Carpet takes fashion forward with fresh designs, textures, colors and Earth-friendly technologies.

Designers are now turning to carpet not just as a design foundation but as the design inspiration, selecting from an abundance of new – and nuanced – carpet offerings.

For example, a refreshed Art Deco style, invoking the 1930s, is a recent trend with its theatrical contrasts. Picture this…sleek glass elements or gleaming espresso wood veneers next to deeply textured carpet in a warm, neutral cream or perhaps one of the “new neutrals” – smoky blue, soft green or pale yellow.

The colors offered in today’s carpet are not only richer but are more varied and refined than ever before. Even today’s neutrals offer subtle complexity such as delicate variations in color value or the introduction of complementary color flecks or “pin dots,” allowing designers to highlight and coordinate with other design elements.

Nature-inspired colors are definitely in, from smoky grays and slate blues to soft ambers and dusty greens. Just remember that all natural colors are not muted. Carpets also offer bolder, more vibrant jewel tones – brighter reds, golds, greens, blues and even purples – along with distinct blacks and bright whites.

Designers this year are looking toward rich and varied visual textures, ranging from subtle tone-on-tone patterns to bolder designs and stronger colors. Striped designs in particular are making their way into stylish living rooms and elegant hallways. A profusion of striped options, enhancing both traditional and contemporary decorating schemes, has entered the market. Stripes in hallways and on staircases are particularly striking, giving the impression of opening up a space, allowing it to appear longer and wider.

Current designs lean toward “soft” patterns in carpet, including nature-inspired patterns that are woven or tufted into understated florals, organic shapes (including vines), or even refined geometrics, including subtle plaids and pin dots.

Bolder patterns are ideal for bigger and more open spaces, while subtler patterning and coloring are perfect for smaller spaces, especially high-traffic areas such as halls, landings and family rooms. The latest manufacturing breakthroughs have definitely produced innovative looks in carpet construction. In addition to color, pay particular attention to texture – raised patterns and sculpted effects in classic and contemporary patterns, cable knits and even distinct shags. Whatever your needs, remember that the trend is definitely toward layered color and distinctly soft textures.

Simply stated, new technologies have created remarkable effects, combining cut and loop piles and yarns with differing thickness and even lusters. Because patterns and metallic looks are increasingly popular with designers, many manufacturers are incorporating metallic fibers into their carpets. Even the most neutral color can be enhanced by having ribbed weaves, for example, or a herringbone design.

Pile, weave and fabric – from wool to synthetics – are factors in cost, wear and stain resistance, as well as in style. At issue are both appearance and performance, matters your flooring representative will guide you through.

All of these exciting innovations in style and performance are matched with impressive triumphs in environmental stewardship. From savvy manufacturing to inspired design, the carpet industry has been transformed – refreshed and ready for your own transformation: unifying, integrating and revitalizing any (or every) room in your home.