This once-shunned flooring is making a comeback. Today's carpeting is all about enhancing how we live and work at home.

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Warm and soft underfoot, the appeal of carpet is undeniable. However, the plush covering lost popularity to hardwoods, luxury vinyls, and other innovative floor coverings in the past couple of decades. But as comfort remains paramount amid a global pandemic, carpet is making a subtle comeback in key areas of the home. Providing a complement to existing flooring, carpet in updated styles and installations adds definition, durability, and comfort to living spaces. Here are the can't-miss carpet trends to watch for in the coming year.

carpet stair runner
Credit: Courtesy of The Carpet Workroom

1. Stunning Stair Runners

With options as varied as sophisticated tweeds, playful polka dots, saturated hues, and natural fibers, stair runners have won the hearts of homeowners, including more than 56,000 tags on Instagram. And it's not just because staircases are prime spots to add a little personality. "Aside from an exciting design aesthetic, stair and hall runners add an extra layer of safety on those slippery hardwoods," says Matt Lovetere, co-founder and CEO of The Carpet Workroom. "While people are spending more time at home than ever before, safety and practicality have become integral parts of a designer's approach."

2. Cozy Living Spaces

Carpet is definitely back in lounge areas, according to Heather Goerzen, design editor at Havenly. This includes family rooms, bedrooms, and any space where coziness and comfort is the primary goal. "Think playtime and Netflix nights," says Goerzen. "In these spaces, a cushioned touch underfoot feels not only warranted but welcomed."

In particular, Goerzen is seeing low-pile carpets with subtle textures. This contemporary style is soft without going shag, and the low profile is perfect for layering with an area rug that adds color and pattern to complement the space.

Credit: Courtesy of FLOR

3. Open-Concept Dividers

Carpet tiles are popular for fast and bold visual updates, and now their transformative nature is being applied to open-concept homes. "Carpet tile is a great option for delineating different areas within larger spaces," says James Pope, general manager of FLOR. "One of the first uses that come to mind is using carpet tiles to create zones designating a work or school area within an open floor plan." Carpet tiles have the flexibility to both visually designate a workspace and ensure it meets the room's needed function, such as providing just enough flooring for a desk chair to roll adequately.

4. Pet-Friendly Flooring

Pandemic puppies and COVID-19 kitties have a lot of pet owners looking for little ways to make their lives easier. "We are seeing a noticeable increase in interest and demand for home and decor products that can withstand the wear and tear of our pets," says Charlotte Gooding, division merchandise manager of soft flooring at The Home Depot.

Pets and carpet might seem like an unexpected pairing, but today's flooring materials are built to withstand messes. For example, The Home Depot has a line of carpets with pet-proof technology that is stain-resistant and durable while still providing the softness you expect. Homes without pets have also seen increased wear in the past year, and Gooding notes these carpets are great for families with children or simply high-traffic spaces, too.

Credit: Courtesy of The Carpet Workroom

5. Updated Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Lovetere notes another way carpet is finding a new fit in open-concept spaces. "Broadloom carpet has finally caught on by manufacturing oversized materials," he says. "These 15-foot and 16-foot widths allow us to make near room-sized rugs as an alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting." This design is called "cut-to-fit" because the carpet follows the contours of the space—curves and all—and stops before reaching the wall to reveal the flooring around the perimeter of the room. This installation lets both hard and soft flooring materials shine.

Credit: Courtesy of FLOR

6. Inviting Neutral Colors

When it comes to carpet color, light and bright neutrals remain popular. The softness of carpet provides a visual and tactile complement to the warm and inviting colors that continue to take hold in paint and home accents. Touches of metallics are being used to enhance the look, too.

Comments (1)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 6, 2021
Duh…. I have had area carpets on original wood floors on my 1930 home for over 30 years!