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From Home Furnishing Business

Carpe(t) Diem

By Sheila Long O'Mara

Area rugs can give bare floors a quick and easy makeover, and they can also be a great anchor for a well-designed living space.

In today’s home furnishings world, a great selection of rugs give retail sales associates a better opportunity for add-on sales. According to the most recent Home Furnishings Business survey of consumers, that’s just how people shop for area rugs—first, they buy new furniture; then, they buy the rug.

Nearly 75 percent of consumers said they chose their furniture first. Each of the consumers had bought a rug within the last 18 months. Another 17 percent said they reversed the purchases and bought the rug first. The other 8 percent bought furniture and the rug at the same time.

Perhaps the most concerning part of the survey for furniture stores is that consumers are bypassing the traditional furniture retailers when buying rugs and turning their attention and money to mass merchants like Walmart and Target.

Thirty-four percent of those surveyed made their most recent rug purchase at a mass merchant. Another 23.3 percent opted to buy from the nearby home improvement center—Lowe’s or Home Depot, for example. Even the Internet wooed a higher percentage of rug buyers at 13.8 percent compared to traditional furniture stores where only 11.3 percent of surveyed consumers recently bought their new rug.

When asked where they shopped for their rugs prior to purchasing, 16 percent said they’d looked for rugs at a traditional furniture store. The mass merchants garnered 29.7 percent of consumers shopping for their purchase, and the home improvement stores were cited by 20.5 percent of rug consumers.

Price sensitivity could have driven many consumers into non-traditional furniture channels for their purchase.

More than 42 percent said they spent between $100 and $399 for their most recent rug purchase. Another 35.2 percent reported they spent less than $100 for their rug. Another 12 percent spent between $400 and $799.

Consumers in the survey seemed clustered around a few trends. Neutral colors—beige, white, black, for example—were bought nearly six times as more frequently than other colors with 66 percent opting for neutral hues. On-trend blues, one of the more popular colors in home furnishings, came in a distant second at 11.3 percent, and greens followed at 10.7 percent.

A myriad of designs and patterns exist in rugs, but the largest segment of our consumer group, 29.6 percent, opted for solid rugs. Geometric designs followed at a distant second with 18.9 percent buying those patterns. Floral designs at 15.1 percent and traditional prints at 12.6 percent followed in third and fourth places.


Want More?

A more in-depth report on the rug category is available for purchase by e-mailing Laura McHan at

Percentage of 2015 industry sales attributed to rugs

$5.29 Billion
2015 rug sales

2015 sales growth for rugs

What Suppliers Say


Kas Rugs’ Harbor
Hand hooked in China of polypropylene, Harbor works indoors or out. Suggested retail is $250 for a 5 x 8.


Surya’s Banshee
This hand-tufted rug is crafted of wool and viscose features shimmer. The abstract painterly motif in a soothing palette of neutrals and trending blues makes the rug very versatile and well suited for a variety of spaces. Suggested retail is $877 for a 5 x 8.


Jaipur’s Murray by kate spade new york
Retailers appreciate the ombré effect and the unique look of the hand-knotted rug. The rug is made of wool and eco-friendly bamboo.


Barrister by Capel Rugs
The menswear deign of the rug give it the chops to hold the focal point of a room. Its versatility allows it to fade into the background when paired with patterned décor.


Feizy's Brixton
Shown in Atlantic, the rug is inspired by the paintings of Tobias Tovera, making it an instant fan favorite. Power-loomed durability and a timeless design make this rug perfect for any room.  Suggested retail is $422 for 5 x 8.


Loloi’s Fable Collection
The collection, designed by Justina Blakeney, offers chunky texture and vivid colors. The rug has generated interest as not only a floor covering, but also as a wall hanging and other unique uses. Suggested retail on a 5 x8 is $1,019.


nuLoom’s Felicity
Crafted of polyester, the blended soft corals and blues pop in the intricate design. Suggested retail is $179 for a 5 x 8.


Company C’s Passionflower
An all-over drawing of a bursting bloom makes a bold statement in wool. A classic drawing in updated colors. Suggested retail for 5 x 8 is $680.


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