Magic carpets

It's time to start thinking about staying warm underfoot. This year's trends are bold colours and patterns with a twist, says Trish Lorenz

Colder nights are on the way and one of the simplest ways to make your home cosy is by updating your flooring. Wood and other hard floors are elegant and stylish but they can lack warmth. At this time of year, carpets, rugs and hides are where its at. According to the global flooring trade show Domotex, there are three key themes for in 2012: bold colours; patterns with a twist; and eco-friendly materials.

Bold colours are becoming more prevalent as flooring becomes more about making a design statement. Keep an eye out for rugs and carpets in on-trend shades of yellow, cobalt blue, leaf green, turquoise and petrol.

Timeless patterns such as tartan, oriental designs and florals are making a comeback too, but are being reinterpreted with patterns obscured or overscale and colours either muted or very bright. Eco considerations means natural materials such as undyed Tibetan wool, silk, sisal, hemp and other plant fibres such as bamboo and even yarns from cacti and eucalyptus bark, becoming popular.

"People are more interested in investing in quality products that will last. Natural materials are eco-friendly but they're also durable and I think that's why natural rugs and carpets are best-sellers,' says Mike Constable, managing director of JAB Anstoetz UK (jab-uk.co.uk).

Animal hides, too, are right on trend. Seek out ethical versions if possible. Toast (toast.co.uk), for example, uses only skins that are a byproduct of the food industry.

And spend a few minutes in preparation. "Measure your room and always bring colour samples with you," says Esti Barnes, founder of Topfloor (topfloorrugs.com).

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