I’ve known Carmen Herndon for seventeen years. She’s a buyer with Ballard Designs in Atlanta. We’ve had a mutual respect for each other’s “eye for style” since the day we met.
The Ballard August/September Catalog drops end of July. I just saw her at Atlanta Market, and we talked about her thoughts for what to expect this fall as well as trends into 2017.
What drives trends?
A lot of what I do is research trends. We are always looking out a year. We just finished plans for summer 2017.
The colors and motifs of fabric are what primarily drives our trends. Of course, fashion drives fabric. I just got back from one of the fabric markets. Buyers will see the influence of those fabrics at fall furniture markets. The consumers will see those fabric influences in 2017 products.
Talk about color. What do you see?
Gray remains big. Brown is coming back. I see it in pops, especially taupe.
Blues have changed from the spa mineral colors to a dusty, darker blue that’s tracking with Pantone’s 2017 fashion colors.
What do you see regarding rug purchase trends with your buyers?
Rugs are not so tied to trends. Rugs are such an anchor element in rooms. People don’t tend to change rugs very often. Think of all the trouble it would be to roll up and store a rug seasonally. It’s not realistic. I’ve had the same rug in some rooms for ten years because I love the colors.
Many people start with a rug they love and then build a room around it, playing off the color palette on the rug. You can change the slip cover and pillows for a sofa, such as velvet in winter and linen in summer, but keep the rug.
The Capel Rugs that I love most are the drop-dead gorgeous hand knotted designs.
Ballard Designs has had a special relationship with Capel for years to offer the St. Tropez, an indoor-outdoor, timeless rug with a sisal-like base and Sunbrella border.
I think our customers love it because this rug looks like sisal but is so soft a baby could crawl on it. It’s pet and kid friendly, so easy to clean. Creative Concepts is a similar collection available direct from Capel Rugs.
Ballard Designs is a good example of a company that has experimented with us here at Capel Rugs as a partner to serve their customers.
We’ve even got a modern version of a braided rug online with Ballard Designs that Carmen says her customers are responding to because the color palette works well with many of the fabrics Ballard offers.
It’s great to get perspective from someone like Carmen. Ballard Designs caters to a discerning yet price conscience clientele. My goal for Capel Rugs is to design and produce rugs that appeal to a wide range of tastes and price points.