Good to Know The Next Big Thing Timeless Traditions

Shag Rugs Weren't Just for the Groovy Era

Who knew this 1970s trend would go on to become timeless home decor?


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Rya, berber, flokati, tulu—whatever style you prefer, shag rugs were all the rage in the carefree days of The Brady Bunch. Known for their exuberant colors, graphic patterns, and plush touch, these textured floor coverings were a given in many homes throughout the 1960s and 1970s. But the trend didn't start there; our earliest sighting of these rad rugs dates back to the December 1946 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, advertising luxurious, long-pile cotton in a dozen pastel shades, including your classic off-white and less-traditional turquoise. In the 1950s, hooked yarn rugs took over the scene and became a popular pastime for crafters. It was during this time that floral and geometric patterns emerged, turning floors into dramatic works of art with charming flowers and mod polka dots.


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A decade later, at the height of its popularity, shag carpet was longer and fuzzier than ever, spanning wall to wall, reaching every corner. The 1960s were full of "sun-drenched golds, reds, browns, and greens" balanced with midnight hues, such as greenish-brown and bluish-black, to "make subtle colors look bright and bright colors absolutely radiant."


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Shaggy flokati rugs were introduced in the '70s, used more as a decorative element under coffee tables and chairs than as a functional floor covering. The essence of cozy glamour, these ruffled wool rugs added a bit of luxury and warmth wherever they were placed.


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Scaled-down shag made an appearance throughout the 1980s and 1990s as well, though on opposite spectrums of interior design. Graphic patterns made of synthetic and cotton mixtures ruled the '80s.


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Then, the '90s took a turn toward neutral-color, natural materials to introduce texture without overwhelming a space.


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The minimalist approach continued from the early 2000s to today in the form of plush area rugs in living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. Faux-fur flokati and high-pile Moroccan shag looks have endured, making their way into the hearts and homes of modern design, though with a muted color palette. Today, funky shag rugs, such as the ever-popular Beni Ourain rug with a fluffy tribal print, are paired with contemporary home decor, balancing sleek furnishings with warm fabric underfoot for a feel "so fabulous … you'll find yourself lounging on the floor for reading or watching TV." Flashy patterns inspired by ethnic berber or tulu style haven't completely been forgotten in the groovy era, however; they still act as the perfect accessory to dress up bare floors—or even walls when hung like modern art.