A Bright Idea

August 1, 2011HFN Staff

Jaipur uses a colorful silhouette to add a pop of color to Larkspur, here in antique white. jaipurrugs.comJaipur uses a colorful silhouette to add a pop of color to Larkspur, here in antique white. jaipurrugs.com

By Andrea Lillo

ROY G BIV is alive and well in the area rug category. Bright, saturated color has enlivened consumers, and manufacturers continue to freshen their assortments with evolved designs and new color pairings. One strong trend merges bold tones with grays and browns, further updating the color story for today's consumer.

"People want something cheery, easy and livable," said Tami Watras, vice president-product and creative director, Capel. "Color is back."

Whether it's all-over bright combinations or neutrals like gray and taupe paired with strong accent colors, the color trend is bright and bold, said Al Mortensen, vice president of merchandising and product development, Surya. "I really believe people are looking to color to shake off the down times." He sees teal blue with tangerine, lime green with pink, lemon yellow and steel gray -- as well as these combinations accented with crisp bright white -- as strong color combinations. In addition, "I still hear a lot about purple, plum, and raspberry," he said, but more of a red version of purple instead of gray-based one.

One of Surya's debuts is a group from its Country Living license. Called Happy Cottage, the line consists of flatweave dhurries in fresh, bright colors, Mortensen said. 

"Neutrals play a strong role when mixed with texture," said Meredith Thayer, product development and design manager, cmi. "Grays, naturals taupes and creams as well as mink brown colors look great when used in rugs that utilize our various designs and constructions. For example, we do geometric designs with strong clean lines and mix flat and cablelock braids all in one yarn color for a more dimensional look that can be used in most any setting."

Watras sees blue hues leaning more towards indigos. In addition, one hot color combination is black and ecru, "always a clean and classic look," Watras said. At market, Capel will bring fresh color interpretations on the classic banded style with the group Countryside, "a nod to classic country colors," said Watras, as well as the line Home Sweet Home, which features its new country palette. A Nantucket red and gray, along with a coordinating stripe, will be added to its "hugely popular" Hampton woven collection.

For Feizy, the hot hues are teals, warm neutrals and reds, with "gray rising quickly up the ranks," said Mitzi Thomasson, vice president of design and product development, and "earthy taupes and mushrooms are not far behind." The company also sees strong sales in designs with ice blue and navy blue, along with cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin tones. "In the coming months, we're going to do some exciting color pairing with neutrals to really spice them up," she added.

Five jewel-toned colorways will be added to Feizy's successful Indochine collection of table-tufted, art silk shags at market, as well as a new design that features graduated jewel-tone colors, available in three colorways. In addition, its second line of Tracy Porter rugs -- called Vivendi -- will include all-new palettes, featuring bold hues and rich jewel tones. Vivendi's "detailing in the designs is really intricate -- as delicate as lace -- with gradations in color that create 'erased looks,' " Thomasson said.

Color is at the heart of Safavieh's new collection with interior designer David Easton. Called Indian Sojourn, the collection of eight new ikats is bathed in such colors as paprika, saffron yellow and amethyst twilight. Designs were inspired by Easton's studies of the Silk Road travels of Marco Polo and the cultural diffusion of weaving crafts during this time.

But it's not all about brights, especially at the higher end, said Steve Roan, vice president, Karastan. "The hot color trends tend to drive the entry level price points. At the medium to upper end I think the blue shades and earthy coral shades continue to be popular. The colors tend to last longer at the higher price points."

Though Watras believes in having a few fashion colors in the mix, "the reality of it is that we'll sell a lot more red or black rugs than we will pink or purple."

Amy Chato, director of design and product development, Couristan, agreed that consumers lean towards safer colors with certain high-end styles, but there's also another direction at the upper end. "At the high end, it's more designer driven, so colors can be more trend focused," she said.


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