Rug trends – new colors, materials and styles set to take over in 2023
Top designers share 7 of their 'can't-miss' rug trends for fresh ideas that will keep you ahead of the curve
Buying a new rug is often a big investment, so keeping the latest rug trends in mind is a good way to ensure you're not pouring money into a style that's going to date quickly.
To get an understanding of the types of rugs making waves in the interiors world right now, we spoke to leading designers to get to grips with the colors, materials, textures, and shapes that are setting the tone for homes now, and in 2023.
So just what are the interior design trends in rugs for the coming year? Keep scrolling to find out.
Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she spoke to top interior designers and brands to understand the market and gauge rug trends that will be big next year.
Rug trends to watch out for in 2023
In terms of popularity in modern interior design, in 2023, organic designs are going to rule the roost. Jute, bamboo, sisal, and other natural fibers will take over interiors, thereby creating a calming, relaxed vibe. No matter their colors or patterns, the rugs will drive schemes to feel current and relaxed.
1. A punchier palette
When it comes to rugs, don't feel limited to light, neutral pieces going forward. New color trends point towards more vibrant combinations, making the floor the standout element of your space, where rugs take the lead in dictating a room's palette.
'Rugs have gone through a huge revolution in the past decade,' says Rashi Bajaj, founder, of Carpet Couture. 'Gone are the days when modern rugs were restricted to beige and tones of grey. Designers as well as customers are experimenting so much with fresher hues.'
When it comes to the hues that are going to be big in 2023, think nature, but not as you know it. 'I see a great demand for corals and colors that signify freshness and appear closer to nature,' says Rashi. 'For example, for corals, we are working with brighter shades of terracotta, orange, and cherry reds. The other palettes we are working with are fruity colors of lime green and yellow, and beetroot purple.'
2. Natural fibers
Natural fiber rugs have a timeless appeal, are good for the environment, and are great for layering. These rugs match well with modern, bright, or monochromatic carpets, or when installed wall-to-wall and layered with an antique kilim or animal hide, create an eclectic vibe.
'Textiles, in general, are still trending toward earth-tones with the addition of bold texture, and rugs made with natural materials like sisal, wool, and jute,' says Reena Sotropa, founder of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. 'Tightly woven low pile rugs provide an ideal foundation for the layering but the tone on tone patterns that are created via texture or differing pile heights can also provide that clean simple base, but with a bit of added detail.'
If you're looking for bedroom rugs, choose ones that are soft underfoot as this is a place where you are typically barefoot. Perhaps layer jute or a bamboo rug with a silk or wool rug for padding.
3. Layering textures
Talking of layering, the rug layering trend remains one of the big rug trends going forward. Rugs can be used to demarcate spaces in an open plan, like a living room dining room combo, where physical barriers and partitions are impractical or make a room feel smaller. As well as layering different shapes and colors, designers are ensuring to mix textures, too, to help zones spaces.
'In this three-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side, New York, the living room was one long open space,' says Nathan Cuttle, founder of Studio Nato. 'We broke up the room into two smaller furniture groupings and used two different rugs to delineate them. Rugs, by their shape and color, helped us unify and frame the various furniture pieces that sit on top of them. The rugs helped us shrink a large open space to a more human scale.'
'The change in texture and color can also help inform the use of each space,' says Nathan. 'For example in this project, we used one large tufted rug in the more public sectional seating area. We then used a painted leather hide in the more intimate reading corner. The change in texture and shape made for a clear delineation between public and private without the use of a physical divider like a wall or piece of furniture.'
4. Shaggy pile lengths
One thing is for sure – shag is back. Just as Livingetc predicts the return of 70s style decor for 2023, we're seeing shag rugs return to homes once again, giving a tactile delight to spaces. When it comes to living room rugs, these work best, and not only provide a wonderful, soft underfoot, but also a luxurious feel to interiors.
'While tightly woven wool rugs will always be a tidy and classic choice for any space, longer shaggier pile lengths have been making a statement for a while now, with no signs of wavering,' says Reena. 'This shift toward texture dovetails perfectly with the 70s trend aesthetic that we are seeing everywhere in design and the continuing popularity of Moroccan rug styles such as the ubiquitous Beni Ourain.'
5. Irregular shapes
Interesting rug shapes are perhaps the biggest trend to embrace for 2023. Standard rectangular forms can make a room feel blocky and closed off, where soft, fluid shapes, the signature of organic modern style, seem to extend across the space, bridging open plan spaces.
'People are looking for products with versatile design aesthetics, that could be used for a longer period without getting bored,' says Anushka Ahuja, co-founder of GharGhar. 'They prefer transitional designs with soft materials and rounded edges to irregular shapes, to cater to all mindsets; from traditional to contemporary. People are keen on buying accent rugs or one-of-a-kind pieces to accentuate the overall look of the home.'
Alongside curvaceous shapes, more angular and eclectically-shaped designs are also coming to the forefront, introducing interesting forms that can be picked up throughout the rest of a room's decor.
6. Distressed antique aesthetic
When it comes to vintage rugs, Turkish and Persian are still a favorite. These vintage pieces develop a natural patina over the years and start looking like collector's items; full of history and beauty. For eye-catching bedroom or living room flooring ideas, choose these timeless pieces that can be passed down to generations.
'For those who still crave a little pattern we are using vintage rugs such as the Turkish Oushak in neutral and muted hues which bring a little character and visual interest without overpowering the space,' says Reena. 'The distressed antique aesthetic creates a clean and simple foundation but the “perfectly imperfect” pattern is great for disguising the inevitable signs of wear and tear that can occur in a family home.'
Are rugs still in style?
Yes, rugs are definitely still considered a style essential in modern homes. However, in some designs, specifically ones that use interesting flooring materials such as concrete or patterned tile, rugs aren't always included, as they may fight with the goals of choosing such a material. Concrete flooring, for example, can offer a modern industrial or even Brutalist look, that a plush carpet might not mesh with. Of course, when using carpet as a flooring, you'll also find that often designers eschew including rugs on top.
However, when decorating, rug placement and size matters for an on-trend look. Area rugs that encompass seating or dining areas should be oversized - keep smaller rugs for areas like entryways and hallways, where they can become a feature in their own right.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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