So we are trying to pick out new carpet.
Mind you, we bought this house nearly sixteen years ago, in 1995. It was a "builder's model," meaning that during a slump, a builder built this house without a customer, hoping to sell it after it was done. Everything the builder put into this house was bland, neutral and fairly low-end.
When we moved in, the walls were white, the carpet was off-white, the kitchen floor was white vinyl, and the kitchen counter tops were pale gray. There were wood floors in the study, the foyer and the dining room. The lights in the dining room and the foyer were those big, crystal, upside-down-wedding-cake chandelier monstrosities that don't match anything I like, and we never got around to replacing them because the thought of disposing of them simply superseded my imagination.
Over the nearly 16 years that we have lived here, I have systematically worked on making the place feel warm and homey. At first we mostly just used paint and tried to cover the sterile white with warm tans, buttery beiges, and brownish rose tints. I bought braided rugs and dark red leather furniture. We finished the basement and did it in green, lavender and peach... it is kind of awful in a way that embraces itself, and it lent itself well to a play area for the children. Now that they are older, Laura wants to paint the walls tan, but the floors down there will be green carpet and purple linoleum tiles until we move (or die).
In 2002, we remodeled the kitchen which made a huge difference, especially when we took out the dreadful white fluorescent light fixture and put in recessed lighting. A full wall of cabinets (where the pantry used to be) helps, too.
The off-white carpet is beyond awful now. For one thing, it is no longer off-white. The color varies in patches from dingy gray to mottled beige. It is also sadly matted down flat everywhere it has been walked on. It was decent for a long time. Even though it was a bottom of the line, five-year carpet, we wore our socks and vacuumed a lot and kept it looking passable for a good twelve years, I would say.
I think it is Schubert who did this carpet in. Not, mind you, that it was thriving, but with hard work and conscientiousness, it was surviving. Now it is so gross, I refuse to take my shoes off anymore, and that has created a quickly devolving negative cycle. I am not sure what Schubert does to the rug. Well, obviously there are the places where he has wet and had diarrhea and thrown up. There are the places where he eats his dog biscuits and spreads the crumbs all around, and the places where he rolls around with his wet, shaggy fur when he comes in from outdoors on a rainy day. There are places where he scratches and even some places where he has been known to drag his bottom (although this behavior is strongly discouraged by the management). Piper did most of these things occasionally, in microcosm, but Schubert somehow seems to have a real knack for spreading the proof that a dog lives here. This carpet is putrid.
The more putrid your carpet is, the more you despair when you vacuum, and then, over time, the less you want to vacuum.
So we are looking for new carpet.
But the problem is, we still have this dog...