Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

January 16, 2012

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?

Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

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.

Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

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.

Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

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.

Rug Trends 2012 + Domotex Hannover

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)


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  • Reply Momographica January 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    This is beautiful! I am addicted to rugs and I was looking for one to put in my own bedroom! Thank you for this beautiful collection.

  • Reply Catherine January 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I’ve always found oriental carpets traditional & stale, but seeing them in vivid colors makes me want one. :)

  • Reply Jessica January 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I love the how tranformative adding a big rug to a room is…and the natural/statement rug is just my style.

  • Reply Cristina | Positively Beauty January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Oh, I LOVE that huge purple rug in the last set of photos! And the blue one just beside it.

  • Reply Greta January 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for an always spidering blog!

  • Reply desiree - vosgesparis January 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Loved your report… those faded color carpets are really beautiful even if I always go more for the grayish and white colors. Seen them lots in greenish and blueish colors.

    just bought a plain white carpet for the bedroom yesterday ;)

  • Reply Evie January 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    That geometric white rug (in the background it says SAHAR….) where oh where can I find it? Thrilled that overdyed Orientals are HOT I love them…

  • Reply Glenda Childers January 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Are you still looking for rugs for your new home … or all settled?


  • Reply Pamela January 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Love the patchwork rugs!

  • Reply Elena January 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I love the rug in the first photo. Where is it from?

  • Reply Susan @ The Kitchen Designer January 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I agree with what you’ve found. I’ve seen bits of that in design trade shows here, particularly the statement rug! It’s really the rug that sets the tone for the entire space, so it’s not only an important purchase, it’s a critical purchase! I think your trends all work together to create products that are fresh, new, and pleasant to live with and that’s exciting!

  • Reply Katrina January 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    So, I’ve been looking looking looking for rugs with my color palette: turquoise, purple, green – and there it is! Love that traditional pattern with the updated colors – HOW can I buy it? I am sure I can’t afford it, but would love to get my hands on that rug… Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Susanne January 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks for inspiration, appreciating it very much! The report reminded me of a student job I one had at this fair when breaks during work were always too short to soak up more of all these pretty things.

  • Reply kristin johnsen January 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    thanks, Holly – I love the persian like rugs in the bright greens and pinks! they would not go in my home but I LOVE them!!! Now the bottom photo, the one with more burnt sienna and bright colors involved – hmmmm, maybe…..

  • Reply JoAnne Loftus January 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Statement maker rugs are such a cool piece to add to any room. They are a great way to add a pop of color and pattern to any design.

  • Reply Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods January 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    These are amazing! I’m not a fan of the oriental rugs but those colors are brilliant!

  • Reply Chloe C January 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Funny, I just left off perusing ABC Carpet & Home, dreaming of the faded overdyed huge carpets and here you are with this today!
    Just dreaming, way out of my reach!
    Thanks for the report from the show.

  • Reply Claire January 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I’m in heaven!!! These are just beautiful! I have been searching high and low for the perfect round rug (there SO hard to find in Australia) Thanks for the lovely inspiration. Now I’m off to do some investigating!

  • Reply rose beckmann January 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm


  • Reply Gosia January 16, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Holly! You’re reading my mind. Just yesterday, with 4 rugs to try in our living room and unable to choose the one we would keep, I thought of you and said to myself” I wish Holly did a post on rugs. Now.’
    After having read your post today I decided to keep an oriental one- hand made, 100% wool and in teal- one of my fave colours. Your blog’s quite an inspiration. Always. So: thank you!

  • Reply Bettina Deda January 17, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Hi holly, thank you for Sharing this. I am German living in Australia and appreciate any design related reports from my home country. In Australia all these trends can be seen as well. I see quite a few of the antique kilim or Persian rugs cut up and sewn together in patchwork style. Then dyed over in bright colors to make a piece of art on the floor. I currently work at jimmy possum (www.jimmypossum.com.au) where we sell those rugs and have also seen them at content design (www.contentdesign.com.au). Armadillo rugs is another Australian rug company worth watching. They do fantastic rugs in natural materials.

  • Reply louise January 17, 2012 at 7:44 am

    These are great! I’m wanting a new rug… 2 actually! But I want more plain, but on to brighten up our rooms a bit…. Would love to see some suggestions on that! I can’t come up with something on my own yet!

  • Reply Katie January 17, 2012 at 8:40 am

    These are all beautiful photos. I really like the idea of patchwork rugs with individual pieces. I love the idea of having a “new” rug by just changing a few pieces! I’ll keep that in mind when I go rug shopping next time. A great place to look at some other traditional remakes of rugs is Lakiya. They use the traditional Bedouin handloom to create gorgeous creations in traditional Bedouin colors and designs, as well as other more modern pieces in a variety of colors. You can find them at lakiya.org

  • Reply Deepa January 17, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Love the Persian rugs in bright colors! They would go so well with our home, which is mostly neutral with a few pops of pattern and color. I’m Indian-Filipino, so I’m always looking for new, fun and modern ways to bring traditional Asian elements into our home.

  • Reply Meeha January 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Oh, such richness in style and texture! Although I am drawn to color, the natural organic look made my heart stop for a moment, in awe…

  • Reply Agata January 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    It was great to see you today in 101woonideeen :-) greetings from Rotterdam

  • Reply Melissa Jaine January 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I recently replaced my hand-me-down-from-my-brother-many-years-ago rug with a deep (but bright) red one from IKEA. Along with moving just a couple of pieces of furniture, this has made such a huge difference – not just to how the room looks, but also how I feel in my own home. It’s like the whole feel of the area has changed, and I love it. :)


  • Reply Rachel January 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    My favourite rug in our house is one my husband and I bought on honeymoon in Turkey. It’s woven silk, is behind me as I type, and I love it. The flooring in the rest of the house, on the other hand, could do with some attention (along with everything else, to be honest…).

  • Reply @ eBoutique.ie January 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Really love the overfaded look with those vibrant colours coming through (the last image) – its fab.

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Very interesting!! I absolutely LOVE the recolored Persian rugs! How cool is that!! Imagine in a gorgeous loft space!

  • Reply Julia January 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Dear Holly,

    I´m so happy to find out you featured my rug on your blog. And next time please feel invited to check out the story behind the collection, on my Bó Hamsa stand, I would have offered you a tasty Haji Cola with pleasure…. If you are interested check it out on http://www.xn--bhamsa-bxa.com You are welcome any time….Kind regards from Paris, maybe see you at Maison ;-) Julia*

  • Reply Uta Marie January 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Absolutely Holly….as a German living in NYC and working in the interior/real estate business that is what I’m always thinking too: Madeleine Weinrib, Jonathan Adler…etc. would be a hit if they were present in Germany. Everybody who visits me is always in awe and complains that nothing comparable is out there in Germany….I think so too.
    Love, love, love your blog !

  • Reply juliet January 22, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Do you remember who makes the pink rug hanging on the wall behind the two people (there is also a gold one in the photo). Thanks!

  • Reply Kim Macri April 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Coming to Hannover in May- where should I stay? Better if near convention center. Any other tips would be great!


  • Reply Manju T July 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I have a 5-8 rug from Pier 1 with small wood pieces and each piece is covered with a resin like covering. It is so nice to the feet and i hav ehad it for 4 years and no issues what so ever.

    I wanted a larger one and cannot seem to find it. Any ideas? (The ones i did find are not covered with the resin like material and are not stained well and look ruggady.).

  • Reply Sara January 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Its really inspiring….

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