is always nice…

  7. says

    Wow, the new carpet made a huge difference! Great color choice. I did wonder about the salmon explosion room…is there a teal cast around the baseboards on the right and left wall or do I just need to adjust my monitor? Or perhaps teal is just burned into my retinas…

  8. Cait says

    Hi there – the carpet looks great! You have great taste!

    This is off topic, but what version of Photoshop do you use? I’m thinking of giving it a shot and want a suggestion on where to start. I don’t want to just get Elements if the full version will be more useful later! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    • says

      I have Photoshop Elements and CS4. I used Elements for a very long time and most of the things that 90% of the normal population need are on that program…if you think that you’ll go into photography or whatnot…then CS4 is faster for me…but I wouldn’t dare say that I would pay that much for it (I got my copy from a friend!).
      xo – kb

  9. carrie says

    Katie, Nice choice on the carpet. I want to reiterate what some others have said. Thank you for posting a price breakdown. As someone who has recently moved into a new house and has many projects ahead of her, it helps to have some idea of costs. Contacting people for estimates can be tiring and tedious. I appreciate that you posted this! When you go into the stores you forget about the cost of padding, and haul away. Anyway, looking forward to your future renovations and tweaks. Enjoy your blog!!

  10. says

    Oh my goodness that pink room with purple carpet… really who does that?! Some people are so weird!!

    The new carpet looks fantastic!!

    That price…. whew… hurts me to look at it!

  11. says

    I think it’s so kick butt that your carpet pad was made from recycled tennis shoes!! I want to do that in my next house!!! Everything is looking so much better with a blanket of nice neutral new carpet! Congrats on your new place!

  12. Michael says

    Wow, too funny…I was looking at HD carpet the other night and picked out this exact same one. I will need to have it seamed also. I was trying to limit myself to carpet that came in 15 foot widths to avoid a seam, but in the end, I kept coming back to the Winterthur

    Yours turned out beautifully! I’m glad to hear you had a good experience with HD (I was worried about using them.) Please keep us updated on how it holds up.

  13. Katie says

    Hi Katie! I love your site (and your name!)

    I loved that you had such a great Home Depot carpet experience. So much that I went there two days after you posted it to look for carpet for a house I recently purchased (first time homebuyer!). I must say though, my experience was FAR from your’s.

    It started out great – but then took a dramatic turn and tonight I’m returning to battle for my money back so I can go elsewhere (which really stinks because I loved the carpet I found). My Home Depot was great to start, and then here at the end they’ve been very sneaky and unwilling to help. They wanted to push out my installation to 6-7 weeks after telling me to go ahead and tear out my carpet (being that the previous owner’s pets soiled the stuff that was in there, I was going to have to tear it up myself). With that timeframe, it would be 3 months before I’d be able to live in my house.

    I hope I can find something great wherever I end up going for my carpet, and I hope your other readers don’t have the same woes if they choose Home Depot as their carpet destination. I’m sure my situation was pretty isolated, but this experience has really tainted the way I feel about HD :(


  14. says

    Did you replace the carpet on the stairs too? I’ve heard that can be tricky, but I suppose easier than making the whole stairway hardwood. Seems safer, too.

    • says

      Nope – we left that for now…we are gonna do some research down the line and see what we can do for the stairs but for now, yes it is staying as is and it really does make it safer (especially with a little one who is obsessed with climbing up them!)
      xo – kb

  15. says

    Hi Katie!! Do you guys have pets? I just ordered this exact same carpet for our basement and I’m a little concerned that our dogs’ toenails could pick at the little loops in the middle of the pattern… am I being crazy??! I just couldn’t go the “traditional cut pile” carpet route. And I hear the pattern is definitely better than burbur… any thoughts? Have you seen yours loops get picked at all?? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Michelle,
      We don’t have any pets…but we do have unkempt toenails…and so far, no loops have been harmed. Maybe you could get the sample from the store and bring it home for a little test?
      Wish I could be more help!
      xo – kb

  16. says

    Hi Katie,

    I love your Martha carpet and am so pleased to find a real life review of it. My husband and I are considering the Lindenwald II carpet by Martha. It retails for approx. $2.40 per square foot at our HD and is one of the least costly in the Martha line. Questions for you: (a) Do you still like your carpet? and (b) How did you get such a great price of $1.86 per square foot?

    Thanks in advance for your opinion and help. You have such a beautiful home!



    • says

      a – yes. we still love it. so far we have had zero complaints.
      b – it was on sale. we didn’t haggle or anything :) must be the luck of the draw.
      xo – kb

      • Amy says

        Katie, thanks for taking the time to reply. Home Depot did our carpet measurements this morning and, thanks to your input, I am feeling really good about our choice of carpet. We’ve lived with grungy, stained carpet since we moved in seven years ago so I am beyond excited to have a finished second floor. Yippeee!

  17. laurel says

    It looks great. Can I use some of your photos for illustrating seams in a power point presentation? It is almost impossible to find photos with seams that are well done but still slightly visible any your photos look great and fit the bill exactly.

  18. katie says

    hi! I read your blog all the time. my mom is looking for carpet and told me to go check out your blog! funny since she had no idea I read here. she found you on a google search.
    but anyways. can you see the seams in the carpet now a year out? we want this carpet for our main living areas but there would have to be seams and we are just not sure about seams and how low to the ground the carpet is.

    thanks for your time reading this.

  19. Toni says

    I found this post by Googling “Nike Grind carpet pad reviews”… how have you liked that pad? I also didn’t know HD could use your existing carped pad! Thanks for sharing that!

    • says

      So far, we like it! I don’t really have anything to compare it to…since we changed out all the carpet pads, there isn’t really a way we can do a test. I know that I did yoga in our bedroom on the carpet and it felt comfy on my knees (which are just terrible!).
      Good luck with your new carpeting adventure!
      xo – kb

      • tracy says

        Hi Katie,

        thanks for this blog and this great post! My husband and I are in the midst of making this same decision (with walls just as horrible – including red/black splatter paint with a wallpaper border on top!). We are very interested in Martha Stewart carpet and I would LOVE to hear a further update on how you are liking it.

        Thank you so much if you’re able to share an update! It looks so gorgeous in the pictures and I hope it is wearing well.


  20. tracy says

    oops – sorry, just saw that your previous response was from July, 2012. I first thought it was from 2011, hence why I was curious for an update. Sounds like it is doing well, even 1.5 years after installation. Thanks so much!

  21. Sue Ireland says

    Hey there, just saw your remarks on the Nike Step Ahead Padding. Over a year plus later, are you still happy with your choice? is there anything you would do differently? i have to order the padding and am completely confused by the padding. all comments would be great.
    thanks! Looks great by the way!

  22. says

    Hi there, here we are a year later, can you tell me how the carpet is wearing? Any words of wisdom for us?
    We are thinking about installing the same thing. TIA!!

    • says

      We still love it. We only have it in the bedrooms so we don’t wear on it alot but in general, we still like the look and the way it cleans up :)
      xo – kb

  23. Grace says

    Hi Katie, we are doing the same thing with our house and I found a few reviews on HD website about cracking noise with the Niki step ahead padding. Did you notice anything like that with the pad you installed? Also, did the installed remove the old tack strip when they install your carpet or they used existing ones?


    • says

      Sorry Grace…I have no idea if they removed the old ones or not and I have not heard any cracking noises or any other noises either from the pad.
      xo – kb

  24. Allison says

    I ran across this carpet at Home Depot and love it!! My only concern is the softness. I wonder if its just the samples that are a bit scratchy??? Did you notice this? I did a quick Google search and came across your Blog and you mentioned how soft it was. Or I am wondering if over the years they may have changed manufactures or material. The back of the sample says ANSO BCF Nylon Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much.

    • says

      Ours is definitely not scratchy…hmm…it’s been a few years so I don’t know what our is made of or if it is different.
      xo – kb

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