Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

Today is a holiday in the states and though I live abroad, I typically observe them for purely selfish reasons -- an excuse to take a day off! In reality, it's not really a day off though because there is always something to tend to when you're a freelancer isn't there? Domotex Hannover 2012

How was your weekend? I had a refreshing time with friends which really made me feel inspired because Friday was one of those days where everything felt really out of balance and wrong. I hope that you had a good weekend and woke up today feeling ready to conquer a new week! To kick things off on decor8, I thought I'd begin by talking about rug trends. Yes, ha ha, I know that's random but the world's largest and most important rug fair is currently taking place in Hannover (where I live) and so I had to check it out and share some impressions with you.

Domotex Hannover 2012

Domotex is held in the winter each year in Hannover, Germany and is the world's largest flooring trade show. If you care about flooring as a designer, manufacturer, buyer, journalist... this is where you should be each year to see what is hot in flooring. My coverage is on area rugs because I have a passion for them BUT Domotex shows everything from wood flooring to wall-t0-wall carpets, tiles, carpet tiles and beyond. All flooring is represented and seen by over 44,000 international visitors each year. This year they also had 1,500 vendors so plan to spend a few days if you decide to visit next year. The theme of Domotex for 2012 was, "Customized Living", which is what I'm all about - making design more personal to the homeowner.

Trade show posts can be quite a snooze fest, I know, so I'll go easy on the photos and blah blah and get straight to business and highlight THE area rug trends for 2012 because that's what we all want to know! Ready!? There are THREE big ones to watch according to Domotex and their trend guide.

Domotex Hannover 2012

1. Runway-Inspired "Statement Makers": The first trend for 2012 is to make a statement! Whether that is through bold color, high-quality materials, uncommon texture, quirky pattern... Remember, a rug doesn't have to JUST serve a function but can also be an object of art for the floor. For many designers, it's often the jumping off point for an entire room scheme. Floral themes are still popular as are over-dyed Oriental carpets and even your traditional Persian rug is given an update with refreshing new colorways (thank goodness). Some patterns are partially printed for a faded effect, others have bold, quirky frayed edging in strong colors, still others are hand-dyed in specific spots of the rug to give it pizzazz. Patchwork rugs are still hot - whether as individual floor tiles placed together in an arrangement of your liking, new rugs in patchwork motifs or antique rugs that are pieced together patchwork style (my personal favorite). Fashion is truly influencing carpets this year with an introduction of bold color straight from the catwalk: cobalt blue, mustard yellow, hot pink, petrol, leaf green, turquoise...

2. Natural "Organic" Look: The focus is still strong when it comes to sustainability and green living (as it should be!). Nature produces an abundance of materials like sisal, silk, hemp, yarn and plant fibers from cacti and un-dyed Himalayan wool to name a few examples so why not use them? Natural patterns are always popular and continue to march forward with motifs that include flowers, leaf patterns, butterflies and insects, etc. The attention to texture, especially more unusual texture (multi-layered and more dimensional surfaces), is also apparent as is hand-woven rugs with extra long pile and the use of leather and crochet. The palettes are often warm and natural to further enhance their beauty or dyed with natural plant-based color. I'm a big fan of this trend.

Domotex Hannover 2012

3. Classic, Timeless Design (with a twist): The final trend, and I love this once because it's innovative and fascinating to see old things reinterpreted in fresh, new ways... This trend may or may not be part of the first trend, Runway Inspired, but it does mix in some elements of fashion for instance the over-dyed Oriental carpets in bright colors and a traditional Persian rugs updated with a entirely new color palette (love!). Color splashed patterns, overly-faded rugs (take for instance a traditional Persian rug washed out of nearly all of it's color, given a single color wash, revealing only bits of the original pattern - a favorite look of mine.) And of course, it's not just about classic patterns being faded or given new colors, there are even new rug patterns out there that challenge the common stripe or block patterns with tartan-style checks and triangles.

I hope that you've enjoyed learning about some of the big trends in rugs this year from my impressions at Domotex 2012. I must add though that I'm always so surprised when I don't see some of my favorite companies like Amy Butler, Madeline Weinrib. Angela Adams and The Rug Company showing there along with FLOR, Jonathan Adler and others from the states who produce amazing rugs. Perhaps in the future? There are a lot of Americans who attend but few who show and I just know that European buyers looking for interesting rugs to sell to their customers would love these companies. The day Madeline Weinrib has presence here like she does in America or England well, I'll be leaping for absolute joy... Anyway, just a casual observation. I wonder if anyone has an opinion on this?

Spot any themes that interest you?

I'll see you tomorrow for some more inspiration for the week! Big hug!

(images: domotex, christiane kroening)