What is the Most Popular Carpet Right Now — and do Designers Think You Should Use It?

There are still plenty of popular carpets out there, but whether you should go with the flow of trends is, naturally, up to the designers...

Family living room with busy mid-century bookcase and lightly patterned wall to wall carpet looking through to hallway
(Image credit: Emily Minton-Redfield Photography for Nadia Watts Interior Design)

We can't deny that how we pick and choose carpet has changed over the years. From the days when it was wall-to-wall carpet or nothing, to the modern-day flooring trends that can take centerstage, it is true; nowadays, carpet is working harder than ever to brush off its bad rep of being a little boring and hard work.

It might beg the question 'is carpet out of style?' but the reality is that interior design trends – including types of flooring – do simply fall in and out of the spotlight, and let's be honest, that's part of the fun. We are here to keep you on your design toes, after all. So before you think about what is replacing carpet, let's take a look at what are some of the most popular carpet styles around right now, and whether designers think they have what it takes to keep up with the latest flooring trends, not to mention, make it into our homes...

1. Carpets with defined, geometric pattern

Eclectic gallery wall with small person wooden sculpture on small desk, atop a lightly-patterned-wall-to-wall-carpet

(Image credit: Emily Minton-Redfield Photography for Nadia Watts Interior Design)

You only have to look at the carpet trends designers forecasted for 2024 to see that this floor covering has come a long way since it was a mere canvas for other decorative features, not forgetting cozy toes.

It might not be all that clear how a Y2K aesthetic can fit into your home, but there are things that designers love about it, and it seems that carpet can carry this style well too. 'Textures, color, and pattern are having a moment. Y2K is all the rage in fashion and has made its way to interior design and carpet trends,' says Nadia Watts, a Colorado-based interior designer who is experienced in designing residential spaces bursting with clients' personalities.

When square footage is on your side, you can afford to take a more experimental approach. 'Think deep saturated color, geometric patterns, and abstract designs,' continues Nadia. 'The boldness of carpet designs is not only stylish, but it is also practical as it helps hide dirt making it a great choice for high-traffic areas.' Tempted? K Powers & Company has a nice selection of geometric pattern rugs in good-looking colors too.

2. Rich, celestial tones, and earthy hues

Teal dining room with wooden square table, framed by purple geometric pattern rug underneath

(Image credit: Emily Minton-Redfield Photography for Nadia Watts Interior Design)

Still, quite the opposite to the quiet luxury notions we've been enjoying of late, it seems that a rich approach to carpet colors for 2024 and old-money looks are having a design moment too 'There is a growing trend towards bolder and more vibrant colors in carpets,' continues Nadia. But should we go there?

'Jewel tones and celestial colors make a statement and add excitement and movement to your space.' Going bold with color trends is a win, not just for maximalists. Shades of jade and even a glimmer of gold in a living room carpet design can lift a space that feels too vacuous and will be at home in a modern bedroom that wants a relaxing ambiance too. 

'There have been no significant changes in carpet styles over the last 12 months, but there are a few subtle changes underway,' Sean O’Rourke, National Director of Merchandising at Floor Coverings International tells us. 'I have noticed a swing back to people choosing carpets with more color, rather than “greige” which has been the dominant color theme for the last 3-5 years.' 

'Greens and blues bring a sense of serenity and a closer connection to the outdoors. Truer “earth tones” are making appearances again with amber, russets, and muted gold colors starting to shine.' Lowe's has a good selection of carpets in green and more earthy colors. An ideal way to complement greige walls...

3. Soft, recycled, and sustainable finishes

Bedroom with gray headboard, white bedding and lightly striped natural wall to wall carpet

(Image credit: Emily Minton-Redfield Photography for Nadia Watts Interior Design)

As many of us edit our decorating habits to live more eco-friendly lives, this has unquestionably influenced our carpet choice. Now, carpets made from recycled materials instead of classic polyester, nylon, or polypropylene, are readily available with impressive designs for both the comfort and durability – as you would expect from any carpet underfoot. 

Keep up, choosing recycled yarn fabrics and brands that watch their carbon footprint like the Flor responsible edit, and fibre flooring is in. 'Sustainable and eco-friendly materials continue to be trending in 2024. Natural fibers like wool, sisal and jute are always a good eco-friendly choice, they add an organic feel to your space and reduce the carbon footprint of your home,' adds Nadia. 

4. Wall-to-wall shag carpets

Iman STARK rug, cream and tufted in neutral cozy quiet luxury living room with buocle chairs and black chic fireplace

(Image credit: STARK Carpet)

It is no secret that lighter colors can expand a room, and a higher pile (½” or higher) is cozy too. If you're choosing carpet in the first place, warm (and fuzzy) comfort underfoot is clearly a priority – a good one at that. Although it costs a little more and needs more maintenance, a higher-pile carpet is an increasingly popular choice. It is best to be used in low-traffic spaces, such as the bedroom. In terms of high-pile styles, Shag carpets are having a revival, in a big way: 'Shag carpets styles (70 oz and higher) have come and gone over the years as many times as denim jeans have changed styles,' continues Sean.

'Shag carpets are mostly a design statement used as a fun and playful backdrop in a room but not so much throughout a full house,

'That being said, there is a burgeoning re-interest in wall-to-wall shag carpets and the new fiber technology and construction options like Anderson-Tuftex “Fan Favorite”. It is a high-styled carpet, and it has comfort and performance built in. Shag rugs are an alternative to committing to shag carpeting, and just like denim jeans, those rugs will always be in fashion.'

Sean is not alone in seeing our want for carpets with more interesting textures, Ashley Stark Kenner, the creative director at STARK and co-founder of Ashley Stark Home starts by highlighting how the carpet that people lean towards ultimately depends on many factors. 'Does the homeowner have children or pets? Is the carpet going somewhere that’s highly trafficked, like stairs or in a living room? All of these factors affect the type of carpet I’d recommend installing,

'For small homes, dark carpets and carpets with patterns tend to make a space feel smaller than it is. Instead, I’d suggest exploring rugs that have a mixture of textures and pile heights in neutral tones like cream, beige, and gray, which will open up your small space.

'In busy, high-trafficked areas of the home, an option with extra durability works best. Try a flat wool carpet, or STARK Performance Acrylic for extra durability. These carpets are easy to care for and made with extremely strong fiber that can withstand normal wear and tear, natural weathering, and harsh environments.'

5. Rugs instead...

Taupe bedroom with black longline drapes, bed and cream carpet underfoot

Casa Master bedroom Ritter & Co/Christine Ritter Designs with photography by Anna Maria Studio

(Image credit: Anna Maria Studio for Ritter & Co/Christine Ritter Designs)

If you're not into wall-to-wall carpets, you are not alone. Although it is clear that designers don't discourage us from installing carpets for comfort underfoot and to shape a room's aesthetic too, custom-fitted rugs remain ever popular to supplement other traditional floor coverings like parquet, hardwood, or even LVT.

Using custom area rugs can frame a space and even complement a small living room by grounding the furniture and defining the layout. 'I love to contrast medium to dark parquet floors with lighter-colored rugs, to let natural light bounce and create a sense of “positive space”,' says interior designer and founder of Ritter & Co, Christine Ritter

However, when choosing your living room rugs, designers say it can pay off to be just as particular with the design as if you were installing a more permanent fixture like carpet. 'Many projects I work on are family homes - which includes very young children and, of course, pets, often putting the lighter rugs at risk of…. destruction,' continues Christine who is a big fan of washable rugs, especially those with distressed graphic to disguise light stains...

'For lighter parquet or tiled floors, I find Bed Bath and Beyond has an excellent range of colors for larger, sturdier rugs - I love the distressed look for a dining room (bye-bye food stains) as well as their indoor/outdoor rugs for an easy clean.'

For even more dimension, consider layering rugs together, or over a worn carpet that wants a little digusing. We like these rugs in particular...

Blending vintage heirloom rugs with a new carpet can bring more of a transitional element to your space too. Whatever you do, follow the pros when you tap into these popular carpet styles to create a cool, unique finish that feels like the perfect investment.

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Contributing Editor

Camille is a freelance interiors writer and the former deputy editor of Real Homes where she covered a broad range of topics, including DIY, small space design, and gardens. She studied English language and Italian at the University of Manchester and it was during her year abroad studying in Bologna that she started documenting her adventures and observations in a blog. Camille has a passion for art and beautiful spaces. When not writing or refreshing her home, you will find her gallery hopping, taking photos, painting, and traveling to seek out interiors inspiration.