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Show Recap

Atlanta Area Rug Sales Boosters: On-Trend Line Extensions and Curated Intros

The handful of Atlanta market area rug showrooms that opened their doors for in-person market counted on new designs in popular collections and in-stock market debuts in trending styles to drive orders.

Jessica Harlan
1/26/2021
collage of AmericasMart atrium and rug displays
AmericasMart Atlanta greeted gift and home buyers during its in-person winter 2021 market.
Top right, Nourison's Prismatic, bottom, right, Kalaty best sellers


ATLANTA — At Atlanta’s second market since the COVID-19 pandemic began nearly a year ago, a handful of stalwart rug manufacturers returned to their showrooms to showcase their wares, from never-before-seen introductions to highlights of previous intros making their Atlanta debut.

Among the recurring themes were stronger, bolder color choices, such as black backgrounds, vibrant pinks and purples, or soothing ocean-inspired blues. Design details were also found everywhere, and included interesting fringes, pops of color in an otherwise neutral design, hand-wrapped edges to dress up power-loomed constructions, and the use of varying textures to highlight elements of a pattern. Exhibiting rug vendors continued to focus on popular collections, either growing them with new area rug designs, fresh colors or more size options. For many of these vendors in Atlanta adding to successful collections and making sure the product is in-stock has proven a powerful pivot in an industry that typically focuses on new product roll outs at successive markets. Familiarity with a collection and its construction boosts buyer confidence during uncertain times, especially when they are unable to attend in-person markets.

Looking back over 2020, Nourison's experience echoes what many rug companies found critical to growing business during the on-going pandemic. The company, like many others surveyed during Atlanta market focused on its proven winners at the higher end, such as Prismatic, but also selectively added new collections that pushed the value and design envelope to satisfy trends in the marketplace. “We just feel blessed that we finished with a very strong year," Nourison's Southeast regional manager, Jim McNalley, told RugNews.com. "There was such a pent-up demand for home furnishings, and we are in a well-stocked position for rugs.” Likewise at Trans-Ocean by Liora Manne, business has been booming in mats and outdoor rugs -- signature categories for the New York company whose distinctive styling is by designer Liora Manne. “Traffic has been great,” confirmed Dean Smith, vice president of sales at Trans-Ocean. “We’ve seen people from all over, not just local retailers.”

RugNews.com headed to Atlanta Market to tour open showrooms and take the pulse of area rug players that opened their doors at the winter event.

JAUNTY


Jaunty introduces the hand-woven Edgehill collection in Atlanta.

Transitional and contemporary patterns have been what’s driving Jaunty’s business this year, reported Kami Navid, president. And the company’s highlights in its AmericasMart showroom reflected this direction.

Standford, for instance, features a loop over-tuft in a small-scale grid pattern. The rug is hand-woven of wool and viscose. And Camden, in hand-tufted wool, features geometric patterns accentuated by a high-low effect.

The company’s new collection Edgehill is available in three color ways. It is hand-woven of wool with viscose accents, and the intricate pattern plays out on a ground of wide stripes of gradually deepening color. An existing collection, Zola, is expanded with new color ways. This performance-fiber rug has glimpses of traditional motifs in an erased, distressed pattern. Finally, in Petra, a cut and loop wool construction, Jaunty has added more options to some of its most popular patterns. These include a 9-foot runner and 6- and 9-foot rounds and soothing blue and grey colors in a range of subtle transitional patterns.


Jaunty adds to its Petra collection of cut and loop wool construction rugs.

KALATY RUGS


Taking its cues from classic Kazak patterns, Kalaty's new Canyon collection features a popular blue and gray palette.

Kalaty, after a successful 2020, headed to Atlanta Market to showcase its latest color-driven introductions as well as highlighting its strong sellers. Over the past year, the company's transitional looks, followed by contemporary rug designs have been the most popular among customers and designers, Joseph Kalati, sales director, told RugNews.com.

He expects the hand-knotted Adana collection of updated Oushak designs, which hits an affordable price point and has “powerful colors,” to become one of the New York-based company's 2021 success stories.

What's more, the high-quality power-loomed Kingsley collection, introduced around a year and a half ago, continues to expand with new patterns - and remains popular with buyers.

“In this quality, it’s a great price — $1,880 for an 8x10,” Kalati said. Machine-made of acrylic and Silkette, the rug is woven of 2 million points per square meter for a fine, detailed construction, and has a hand-wrapped edge to give it a more upscale finish.

Designers and retail buyers heading to Kalaty's Atlanta showroom were also able to check out winter debuts, which included Solano, which features abstract geometrics as well as more traditional motifs in an oxidized construction. It’s made of 70 percent wool and 30 percent Silkette. Kensington, another Atlanta debut, is based on reproductions of antique Mahal rugs. “It’s exactly like a 150-year-old rug,” Kalati explained. The rugs feature the same weave in 100 percent wool, and saturated colors. A short fringe also adds to the beauty of these classic rugs.

Finally, the all wool Canyons collection was rolled out, executed in a palette of blues, grey, beige and rust. This range takes its cues from classic Kazak patterns, and is the least expensive of the company’s market introductions.


Kalaty's hand-knotted Adana collection of updated Oushak designs features an attainable price point.

LOLOI


Offering a strong value-price proposition, Theory by Loloi is reworks looks from its popular hand-knotted Elixir collection.

There is always plenty to see in the Loloi showroom and this January’s Atlanta Market is no exception. The company took the opportunity to introduce showroom visitors to highlights from products rolled out in fall 2020, which in many cases, were being seen for the first time by AmericasMart attendees. Among its collections, Loloi is focusing on expanded size offerings, including oversized pieces as well as long runners. The company is also aiming to have in-stock positions on products, reducing the amount of time retailers, designers, and their customers will have to wait to get a product into their homes.

One highlight was Rayan, a 100 percent wool rug hand-woven in a high-low texture. The rugs, rendered in neutral shades of grey, off-white, and beige, are woven with the natural colors of sheep’s wool. Another collection, Verve, features a macro hook construction of wool and viscose pile. With black, grey, and beige backgrounds, the collection features geometric line patterns. “We are trying to work on a contemporary presence at a certain price,” says John Thompson, vice president of sales, Southeast region. To that point, Lily, a jute collection with a full backing for stability, is offered in two sizes of runners. Explained Thompson: “Designers find it hard to find runners in jute.”

Thompson says the Priya collection has generated a lot of excitement among Loloi’s customer base. “This has a $599 retail and you’re getting a hand-knotted, Turkish Oushak feel, but it’s actually a cotton/poly/vinyl/wool construction,” he said. These rugs feature a very low pile and faded, classic designs with the finishing flourish of a short fringe. Another collection that incorporates synthetic fibers in a high-quality construction is Theory. This collection, also at $599, utilizes a polypropylene/polyester yarn in a hand-carved feel. “It’s awesome to get such value and look, with a color palette that is really relevant,” said Thompson. Theory’s designs are based on colorways of grey, ivory, and beige. This collection takes its design cues from one of the company’s popular hand-knot collections, Elixir, bringing it to a more accessible price point. It also has a wide range of size offerings, including runners in both a 10- and 13-foot length.

Thompson describes Helena as “one of the jewels of this market.” Answering the call for a higher-end option in the hand-knotted category, Helena fits into an upper-moderate price range. “Design firms are calling and saying, ‘less viscose, more wool,’” said Thompson.


Loloi's Priya collection has generated a lot of excitement among Loloi’s customer offers a hand-knotted, Turkish Oushak feel.

LR HOME/LR RESOURCES


LR Home, the new moniker of LR Resources, merges its growing assortment of home accessories and furnishings with its area rug selection.

In the company’s new showroom on the 17th floor of Building Two, Mike Thompson, senior vice president of sales - Direct Division/GM of LR Resources said the company was enjoying steady traffic. Indeed, the gift-showroom halls were far busier than the Building One floors where most of the rug showroom are located.

LR Resources own showroom reflected the company’s steady growth in related home furnishings accessories. But while the number of accessories the company offers is significant, Thompson points out, “We didn’t shrink our rug business, we grew everything else.” He says area rugs still account for roughly half of the company’s business.

“We’ve done coordinates with pillows, baskets, and poufs, in indoor/outdoor constructions,” noted Thompson, pointing out a sizable display of the accessories along one wall of the showroom. The products are being marketed under the LR Home name, completely with a new logo.

In other news, the company has created a rack program for retailers who buy a certain number of 22"x34" accent rugs. There are two different sizes of the racks, which are on casters and feature a weathered wooden topper with LR Home’s new logo.

Highlights in the area rug realm include Vintage, a rug collection of cut and uncut hand-tufted wool, available in five designs featuring classic elements like borders and intertwined florals, in faded colors. The size options of this collection include an 8’6” round. The company was also promoting Calypso, a hand-loomed rug made of wool, viscose and cotton, with a painterly, abstract design executed in a color family of grey, blush pink, taupe, teal, and other soft hues.

And finally, the company’s Naturals collection of jute area rugs continues to be an important driver. And new to the collection are additional jute and cotton designs and color ways, plus a new pattern, Sonora, in all jute.


LR Home's recently debuted Vintage collection features a cut and uncut hand-tufted wool construction and muted colors.

NOURISON


Nourison's Prismatic collection, which adds a new design for winter 2021 shoppers in Atlanta, continues to be favorite with buyers.

Nourison took the opportunity to grow momentum for previous product introductions at Atlanta Market, but also brought a couple of new knockouts to its prominent first-floor showroom at AmericasMart.

Odessa is a brand-new collection, featuring a hand-knotted construction and space-dyed wool. Influenced by vintage Oushak rugs, Odessa includes traditional, bordered designs with a small hassled border and plenty of size options. One colorway features subtle, neutral hues with pops of teal, olive, and other bolder colors. With seven options in all, other colorways include charcoal, azure blue, coral, washed-out sage, and ivory. “I always think of Oushaks as having a coarser type of hand-knot,” said Nourison's Jim McNalley. “This gives it a more casual or relaxed feel.”

Nourison also brought to Atlanta another addition to its ever-popular hand-tufted Prismatic line of wool and Luxelle rugs. “Prismatic has been such a huge success for us,” noted McNalley and the collection's latest pattern mimics an abstract painting, with bold hues of purple, black and gold and intricate shading and tonality in a splashy

The growth areas in the past months included an emphasis on organic looks and texture. One example, Nourison’s Colorado collection, features simple patterns and neutral colors but lots of texture. “This collection has really taken off,” he said.

McNalley added that while grey continues to be a strong seller, this timeless neutral is being offset with pops of color.


Nourison brand new hand-knotted Odessa collection is Influenced by vintage Oushak rugs.

TRANS-OCEAN BY LIORA MANNE


The popular Carmel collection of indoor-outdoor rugs by Trans-Ocean adds a fresh playful design by Liora Manna.

In its Temporaries location (Building 2, space 3-224), Trans-Ocean’s showroom was bustling during Atlanta Market last week, with retailers from places as far-flung as Bermuda, Aruba, and Washington State stopping by to shop.

Customers were coming to see expanded offerings in the company’s indoor-outdoor rugs and the doormats for which Trans-Ocean is known.

Among debut outdoor rug offerings were new additions to the Carmel collection, a woven polypropylene series that retails for around $99 in 5x7. Additions to the line included area rugs with a tile motif, a palm foliage pattern, and a rug with graffiti-like writing in an environmental message.

The Portofino collection has new colors for its palm leaf motif, a palette of browns, sand, and grey. There were new designs added to the Fresco line, with traditional patterns in a distressed, antiqued look. Marina also expanded with new patterns, including an abstract, ocean-inspired design in shades of blue and teal.

Smith said Trans-Ocean has been capitalizing on the growing interest over the past year of the indoor/outdoor category. “This category has really exploded,” he said. Consumer’ interest in outfitting their outdoor spaces — a likely effect of the sheltering in place that most of the nation experienced during the pandemic in 2020 — has benefitted Trans-Ocean as so much of its product lines are based on performance fibers, including its popular and growing line of floor mats.


Trans-Ocean by designer Liora Manne adds new traditional patterns in a distressed, antiqued look to its successful Fresco range.
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