Rugs go through periods of increased and decreased popularity, just like many other home décor related items. Here’s what is hot in rugs today and how and when that might change in the future.
John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm John Maher, and I'm here with the owner of the Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi Sam. Sam Presnell: Hi, John.
Trendy Rug Colors
John: Sam, today our topic is what is hot in rugs today. Let's talk about colors first. What are the hot colors in rugs today?
Sam: The biggie is gray. I think everybody knows that if you just look around. Gray is dominating the scene and has been for quite some time. Probably, next in line is blue, and I would say mostly it's softer blues, but navy is also very, very strong today as well. Again, neutrals, which never go out of style, are always there and very, very, popular too.
John: Describe a gray rug. When I think of an Oriental type of rug, I always think of those red ones or like you said, blue or even gold or something. What does a gray rug look like? Obviously, it has to have some sort of design to it.
Sam: Basically, that's exactly right. You can take a traditional product and recolor. That's what they've done. If it's a traditional design, they'll take and use those same designs and weaving techniques, except they'll do shades of grays and things that look great with gray, as well as blues and oranges and teals. You'll see other colors mixed in with it, but it's more of a contemporary take on a very traditional product.
Trends in Rug Designs
John: What about rug designs? You mentioned those old, traditional type of rug designs. What's hot in rug designs today?
Sam: Exactly right. Traditional has been, I think, replaced in today's market by what we call "transitional." My definition of that is to take something that's a traditional design, and modify it. Basically, you can take the design and take the borders off of it, blow up the elements or just take certain elements, clean it up a bit, and make it into a rug. Basically, it has elements that are traditional, but it doesn't seem traditional with no border on it or with the design and the placements of those designs. Then also, you'll see different architectural features of just one big element just blown up to the whole scale of the rug, which is unseen in a traditional product, and that's what we call transitional. A lot of times, I'll take those transitional designs, what I call a race part of that design. When you visually look at it, you would swear, if it's down on the floor, you would think that part of the design is worn off or it's missing. That's a very cool look as well, and what we call transitional. The next most popular one is what I call "modern, abstract, or contemporary." I'm not sure what the difference is sometimes, but it's like a rug that basically looks like, I just threw a bunch of paint on it, and just splattered all over the place. I guess it would be like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Sam: It looks like that's pretty much what he did, but it's very cool and very thoughtful, how it's all arranged, and has a bit of an organic feel to it, in my opinion. It looks like to me, if you were taking a piece of steel and left it out in the yard and rusted, it will get all kinds of different shades and designs to it. It kind of has that feel to it.
John: You get those sort of the rusty color and maybe even like a green color in there from some fungus or something like that. They're just all blending into each other and swirling around.
Sam: Crazy, but true and you know what? When I look at it, I see a lot of that and that is so popular. I mean, I can't even tell you how popular that really is today.
John: Would an example of a transitional rug be, like you said before that your traditional rugs would have a border around the outside, and then there might be some little smaller section in the very middle that would have a pattern to it. Is a transitional rug where they might just take that middle section and they just blow that up and make that the whole design for the rug?
Sam: Exactly. That's exactly what my definition of transitional is. Basically, taking elements out of traditional and re‑configuring to make something that's not traditional.
What to Know Before Buying Trendy Rugs
John: Is buying a trending rug risky these days?
Sam: I don't look at it as risky. I think if you're looking for an investment, probably I guess you could say it's risky, but I think it's like buying clothing, or buying a furniture, or buying a TV or stereo, whatever. A new iPhone, whatever kind of phone you want to buy. Things are going to come and go and become less desirable as time [goes on] and they’re more common. I think like everything in life, things change and there'll be something new out that will be hot and popular coming down the road.
John: We talked about it on an another episode that you don't really know what's going to be popular, so just buy something that you like now and don't really plan on being able to sell it or increase the amount of money that it's worth later, because there's just no way to know what's going to be in vogue later.
Sam: I think my favorite saying is, there's three things you want to do with a rug, like a real estate. One, you’ve got to love it, two, you’ve got to love it, and three, you’ve got to love it. If you love it, it's like art and it's something that speaks to you. That's very important, and I think that's what I would recommend.
The Next Trends in Rugs
John: If someone is trying to hop on the latest trends, what's your opinion of what's next in rugs?
Sam: Oh boy. I'm going to get my crystal ball out here and check. I guess, when I think what's next is, I see that we've just come out of wars and we had recession, we've had all kinds of very challenging things happening out there in the world. I think a lot of people got very conservative in their choices, and try to be safe with their money. We see a lot of that. I grew up as a hippie. I grew up in the '70s and I think we're going to see a lot of that open‑mindedness to doing new and daring, and wild things. I think that that we are going to see brighter colors coming into vogue. I would say more of what I would call rye rugs, shaggy rugs with really abstract designs and colors to them, very bright. Again, that's a crystal ball, and who knows what reality is. I mean, this generation of generation next or millennial's, whatever you want to call them, they're very sophisticated. I'm really challenged by that. I think you will see more opening for color and brighter color for sure, whether the designs are going to be what I think, who knows.
John: All right. That's really great information Sam Presnell. Thanks for speaking with me today.
Sam: You're welcome, John. Thank you.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery and oriental rugs and carpets, visit ruggallerycincy.com. That's Rug Gallery C-I-N-C-Y dot com, or call 513‑793‑9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes and if you can take the time to give us a review on iTunes, we would appreciate that. Thanks and see you next time on The Rug Gallery.