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Cecile Corral

For market, a shower of flowers

NEW YORK-It's springtime and area, accent and scatter rugs are in full bloom.

Whether depicted as crawling along vine trellises, arranged in lush bunches or freshly plucked individually from a garden, flowers-a common motif in rugs as old as the industry itself-are making a comeback.

Only this time, the range of floral designs is broader than ever before-from traditional looks inspired by ancient Asian Botanical designs to brighter-colored petals blended with other nature motifs to more rigid, modern geometric styles.

"Florals have been around a long time, so we want to bring about more geometrical shapes to make the rugs more interesting," said Michael Harounian, partner of Ebison's Harounian Imports in New York, referring to his company's new handmade Tabriz collection inspired by the century-old Iranian design. "We purposely picked the name Tabriz to give an antique connotation, yet we incorporated geometric shapes for a new look. Angular motifs not as readily found as curvilinear, which are used to make the floral motifs. It's something different."

Machine-made rug manufacturer Burlington House Floor Accents, based in Greensboro, NC, has "for a long time now" incorporated floral themes into geometric shapes, particularly squares and blocks, to achieve "an organized design," said Jeff Norden, business manager for the floor mat division.

"We find that images formatted in grids sell extremely well over the counter at retail. I think the customer has affection for the order and geometry of the blocks. The flowers soften the look but the geometric shapes organized it."

Further enhancing the floral theme, BHFA has created its new species of flower, dubbed "Posies." The new flower "grants us unlimited flexibility on color and design," Norden said. For April market, BHFA will introduce its new Studio Design collection, a hand-carved KromaJet-printed area rug. The introduction includes more than 30 different patterns-many featuring "posies" in grids, set on 100 percent heat-set cut pile nylon.

Also dabbling with more contemporary looks is New York-based Park B. Smith Ltd., which will introduce a collection featuring new constructions of reversible patterns-Carved Chenille and Heather Weave-each of which encompasses four colorways in more than 10 patterns featuring simple flowers and foliage themes.

Bright flowers depicted in their natural surroundings and accompanied by birds and butterflies are also popular this season. The Rug Market, in Los Angeles, will introduce its new Nantucket hand-hooked rug that comes in a black background with shades of white, green and blue incorporates in its design brightly colored flowers along with strawberries, doves and partridges. And Atlanta-based Homefires is using a wreath-shaped rug to portray two seasonal looks-a Christmas wreath dressed with cardinals and summer wreathe with flowers and butterflies.

And yet, the classics persist.

Importer Momeni, based in New York, is going the traditional route this year with its new hand-tufted Victoria collection, which features free-flowing orchids in soft, neutral hues. The rugs are inspired by the Oriental Arts, said partner Reza Momeni.

Other manufacturers featuring traditional floral designs include:

  • Maples, based in New York, with new printed accent rugs that are jet dyed and made of nylon;

  • Anderson, SC-based Orian Rugs, which is introducing its new Interlude collection of "thicker than typical" heat-set rugs, said David Starr, national sales manager; and LaGrange, GA-based Scotia Design Group's new jacquard woven line, which includes designs of floral trellises.

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