Rather than thinking of carpet as a practical finishing detail, consider it the jumping-off point for your room’s style. Bold statements like interlocking patterns and Bridget Riley-esque stripes are a great way to make a statement, but for a less dramatic look try combining a plain carpet with a patterned one.
Floral patterns have long been a popular choice when it comes to carpet and rug design. They can be subtle and elegant, or bold and opulent. Either way, they can add a sense of movement and elegance to any room. The latest flower patterns are incorporating curves and rounded silhouettes, adding a soft contrast to more angular furniture options.
From rosette and palmette shapes to tulips, peonies and acanthus leaves, the choices are endless. Weavers are also interpreting floral motifs in more geometric forms such as zigzags, spirals and honeycomb patterns. These motifs are particularly well suited to contemporary interiors as they add a sense of warmth and movement that can be a real departure from the usual minimalist approach to home decor.
While in the past patterned carpets have been mainly the preserve of pubs and hotels, new designs are elevating them to the status of floor art. They can set a strong design tone and work beautifully as a focal point, drawing the eye from table and chair to ceiling and walls. If you’re opting for a carpet with a strong pattern, pull back on other decorative details to let it shine.
Stripes are another simple yet effective pattern to consider. These work well in bedrooms, as they can define spaces within an open-plan scheme without feeling too restrictive or claustrophobic. For a more modern take on this classic, opt for wider stripes and wider repeats to create a more abstract pattern that feels fresher.
The use of contrasting colors is another clever way to bring pattern to a room. Especially effective with grey carpets, a mix of pastel shades can help create a subtle and delicate design that still feels sophisticated.
If a geometric rug is more to your taste, consider opting for one with a checkered pattern or rows of pleasing polka dots. You can even find geometric carpets with shapes that look a little like honeycombs. These can be a great choice for those who prefer a more understated aesthetic or are wary of bolder patterns.
If you’re looking for something truly unique, why not try a woven rug with a contemporary twist on an ancient motif? For example, the gul design has been used in oriental rugs for centuries as a heraldic emblem. This octagonal repeated motif looks a little like a mahi (Persian for fish) and is often found alongside other animal patterns such as gul-i-henna and gul-i-frank.
As the name suggests, geometric carpet patterns are the embodiment of angular elegance. Whether they’re in bold, vibrant hues or in toned pastels they can effortlessly elevate an interior. Their versatility means that they can be paired with both contemporary and traditional styles, as is evident in this blue rug from Alternative Flooring. It adds colour without overwhelming the room and pairs well with the pretty pink wallpaper, patterned curtains and traditional stone fireplace.
Geometric carpet designs are available in a variety of textures, from shag with its signature unkempt appearance to frieze which has a more elegant, smooth look. They can also come in a range of shapes, such as circles, triangles and cubes, and be printed with intricate or minimalist styles. They’re perfect for high-traffic areas and can even promote a sense of order by enhancing a geometrically shaped space.
Curves and rounded silhouettes are another popular choice for modern carpets, adding softness to a room. This is especially the case with carpets that incorporate a floral theme, bringing a harmonious balance to an otherwise stark interior. Alternatively, more organic looking shapes such as swirling mandalas and paisleys offer an alternative to straight lines and angular silhouettes.
Aside from their aesthetic appeal, geometric patterns can also be incredibly functional in commercial spaces. Depending on their size, shape and colours they can promote social distancing, wayfinding and zoning. In addition, they can provide a sense of warmth and comfort underfoot while helping to create a sense of security and privacy in an area that may be vulnerable to the movement of people.
Moreover, they can be combined with other carpet trends to provide an element of creativity. For example, geometric carpet tiles can be used in conjunction with a geometric rug to add interest to an open plan office. The contrasting shapes help to divide a space and prevent employees from getting too close to each other, creating a more comfortable workspace and reducing stress levels. As with any design option, be sure to use a patterned carpet sparingly as going overboard can overstimulate the eye.
The exotic beauty of animal prints is an instant style-maker in any room. From zebra stripes to antelope spots, this design element offers a surprisingly neutral palette that works well in both modern and traditional spaces. Add a touch of wild elegance to a living room with a sleek, black zebra carpet or set the scene for safari chic in the bedroom with a custom tiger rug. Even if you don’t have the space for an entire tiger or leopard print rug, you can still get the look by layering a plain tan carpet underneath a boldly patterned one.
From faux fur to shag, a variety of natural and synthetic materials are used in the creation of modern rugs. Wool is a classic, with its naturally soft feel underfoot and resistance to soiling. Jute, silk and bamboo silk/viscose rugs are also common choices, providing a wide range of textures and colors to choose from. A woven construction means that the carpet is made of smaller fibres tightly woven together, which makes it easy to vacuum.
If you’re worried about the maintenance of a patterned rug, opt for a low-pile design. The small, tightly woven loops make it harder for dirt to penetrate the surface. This type of carpet is best suited to low-traffic areas like bedrooms and home offices, as it’s easier to keep clean. For a more durable carpet, try an acrylic option. Made from an acrylonitrile/butadiene/styrene (ABS) blend, this material has the appearance of polyester with improved durability and stain resistance.
Another easy way to keep your flooring looking its best is to use a protective pad under the rug. This helps to keep the floor safe from damage, and it’s an especially great idea for those with wood or laminate floors. Several types of pads are available, including foam, felt and rubber. Some are self-stick, while others feature a tape edge for added security. They’re also easy to cut to the size of your rug, so you can install it without any fuss. A padded rug can also help with sound absorption, reducing the noise levels in your home.
There are many textures to consider when choosing a carpet, whether for comfort underfoot as you lounge on the couch, durability in high-traffic areas or something stylish to anchor a room. A variety of texture options are available depending on the style you choose, from shag with its characteristic unkempt appearance to textured twist carpet that has a hard-wearing surface like suede.
In modern times, new manufacturing capabilities have made it possible to create a wide array of carpet textures that are both functional and fashion-forward. Whether the carpet is tufted or cut and loop, it may have a combination of low or high-loop fibers and varying color effects such as swirls, bows, lattices, pin dots and plaids.
Using colors to add visual interest to a room has been a big trend in design lately and that has carried over into the world of carpet. Patterned carpet can be a great way to introduce color and pattern where it might be challenging to do with paint, especially in small rooms or back stairs.
Another way to use carpet as a creative canvas is by selecting a textured design that will act as an accent. Grass patterned carpet is one example of this, with its thick pebble-like texture making for eye-catching decor. A modern carpet that features this type of texture will complement a range of styles and work well with other elements in the room, such as wood or glass.
If you’re not ready to embrace bold patterns or bold carpet color, that’s okay too. There are also plenty of modern carpet designs that are clean, simple and classic. These are typically in earth-tone colors and often feature one central motif such as a geometric shape or floral print. They’re perfect for those who want a cozy, pretty backdrop for their furniture and decor without overpowering the space.
If you’re ready to take a risk with your interior design, then a bold patterned carpet might be the perfect fit for you. Animal print carpet is a good choice, and while you might think of 70s leopard or zebra carpets, there’s a whole new generation of fawn, antelope, and giraffe prints to explore.