Trend Alert: Carpet Is Hot Again With Designers

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Carpet used to be king. Shag, Berber, loop pile — as long as it covered the floor, it was A-OK.

Then came the backlash. For a time, hardwood and tile reigned supreme. Soft was out, tough was in.

The pendulum is swinging back to the soft stuff once again, with caveats. Carpet might be in, but it doesn’t have carte blanche to take over our homes. In the era of HGTV, the average homeowner has never been more discerning — nor more careful — about what goes on their floors.

The good news about this is that floor covering manufacturers have really risen to the occasion. There are more quality carpeting choices than ever before.

The bad news about this is, well, that there are more quality carpeting choices than ever before. That means more research, more hemming and hawing, more trying before you buy.

Transitioning from hard surface to carpet, though, requires a different mindset about upkeep and cleaning.  You’ll need to match your preferred carpet types with the proper cleaning tools—checking vacuum reviews, manufacturer handbooks, and homeowner forums to determine what they need (and how often they need it) to keep their carpets looking like new.

First things first: research. Let’s take a look at four late-breaking carpet trends that have keen-eyed homeowners in stitches — or is it loops?

  1. Whimsical Designs

Solid carpet patterns are so 1995. Today, it’s all about flair and whimsy. Not deafening patterns that leave nuance bound and gagged by the roadside, mind you. Tasteful swoops, bows, floral patterns, and the like. One increasingly popular choice: quatrefoil, a Moroccan-influenced design element popularized centuries ago in the proud carpet-making cultures of North Africa. Proving that the old-timers really did know best, and that everything old is indeed new again.

  1. Runners Running Wild

What’s safe, economical, and not as expensive as you think? Carpet runners — you know, the “half carpets” running up staircases, through hallways, into walk-in closets, wherever it can almost-not-quite fill the space. Carpet runners used to be a sure sign of class and wealth, but they’ve moved into the mass market since the 1990s, and for good reason: there’s no better way to keep rambunctious, stocking-footed kids on their feet.

  1. Stain Fighting Power

Look, no one’s saying you need to dump out half a glass of red wine on your brand new carpet because you don’t feel like drinking the rest. But the days of treating every errant drop, crumb, and crystal like carpet Kryptonite are long gone. Good riddance.

You can thank new stain-fighting technology for the improvement. Stain-resistant carpets are basically essential in homes with pets and small children, right up there with running water and cooking surfaces. And they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than they used to be.

  1. Beige Is Out, Gray Is In

Eeyores of the world, rejoice. Beige, formerly the go-to carpet color for risk-averse decorators everywhere, is on the rocks. In its place rises gray — or, rather, grays of every shade and hue. There’s a whole universe of gray out there, just waiting to be explored. Embrace it. Love it. Find the gray that’s right for your home.

Are you redecorating soon? Which carpet trend catches your eye?