Wall-to-wall carpeting used to be pretty boring stuff: a neutral field of smooth-cut pile, without a lot of excitement or character. But like everything else in the house, carpet has gone high-style — not to mention high-tech. Synthetic yarns, advanced dyeing techniques, and new manufacturing processes now produce carpet with more texture, color, durability, and stain resistance than ever before. "New looms can combine different piles to create a pattern, like a floral or geometric print," says Gary Johnston, global brand manager at Stainmaster. The result is carpets that are not simply backgrounds for the rest of your decor but focal points in their own right.