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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)


Posted by decor8 in Objects on January 16, 2012

Your comments...

  1. Momographica commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 1:51pm

    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.
    Momographica´s last blog post ..Creative Weekly Spotlight: Charming Potion Photography

  2. Catherine commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 2:46pm

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

  3. Jessica commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 3:08pm

    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.
    Jessica´s last blog post ..Beach Valentine

  4. Cristina | Positively Beauty commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 3:11pm

    Oh, I LOVE that huge purple rug in the last set of photos! And the blue one just beside it.
    Cristina | Positively Beauty´s last blog post ..Revamping a second-hand display cabinet

  5. Greta commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 3:31pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for an always spidering blog!
    Greta´s last blog post ..Acorn

  6. desiree - vosgesparis commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 3:49pm

    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 ;)
    desiree – vosgesparis´s last blog post ..WIN…. A Silver-plated copper lamp from ZENZA

  7. Evie commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 4:32pm

    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…

  8. Glenda Childers commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 4:50pm

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

    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..Those Pesky Goodbyes

  9. Pamela commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 6:58pm

    Love the patchwork rugs!
    Pamela´s last blog post ..Project Quilting 3:1 Architectural Elements

  10. Elena commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 7:40pm

    I love the rug in the first photo. Where is it from?
    Elena´s last blog post ..Inky Co.

  11. Susan @ The Kitchen Designer commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 7:57pm

    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!
    Susan @ The Kitchen Designer´s last blog post ..Kohler Design Center – Kitchen & Bath Plumbing Products, Furniture, Tile

  12. Katrina commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 7:58pm

    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!

  13. Susanne commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 7:59pm

    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.

  14. kristin johnsen commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 8:26pm

    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…..
    kristin johnsen´s last blog post ..It’s a Frida kinda of day in Etsy land

  15. JoAnne Loftus commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 8:44pm

    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.

  16. Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 9:03pm

    These are amazing! I’m not a fan of the oriental rugs but those colors are brilliant!
    Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods´s last blog post ..Open Door Policy

  17. Chloe C commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 9:08pm

    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.
    Chloe C´s last blog post ..Cornbread in a fish bowl.

  18. Claire commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 9:42pm

    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!

  19. rose beckmann commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 10:58pm


  20. Gosia commented
    January 16th, 2012 at 11:30pm

    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!

  21. Bettina Deda commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 2:04am

    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 ( where we sell those rugs and have also seen them at content design ( Armadillo rugs is another Australian rug company worth watching. They do fantastic rugs in natural materials.

  22. louise commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 7:44am

    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!
    louise´s last blog post ..Project Quilting- Week 1 Challenge- Architectural Elements

  23. Katie commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 8:40am

    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

  24. Deepa commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 11:43am

    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.
    Deepa´s last blog post ..New year, new pages

  25. Meeha commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 1:06pm

    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…
    Meeha´s last blog post ..365

  26. Agata commented
    January 17th, 2012 at 2:40pm

    It was great to see you today in 101woonideeen :-) greetings from Rotterdam
    Agata´s last blog post ..My 4 favorite from Kleinefabrik Amsterdam-2012

  27. Melissa Jaine commented
    January 18th, 2012 at 9:41am

    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. :)

    Melissa Jaine´s last blog post ..a Marine wife, Spaniard & occasional chef

  28. Rachel commented
    January 18th, 2012 at 3:15pm

    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…).

  29. @ commented
    January 18th, 2012 at 7:03pm

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

  30. Bonnie McCarthy commented
    January 18th, 2012 at 9:06pm

    Very interesting!! I absolutely LOVE the recolored Persian rugs! How cool is that!! Imagine in a gorgeous loft space!
    Bonnie McCarthy´s last blog post ..Shop: Leaping Lotus

  31. Julia commented
    January 20th, 2012 at 12:12pm

    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 You are welcome any time….Kind regards from Paris, maybe see you at Maison ;-) Julia*

  32. Uta Marie commented
    January 22nd, 2012 at 5:24am

    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 !

  33. juliet commented
    January 22nd, 2012 at 7:03am

    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!

  34. Kim Macri commented
    April 9th, 2012 at 6:55pm

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


  35. Manju T commented
    July 16th, 2012 at 5:44pm

    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.).

  36. Sara commented
    January 7th, 2014 at 6:50am

    Its really inspiring….
    Sara´s last blog post ..MOTE – Handmade Natural Eco-Friendly Jute Rug, Style: Red Stone

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