By Jessica Goldbogen Harlan
Furniture retailers seeking to update their rug assortment will have plenty to choose from with licensed offerings from household names, an earthy color palette and increasing indoor/outdoor options at the High Point Market.
The North Carolina event marks the launch of the much-anticipated area rugs by Candice Olsen for Surya. “Her designs are very clean, but with classic, traditional elements,” said Shauna Snyder, vice president of product development for Surya. “They have a very beautiful spalike, muted, earthy color palette. We’re really excited to have her on board.”
Surya is also launching a line based on the Smithsonian Collection. “Every area rug has its own story, due to the fact that it’s directly inspired by a piece of artwork from the vaults in the Smithsonian,” Snyder said. The launch includes 12 rugs that could be based on anything from a detail of a ceramic tile to an illustration plate from a book.
“We’ve got so much inspiration from the Smithsonian, this collection will only get more interesting,” Snyder said.
Southern Living Home is the licensed program in focus from Hellenic Rug Imports, and this will be the first time it is seen at High Point. The line is comprised of six collections of both traditional and transitional styles at reasonable price points.
“A lot of our lineup has a heavy focus on transitional designs,” said Steve Mazarakis, president and chief executive officer for Hellenic Rug Imports. “Consumers enjoy decorating for themselves and our simplistic patterns give them that opportunity.” As for colors, Hellenic sees an interest in warm tones of purple and eggplant, as well as deep charcoal grays.
Martha Stewart and Thomas O’Brien are in Safavieh’s licensing stable, and the company will be highlighting some introductions from those lines, as well as its own in-house designs, such as new options in the company’s silk and wool Nepalese collection for upper-end luxury retailers, Soho hand-tufted rugs for the volume market. In a nod to the “green” market, there are also eco-friendly wool and hemp-patterned rugs in the Bohemian collection.
And the Paula Deen collection, launched by Kaleen in January, is going to be a main area of focus for Kaleen. But the company is also introducing a line at High Point called Mallard Creek, a collection of sumac-inspired designs in 11 colorations.
Nourison is bucking the trend toward licensed collection, instead focusing on some of its signature collections. The company has added some bold new designs, such as in Nourison 2000. Another new product is Harbour Ridge, made of hand-tufted wool in a mixture of high and low yarn heights for a textural look and feel.
Alex Peykar, principal of Nourison, said that color and value are driving design trends in the rug industry. “Traditional designs do well when presented in updated color palettes,” he said. “These colors also translate to transitional and contemporary looks.” Texture, too, is important: “Sleek metallic electronics throughout homes make rooms cry out for texture from the floor up,” he said. “Hand-carving and mixed textures” are among the top trends.
Value is definitely important in the minds of consumers, concurs Marlys Giordano, director of marketing and product development, Momeni. “Buyers are looking for fashion-forward rugs that don’t look like they cost less than what they are,” she said. “Home is trending much closer to fashion than it has in the past, so we are seeing a lot of the same trends trickle down to us. Vibrant colors in unique constructions are piquing the interests of buyers.”
Yavar Rafieha, vice president of marketing for Abbyson, reports that contemporary collections in earth tones and shades of green are in demand among his customers. This trend dovetails with its new rug collection, Destiny, a contemporary line made of vegetable-dyed Himalayan sheep wool and silk in earth tones. Another collection made of the same materials is Genova, which has a bolder palette of reds, blues and greens, while Capri, made in Tibet with vegetable-dyed wool and silk, has muted colors and a traditional look.
Rugs that can take the rigors of outdoors will also continue to be a big push for rug makers. Surya’s Rain Outdoor collection, a polypropylene hook construction, has been doing well with transitional and traditional patterns, said Snyder.
Capel’s version of the indoor/outdoor rugs is its Capel Anywhere line. “Most retailers understand outdoor rugs now and are getting behind that product category,” said Charles “Bud” Young, vice president of marketing. And Safavieh has an indoor/outdoor collection called Chelsea.