Lily Allen and David Harbour just broke this decorating rule in their home – but is it a faux pas or a stroke of genius?

The couple has turned the 'no carpet in the bathroom' rule on its head – but some designers are prepared to back this controversial statement

Lily Allen
(Image credit: GettyImages)

You would be forgiven for believing that design rules should never be broken – and carpeted bathrooms are at the forefront of this list. Or, at least, they were, until we saw inside Lily Allen and David Harbour's Brooklyn townhouse. 

The London-born singer (best known for her album Alright, Still) and her husband, actor David (seen in Violent Night and Stranger Things), recently shared a glimpse inside their eclectic home – and while every room celebrates all things maximalist – no space stands out quite as much their bathroom. 

The space, exhibited by Lily below, offers a lesson in maximalist decor ideas – from the chintz-printed wallpaper to the powder-pink ceiling that complements the similar-hued chairs perfectly. This almost-living room-like area is not shy of rewriting bathroom conventions in every way – but one feature – the carpet – has got the internet talking. 

In her post, which thanked designer Billy Cotton (the figure behind the space), Lily is seen perched on her built-in bathtub – perhaps the only feature that showcases a muted color palette. The photograph shows the carpet in question – showcasing an ornate floral print against a dark navy and white backdrop. 

'Thank you, Billy Cotton, genius designer and now good friend; I love what we have built together with MADE,' Lily Allen says via her Instagram.  

Experimenting with carpet ideas such as this is not for the faint of heart – especially with its disregard for the 'no carpet in the bathroom' rule. However, since Lily and David shared their home with the world, some designers have questioned former conventions. 

'Carpet can be a great design choice for bathrooms, especially for those looking for a maximalist or retro look,' says designer Shanade McAllister-Fisher. According to the designer, carpet can incorporate a comfortable and cozy feel to a bathroom –especially in colder areas where hard flooring options can feel chilly (especially post-shower). 

'Carpeting is also great if you spend a long time standing in the bathroom for your morning or evening routine, adding a layer of plush padding that makes your bathroom feel instantly more decadent,' Shanade says. 

The designer recommends combining this maximalist bathroom flooring with 'luxurious textures like velvet or metallics' that continue the opulent aesthetic (and make your space look increasingly more like Lily Allen's. 

It does, however, go without saying that this look comes with its reservations – and in ways beyond its controversial look. Before investing, Karl Mok, a design expert from TA! Design Lab encourages us to think about a carpet's practicality – saying that it can be hard to maintain in a room with lots of liquids and lotions. 

'While a carpeted bathroom can make a stylish impact, it can be far more difficult to clean and maintain than hard flooring options,' he warns. 'Spills and stains can be harder to remove, and the fibers can trap dirt, hair, and dust, which can be unsanitary and lead to unpleasant odors or even unsightly mold,' – the latter of which can negatively impact your health.

Lily Allen

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'Before committing to a fully carpeted bathroom like Lily Allen, try experimenting with smaller carpets or rugs to see if you like the look or feel of them in this space,' Karl says. He also recommends flirting with outdoor carpeting, which is often hardier and designed to withstand water and heat. 

Whether you replicate Lily Allen and David Harbour's bathroom or you want to enjoy the images from afar, there's no escaping that this audacious look has got everybody talking this 2023. 

My Thoughts Exactly | $11.31 on Amazon

My Thoughts Exactly | $11.31 on Amazon

In her book, Lily Allen shares her life and how she became the figure she is today. It is described as a raw, honest read that explores the intricacies of fame and its impact on an individual.  

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.