Hannover. It used to be that the main things customers wanted in a floor covering were practicality and low maintenance. But not any more. These days, carpets and floor coverings are core elements of interior design, and the choice of floor covering is often the starting point of a design journey that encompasses every aspect of our living spaces. Carpets create unifying links between rooms and their furnishings and provide a stage on which we can live out our individual lifestyles.
And what better place to keep up with the latest trends and developments in carpet and flooring design than at DOMOTEX 2012? Featuring some 1,400 exhibitors, it is the world's biggest trade fair for carpets and floor coverings. Its lead theme, "Customized Living", encapsulates the myriad design possibilities opened up by the vast range of carpets and floor coverings available today. The renowned Amsterdam-based textile designer Ulf Moritz agrees: "Today's customers can choose from a rich palette of off-the-rack materials, colors and formats, not to mention the customized products that a growing number of providers are now offering. Customized solutions allow color and design to be tailored to taste, resulting in a one-of-a-kind floor covering that is fully in tune with customers' individual lifestyles."
Moritz has identified three key trends for the 2012/2013 season, "Primal Nature", "Urban Classic" and "Fashionable Rainbow", which he will be exploring at the FLOORFORUM trend presentation at next year's DOMOTEX trade fair. There, visitors will discover the must-have colors, patterns and materials for the coming season.
This trend is characterized by natural materials, such as undyed Tibetan highland wool, hemp, bast fiber and cactus thread, as well as nature-inspired visual designs. The aesthetic language of nature finds expression in organic forms, patterns and surface finishes. Laminate flooring and resilient floor coverings, too, have the look of natural authenticity about them. Parquet and solid wood flooring products made, in the main, from light-colored woods like oak, maple, and birch tell a rich history written in cracks, unfinished surfaces, natural oil pigments, repair patches and even burn marks. Designs featuring torn, washed-out, patinated and fragmented patterns bear witness to the transient nature of all things. Coarse, artisan-look woven carpets, hand-woven kilim rugs, and fur and fur-patchwork rugs lend rooms a rustic, old-world charm.
Urban Classic is a celebration of a timeless elegance with homely, sensual overtones. This trend is reflected in exquisite carpets featuring a wide range of stripe and staggered-stripe patterns with a strong emphasis on black-and-white combinations. Then there are a number of classic fashion textile patterns, like Vichy, herringbone and checks, that look stylishly at home on the floor. Urban Classic also embraces carpets, laminate and resilient floor coverings adorned with sublime marble and vintage tile patterns as well as traditional ornamental and floral motifs. Classic blacks, whites, muted grays and gray-blues are combined to stunning effect with vibrant colors like red and neon yellow. Refined dark-brown walnut tones make for the ultimate in elegant parquet and solid wood flooring. Here, traditional laying patterns like herringbone are making a comeback and lend any room a touch of classic elegance.
People want a little color and joy in their lives - and they're fetching it into their homes in the form of chic fashion for their floors. Whether as monotones or in fashion-friendly vibrant combinations, bold colors like pink, sulfur-yellow, cobalt-blue, grass-green, turquoise, petrol and rust-red will transform carpets and floor coverings into the eye-catching centerpiece of any room. Kaleidoscope effects, vibrant color gradations, photo prints and ethnic ornamental motifs - Fashionable Rainbow plays with colors and patterns to create exciting new designs for rugs, carpets, laminated flooring and resilient floor coverings. Unconventional patterns, such as stains and paint splatters, and colorful rag-rugs evince a courageously imperfect aesthetic. This season there is also a big range of smaller rugs to play with. Multiple rugs of the same kind can be used as carpet tiles, while the more creatively minded can combine different designs and colors to compose their own magically individual and easily reconfigurable floor décor. Patchwork rugs are also "in". They include patchwork overdyed Oriental rugs, but with new color combinations and patch segmentation. Some even have partially printed areas and high-pile sections that create a playfully shaggy, frayed look. The rainbow theme also works for parquet floors and laminate flooring with wood-effect finishes, extending the color palette beyond natural wood colors and into more lively shades.