The Shaw/Tuftex Color Coordinates display, which also features a selection of Anderson Hardwood flooring. Photo courtesy Shaw.

It’s a pleasure to be writing about carpet in this issue ofNational Floor Trendsbecause carpet mills have provided some newsworthy items to brag about. Not just the introduction of new styles, but better fiber systems, intriguing constructions, creative displays, and great use of color! We all need to be reminded that broadloom carpet infuses cozy softness, safety, warmth, acoustic buffering, and great style into home interiors. Consumers have discovered that the best designs incorporate both hard and soft surfaces, and they are newly enamored with carpet’s “class.”

As an industry nod to the concept of successfully marrying hard and soft surfaces within a home, Shaw/Tuftex and Anderson Hardwood have announced the launch of a novel dual-display system-the Color Coordinates display. The concept is brilliant as consumers are able to visualize carpet and hardwood floor coordinates side-by-side, all put together by professional designers.

As a marketing tool, retailers are able to represent 672 carpet options in one condensed display. The program includes 14 carpet styles in 48 contemporary colors. Add to that the carefully chosen 16 Anderson hardwoods and you have a very complete selection system, all in a space of 13’ wide, 8’ high by 20” deep. The graduated heights of the display, coupled with furniture-grade crown molding, make it a very attractive addition to the retail floor. Currently, the display is available exclusively for Shaw Design Center retailers, so if you qualify, don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Let’s talk about where current broadloom design trends are headed. It’s more important than ever for carpet mills to have a finger on the pulse of design if they are to capture their fair share of the flooring market. What I am seeing tells me that they are in touch with design directions.

We are living in a “less is more” society, as we all scale back in response to economic conditions. This interprets to interiors that are less fussy, utilizing clean lines, smart colors, and definitely no clutter. By “smart colors,” I am referring to colors that have a timeless quality and will not look dated even five or more years down the road. Mills are investing in top designers and R&D people to provide color projections that will result in interesting and classic palettes. They know that the success of a good palette can pay big dividends.

Mohawk Industries has a new introduction featuring their SmartStrand/Sorona polymer that is color wise. Deco Design is an LCL construction and hits the mark for customers seeking a tailored, high-durability, subtle geometric. Mohawk should be proud of this color palette. The color line includes 24 nature-based hues, and this style will be a good fit for both traditional and contemporary designs. Deco Design conveys a timeless quality message well.

Color is the hallmark of a newly introduced wool carpet, Garden Trellis from Hibernia Carpet Mills. The style is a breath of fresh air, bringing a springtime theme with a subtle trellis pattern on a neutral background in an array of pastels:  blue, green, purple, pink or yellow.  Feminine influences are the strong draw to this particular style.

Mohawk Industries’ Deco Design, an LCL construction, features SmartStrand/Sorona polymer tailored in 24 colors. Photo courtesy Mohawk Industries.

Elson & Company (a div. of Bloomsburg) offers a mix of traditional and contemporary styles in beautifully crafted, colorful Axminsters. Vine-and-floral motifs in saturated colors on light backgrounds are stand-outs, as are their more geometric, playful styles. Each pattern is produced as broadloom, but don’t rule out the possibility of a cut piece being fabricated into stunning area rugs for your customers. 

One important design trend reported by Color Marketing Group International is termed “NewStalgia.” As consumers are seeking natural, comfortable products for their homes, they are gravitating toward vintage looks with a contemporary feel-what’s old is new, but with a twist. Axminster styles bring carpet history into the present, and the twist is superior construction and rich colors drawn from nature.

Shifting gears towards Main Street commercial, Beaulieu/Hollytex has a new collection of clean, contemporary styles that can cross over beautifully to residential. 

Anthology is an eco-friendly Nexterra backed modular tile. This product is ideal for Main Street commercial or home office installations. Styled with a linear pattern, the color palette gives Anthology a dynamic look.

Victor is a cut/uncut broadloom style utilizing the color palette from their highly successful loop style Iconic. The cut/uncut pattern creates the appearance of a finely crafted European Wilton. Victor is designed for both corporate settings as well as hospitality room environments.

The new Hollytex Timeless Collection features four products: Reunion and Perpetual are small scale cut/uncut graphic patterns featuring vibrant public space colorings. These styles are produced from solution-dyed nylon for outstanding performance and superb color clarity. Lateral and Inhabit are larger scale patterns definitely created with the hospitality client in mind.

As a designer, I am finding more residential clients are receptive to commercial crossover products. They are looking for something tailored, architectural in scale and style, and once again, something with a timeless quality.

The year has started out strong with carpet introductions that can rival the hard surface craze. As long as mills continue to be creative and attentive to design trends, they will bring to market products that accurately interpret important design directions. Customers are watching closely and are ready, and willing to be won over.