Renowned Rug Designer Omar Khan Reveals His 5 Design Trends For 2021
From patterns to passe-partouts, Omar Khan gets real about what we all should be adding to our homes this year
An Omar Khan rug commands whichever space it inhabits, largely because the rug designer’s aesthetic is unfailingly enchanting and unique. This would be the result of a charmed upbringing surrounded by diverse aesthetics.
“I grew up in a cultural melting pot, full of ornate shawls, textiles, wood carvings and east meets west sensibilities of which particular honed for myself an aesthetic of excess. That was my world. It’s still where I swim freely and where I can express my training in its purest form,” he says.
However Khan’s equally eclectic career path of visual merchandiser, interior designer and rug designer has tempered his innate aesthetical nous—as have the events of the past year. “As I was finding that voice, home trends suddenly shifted to more modern, less is more; the celebration of the ornate was something that didn’t really have a place for that anymore,” he notes.
“We had homes, but if we were really honest with ourselves, how much of that expression was to keep up with the Joneses—that constant pressure of entertaining and being politicly correct. It was the mask that we wanted people to see. We were too busy projecting what a perfect life looked like.”
He continues: “With events over the past two years, what a blessing to be able to turn the lens inwards for once and shine light on ourselves and all our dark places so we can bring back to the forefront, and champion anything that that truly celebrates authenticity and self-expression. So when I think about upcoming trends for 2021, I look at them with through the prism of authenticity, healing curiosity and nurturing. Anything that recharges your personal well is a trend I can certainly subscribe to.”
Plants are perfect in the bathroom (Photo: Pexel)
Create your own green house at home (Photo: Pexel)
Hanging, in pots or on shelves - green is the new black (Photo: Pexel)
“It’s time for that lush green aerie, no matter the scale,” says Khan.
Be it in a large statement or just fitting it in where you can or even to complement the space while still bringing in life to the home, Khan advocates populating your home with as many plants and flowers as you can muster.
Express yourself in your own art corner (Photo: Unsplash)
A hammock is a good place to meditate (Photo: Pexel)
A tea alcove for moments of zen (Photo: Pexel)
Room to Grow
To take a leaf out of Virginia Woolf’s advocacy of A Room of One’s Own, Khan believes 2021 is the year to “embrace the inner, and find ways to explore and discover by creating sacred spaces in your home.”
Whether it’s a breakout space or yoga chamber, a meditation nook or a creative corner, the designer believes that it is essential to carve out a dedicated space in the home to nurture the soul.
Art adds character to a space (Photo: Pexel)
Artwork can be whatever you want it to be - even typography (Photo: Pexel)
Hero art in any room - kitchens too (Photo: Pexel)
Home is Where the Art is
A talented illustrator himself, Khan’s home features several pieces of his own artwork dating back from his time at Parsons School of Design. However there are also random pages from books about botany and exquisite antique postcards framed and displayed.
"Scribble, draw, collect, frame whatever. Art is what you make it,” Khan enthuses. “Whether you collect or have just taken up doodling. The finesse comes in the presentation, frame it then put it in a place of importance. If the art in question is small, dress it up with oversized passe-partouts and an unusual frame.”
Source antique drawer handles online (Photo: Unsplash)
An eclectic mix of handles create interest (Photo: Unsplash)
Getting a Handle on Things
As with his intricately designed and made rugs, it’s the design details that make all the difference and Khan says that he’s been particularly drawn to the hardware found on drawers, cabinets and doors.
“I've recently been finding that the more unusual the hardware the better. It’s never easy to find, and takes a little bit of hunting over the internet, but once in the space, there is such a finesse and the space is suddenly imbued with character based on what your edit is.”
Mix prints with wit and confidence (Photo: Pexel)
Maximum patterns, maximum impact (Photo: Pexel)
A self-confessed maximalist, Khan thinks this year we should all “take print where you can get it.”
A firm believer that we should not fear prints but embrace them in whatever form that brings us joy, he reckons that we should not be confined by traditional applications: “Even if it’s in a terribly small space, an unexpected use of pattern whether it’s in the guest bathroom tiles, hanging on the ceiling, ornate bedsheets is an injection of character and energy—nothing is off limits.”