Hand-knotted or machine-woven? Standard or custom size? Blue, green or neutral? Casual or traditional patterns? Would you like to know what’s resonating with consumers in area rugs? Feizy’s roundtable participants — veteran designers and retailers Kathy Kuo, Shay Geyer and David Chambers — share their thoughts on their rug preferences and what they are seeing their clients gravitate toward in this insightful roundtable.
Shay Geyer is an award-winning designer and owner of IBB Design Fine Furnishings. Known for her use of color, pattern and texture, her portfolio ranges from commercial spaces to residential projects.
Kathy Kuo, an award-winning interior designer, is the founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home and a recognized TV personality. She has more than 20 years of experience in the home and design industries.
David Chambers, Director of Flooring for Nebraska Furniture Mart, has been with NFM for more than 20 years. He oversees all merchandising and buying strategies for the company’s Flooring Division.
Do you recommend hand-knotted rugs to your customers? Why?
Shay Geyer: Absolutely. It’s all about quality. Hand-knotted rugs are an investment. If you care for it properly, it’s an heirloom piece that can be passed down for generations.
Kathy Kuo: I always tell our customers and clients about the benefits of choosing a hand-knotted rug! In general, hand-knotted rugs are extremely durable and they come in a wide variety of styles so it’s usually very easy to find one that you love and also to have the confidence that it’s going to look fantastic for years to come.
David Chambers: We recommend knotted rugs as they have become affordable over the past few years, and they are very durable. Also, manufacturers are making transitional patterns in knotted, making the category more appealing to a broader group of consumers.
What are some of the attributes of hand-knotted rugs that make them a better choice and in what applications?
KK: Hand-knotting is a rug-making technique that has literally been used for generations – and with good reason! Hand-knotting a rug is a true art form and it involves tying knots, one at a time, to a base grid; and different levels of detailing can be achieved with higher numbers of knots. It’s so fascinating! You just get that special artisan quality with a hand-knotted rug – these rugs feel made with love but also crafted to perfection at the highest level.
SG: The quality of hand-knotted rugs is far superior to machine-made rugs. These rugs are typically made using natural materials such as wool, silk or a blend of both. Wool is known for its durability, resilience and ability to hide dirt and stains. Silk, on the other hand, has a luxurious sheen and softness that adds a touch of elegance to any space. Meticulous attention to detail ensures that every knot is tightly secured, resulting in a rug that is not only beautiful but also durable and long lasting. Another advantage of hand-knotted rugs is their investment value. Due to their superior craftsmanship and quality, hand-knotted rugs tend to retain their value and can even appreciate over time. These rugs often become family heirlooms that are passed down through generations, making them a wise investment choice.
DC: Knotted rugs are also being created in looser weaves giving them a more casual look. There are vendors that are now making knotted rugs using PET fibers, adding to the versatility of places to use a knotted rug.
Where and when do you suggest machine-woven rugs?
DC: Style, color and price dictate a customer’s selection, so if someone is on a limited budget, machine woven is the place to start the search. That being said, there are some high-quality machine-woven rugs that can be similar in price to an opening price-point knotted rug.
KK: When it comes to decorating a home, everyone is going to have different wants, needs and budget considerations. Machine-woven rugs do come in a very wide variety of sizes and styles and generally speaking, are going to offer a wider range of price points. If you know you’re going to need some performance rugs, or washable rugs that will work well for areas with pets, high-traffic areas, or for kids’ playrooms, you may want to look at machine-woven options.
SG: We use them frequently in kids’ rooms, laundry rooms and for outdoor applications. They also can be a great solution for a budget conscious client.
What rug colors and color combinations are trending? Why?
SG: Punchy pastels! Bright blush pinks, lilacs and sky blue are among some of our most requested color palettes right now. We’re seeing a huge surge in purchases in Oushak rugs in those palettes.
DC: For our regions, blues and grays are still popular. Also growing in popularity are warmer sunset tones.
KK: We recently had an interior design client who ultimately placed a warm beige-toned rug in her home in contrast with some sage green furniture. The rug was a very subtle color, but it had a really gorgeous textured pattern that made it so special. The mix of an upscale neutral rug with shades of green in the furniture was so beautiful. I definitely see that as a trend that’s going to be in the mix for a long time – the idea that you can choose a subdued color like oatmeal, rust or taupe, but make it pop with a special color.
We understand green is a trending color in rugs. Do you agree, and why do you think green is popular? Is there a shade of green you see customers/clients gravitating toward more? Are there other colors that are equally as popular?
DC: In our regions, we are seeing a need for more greens. Green is a fresh color and people want fresh. It also can complement blues and grays that people currently have in their homes. Green has been growing in popularity for the past 18 months or so. Soft, spring greens as well as bolder greens in small amounts are being requested.
SG: Yes! We’re getting a lot of requests for greens. Emerald green seems to be the most popular hue but we’re also seeing a lot of people loving softer shades like sea foam and celadon.
KK: Across the board in the interior design world, green is certainly having a moment! In rugs specifically, I am seeing a lot of popularity with colors like sage, emerald and forest. It’s all about drawing inspiration from the natural world and adding a sense of calm to your home in a way that is still very chic and versatile.
What design/styles are you seeing your customers/clients gravitating toward and why?
KK: We’re seeing a lot of demand for Coastal Beach and what I would call Organic Modern. Both of these styles mix natural elements – like woven materials, reclaimed wood and nature-inspired decorative objects – with modern classic furniture silhouettes and design accents.
With Coastal Beach, it’s all about combinations like a classic slipcovered sofa with a woven jute rug and a driftwood coffee table. Organic Modern is showing us motifs like green velvet sofas with a beautifully textured hand-knotted rug and items like crystals and geodes placed stylishly as décor.
SG: We have definitely seen a big resurgence in requests for more traditional styles. Gen Z especially seems to gravitate toward traditional aesthetics, possibly as a result of the popularity of the Grand Millennial style.
DC: Traditional Persian styles are still selling, but we have had a good response to bold patterns with one or two colors like Feizy Anya. Neutral, textural, tone-on-tone still sell well, too.
Do you see customer/client preference for certain materials and textures? What materials/textures and why do you think customers are leaning toward these?
DC: Textures are good options for our customers. Softness is a factor as well with some of the microfibers, PETs and Smart Strand fibers.
SG: Soft is the name of the game! Our clients want something that not only looks amazing but also feels good underfoot.
KK: Texture and material preferences are going to depend on your overall design style, so I’m still seeing a lot of variety here. That said, customers are always going to love textures that feel luxurious. With rugs, that means anything from a high pile that feels really plush, to hand-woven jute or even hair-on-hide because they’re so distinct and unique. Textures should feel great, but also tell a story.
This roundtable is sponsored by Feizy. To explore a virtual showroom of rugs, go to feizy.com.
Come and join us in celebrating a momentous occasion as Feizy Rugs marks its 50th anniversary at High Point Market! On October 14th, from 4 to 7 pm, we invite you to partake in an unforgettable evening filled with live music, amazing food, and refreshing drinks.
As a prominent player in the industry for five decades, Feizy takes immense pride in its journey and the relationships built along the way. This celebration is a tribute to our valued customers, partners, and the entire design community that has supported us throughout the years.
We cannot wait to raise a toast to the past, present, and an exciting future ahead! Be sure to mark your calendars, as this is an event you won’t want to miss at High Point Market.