Everyone has their own personal preferences, and area rugs in their array of styles, textures and patterns are no exception. Knowing that what fits one customer isn’t necessarily going to fit the next, retailers steer consumers toward products that will fit best with their overall lifestyle. Storeowners are  “going towards products that fit the image of the types of goods that they carry in their establishments,” explained Joyce Lowe, executive director for Nourison’s area rug division.

Flexibility. An area rug allows consumers the flexibility to keep a room or location updated and original, at a fraction of the cost of renovating the entire floor. One great way to expand the living space without adding onto the home is by using indoor/outdoor rugs. “Increasing your living space by creating outdoor areas for entertainment has grown considerably in the past few years. Several years ago we did not carry this category; we now feature three collections with over 40 styles,” said Lowe.

Allen Robertson, vice president of sales at Capel Rugs agreed with those sentiments, stating, “Outdoor/anywhere rugs continue to grow and are probably the fastest-growing market segment.”

Indoor/outdoor rugs can also help boost business during slow summer months, according to Lowe. “For the summer season the trend of using rugs in outdoor areas have created an opportunity for rug sales in the summer months, which traditionally are not great rug sale months.”

Color. Colors inspired by the coast are catching on. “We have recently introduced a line by lifestyle designer Barclay Butera who specializes in coastal living, and the cobalt and navy rugs that he created are refreshing and appropriate for homes with a coastal view or feel,” said Lowe. Blue is likely to be strong in sales for many companies because it can be relaxing and inviting for businesses and homes alike.

Couristan has been experiencing a push for similar colors. “A lot of the colors we are seeing are very soft, fresh and clean, romantic colors. There is also a big push towards blue, from rich sea blue and indigos to deep navys and very nautical colors,” said Amy Chato-Conlon, product development and design director for Couristan.

Designs. Lowe commented on the new styles Nourison has recently introduced. “Some of the new styles that we are coming out with are designs that are sophisticated, yet simple with deconstructed design elements.”

Capel Rugs is also continuing to designing clean looks with softer, simpler patterns. Capel Rugs’ Cococozy collection is made from Semi-Worsted New Zealand Wool that allows for great dye penetration and the softest possible hand, according to the company, resulting in bold colors and patterns such as Coco’s Flower. For its part, Couristan said it has also experienced an uptick in people looking for simple, easy living patterns.

Texture. “Texture is playing as important a role as ever in rugs. The key is to create looks of texture using different yarns and weaving technique,” said Chato-Conlon. She mentioned Couristan’s double-point and dropstitch collections as being some of the company’s best-performing rugs due to the texture and depths of the designs.

Having options is key. Offering versatility in an area rug can create great opportunities for new customers and expand their options for entertainment and living. Know your location and what customers prefer in that area to help build your area rug business.