3 Cushy Rug Trends

BY DAWN KLINGENSMITH ON MARCH 3RD, 2016

What better time than the doldrums of winter to add a warm, cozy touch to the home that also freshens its appearance for spring? An area rug can perform both functions.

In a complete makeover, a rug can be the basis for the room’s color scheme, and in an already furnished room, it ties everything together visually, says New York-based interior designer Jackie Kisner.

Depending on a buyer’s budget, a rug can be a substantial investment with timeless appeal or a relatively inexpensive way to incorporate the latest home design trends. In either case, these rug trends provide ideas and inspiration.

1. Plenty of fluids

Many trend forecasters expect the ocean to seep into people’s homes, or rather oceanic shades of blue, green and gray. Sometimes the colors form distinct rug patterns but an impressionistic or watercolor effect has become increasingly popular.

Rug patterns are becoming more soft and fluid, sometimes with indistinct edges, although bold linear patterns with sharp angles are still considered stylish. The chevron, for example, still has staying power despite the ascendance of curvilinear rug patterns. Geometric patterns with defined lines, circles, and shapes are still popular, but some have an unexpected twist – they lack symmetry.

The latest organic patterns not only are asymmetrical but also freeform and fluid like forms found in nature. “In a recent collection I played with organic forms, blowing them up until they were no longer recognizable as those forms,” says rug designer Emma Gardner, principal and creative director of Emma Gardner Design in Petaluma, California.

She is currently experimenting with seaweed and the ridges left behind by retreating tides.

2. Art on the floor

Fluidity and irregular patterns are two characteristics of “painterly rugs,” identified by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top five home décor trends.

“We’ve seen a more artistic approach to rugs. As a designer I feel a loosening of traditional restraints,” Gardner says.

“Painterly” refers to an approach, not one particular style. Monochromatic or tone-on-tone rugs have been called painterly if there’s variegation that suggests a watercolor wash or brushstrokes. Multicolor rugs described as painterly represent a range of artistic styles including abstract, pointillism, impressionism and even photorealism.

Painterly rugs are often made with techniques and materials that give the completed masterpiece dimensionality. Silk, for example, responds to light and movement by shimmering or changing colors subtly but appreciably.

3. Blurred lines

Many of today’s rug patterns are made of up lines, but by that we don’t mean orderly stripes. Think of pine needles on the forest floor or the random disarray in a game of pick-up sticks. “It’s almost as if the lines have been splashed,” says Kisner, the designer at Marc Tash Interiors in Brooklyn, New York.

To complement today’s transitional and modern homes, custom rug maker High Country Rugs, based in Avon, Colorado, has been taking complex traditional patterns, stripping them down to just a few colors and then incorporating visual noise, “where the pattern is eroded or fades in and out,” says partner Jason Leach.

Time and again in the past few years, overlapping or layering two or more rugs has been declared trendy, but layered rugs seem most at home in eclectic spaces that mix together time periods and various objet d’art from world travels.

Gardner believes the simplest arrangements, like a sisal rug serving as a frame beneath a smaller antique rug, would work best while multi-patterned rugs of various thicknesses would be hard to coordinate and arrange. “If people are spending a lot of money on a rug, I can’t imagine they’d want to cover any part of it,” says Gardner, adding that layered rugs could present a trip hazard.

All together, today’s trendy rugs bring exciting and expected elements into the home: the ocean (or at least its array of colors); art meant to walk on; and riotous lines that refuse to straighten up.

 

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