70s shag carpet: Get cozy with this deep & plush vintage decor trend

Vintage shag carpets from the 70s

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Imagine stepping back into a living room decked out with the quintessential 70s shag carpet — that plush, groovy explosion of color underfoot. Once the very pinnacle of home decor, these thick, soft carpets were a style statement that defined an era of bold tastes and comfort-focused interior design.

Plush shag carpet (1969) at ClickAmericana com

With its deep pile and vibrant colors, wasn’t just popular because it was fashionable. Its appeal lay in its unique ability to transform any room into a cozy haven, muffling sounds and cushioning footsteps.

Homeowners in the 1970s loved the warmth and texture that shag carpeting added to their spaces, often opting for colors that today seem daring — think oranges, greens, and mustard yellows — and even bold pinks and purples.

Pink plush shag carpeting (1972) at ClickAmericana com

Despite its popularity, maintaining a vintage shag carpet was no small feat. The thick fibers trapped dirt and crumbs, making cleaning a challenge. Yet, the appeal of shag carpeting persisted in spite of that, with many embracing the trend as a badge of stylish living and comfort.

Scroll on for a peek below into the world of 70s home decor with our specially curated collection of vintage shag carpet decor articles and ads!

Bounce shag carpet. When you step on it, it won’t lay down and die. (1969)

Some shags have a very short life expectancy. You see, that thick pile of theirs makes them extremely vulnerable. And after a while, the crush of feet and couches and piano legs and coffee tables finally does them in.

But that’s why we made Bounce. To bounce back. This carpet is made with Du Pont 100% continuous filament nylon. Now nylon has long been famous for its toughness and resiliency. But this nylon is especially tough.

Even Junior’s lead foot won’t get it down. What’s more, it’s easy to clean, it’s moth-proof, it’s non-allergenic, and it won’t mildew. Bounce comes in your choice of 21 different colors and patterns. So if you want a shag that won’t lay down and die, visit a dealer and ask to see Bounce. The carpet that’s almost immortal.

Bounce shag carpet from 1969 at ClickAmericana com

Home decorating report from 1970: Shag carpet growing in popularity

By Josephine Novak, The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) June 23, 1970

Chicago — The carpet story at the Summer 1970 Home Furnishings Market was shag, shag, shag in a multitude of forms, but with bouncier colors and more interesting textures and originality in designs than ever before.

Among the new offerings were long and lush shags, shorties, printed shags, shag squares, two-height shags, some with tri-color or four-color looks, and even one in a 4-inch pile with the texture of corded wire.

There were many dramatic variations. As for new introductions in general, the word was that the floor covering industry showed more innovative products at this market than at any other midyear showing in history.

Sky blue vintage shag carpet from 1970

Novelties noted

These included printed carpets designed for kitchens and baths, and a carpet designed to run up walls and cover the ceilings. Nylon continues to be the manufacturer’s favorite fiber, with acrylics following closely.

The new colors are dazzling. Carpet stylist Milo Winter has a word for them. He says they have “good vibrations.” Mr. Winter was responsible for coloring an accent rug’ called “I Am Curious, Dorian,” an addition to the Lees signature collection. The hues in this rug are brilliant tones of orange, hot pink, lime, lemon and purple.

“We are seeing fresh, exciting and stimulating colors in new carpets today,” the stylist said. “And this is true to a greater extent than at any time I can remember.

Vintage shag carpet with orange yelloe green and brown

Brighter color

“Solid colors are brighter and lighter, but the colors that really sing are the combinations of hues you find in the new shags.”

Nylon plushes abounded at the market in fashion colors such as olive, avocado, antique gold, tangerine, royal blue, ivory, pink, ebony, sunflower and scarlet.

Aware that the high cost of professional carpet installation makes do-it-yourself popular with the consumer, manufacturers brought out a rash of new shag carpet tiles.

One company introduced a complete line of do-it-yourself carpet and rug items, including 12-inch square shag tiles, 8-foot by 10-foot shag carpet with built-in cushion pad, and 8-foot by 10-foot kitchen carpet with an installation kit in the package.

Bigelow luscious shag for Librans - 1970

Name gamut

The shag rug, in vivid colors, is called Somethin’ Shaggy and the nylon tiles, Sha-gees. Other firms are calling their new nylon shag tiles of various types Shageze, Shagettes, Shag Pack, Modushag and Shag Floor 12.

Some are 18-inch squares, others 12 — with self-adhesive backing in a choice of colors. They sell for under $1 a square foot.

Pink retro shag carpet from 1970

Introducing the romantic shag rug. Sears calls it Kismet.

Now Sears teaches the bold shag rug the art of romance. A secret blend of four tones creates a haunting new color you’ve never seen before.

There’s Kismet in moss. Glints of olive, gold, green and brown. Or Kismet in a rich rouge of gold tones. Discover your Kismet in any of ten never-before colors.

You can order Kismet in any size, any shape. Oval, round, rectangular, or to the exact dimensions of your own room. And every rug bordered with lush hand-knotted fringe.

With all its beauty, Kismet is amazingly practical, because Sears, Roebuck and Co. has it made of one hundred percent nylon pile. Deep, thick and furiously resistant to soil and stains.

Come in or call us for shop-at-home service. But let us warn you: one look of what this fascinating beauty does for your room, and you will never settle for a plain old rug again. Because this is more than a rug. It’s Kismet.

Vintage Sears Kismet shag carpeting 1970

50 mid-century modern carpet styles from the '50s & '60s: Vintage wall-to-wall flooring in all its glory

14 colors of vintage 70s Sun King shag carpets by Lees

Color-splashed and interestingly textured, Sun King gives you the look you want today. Sophisticated yet practical. Lees makes Sun King of tough, stain-resistant 100% nylon pile. 

So it can take the kids, pets, parties, spills — and bounce back for more. Like all Lees Body Shags, Sun King’s lush, dense pile firmly resists crushing. Lees heat sets the twist

Vintage 70s shag carpets by Lees at ClickAmericana com (1)

Vintage 70s shag carpets by Lees at ClickAmericana com (2)


This is one time you should put your foot down! (1970)

For a wonderful feeling! The soft feel of World’s Golden Touch. Feet love to get lost in a shag this luxurious.

People love to find out it’s so practical. That’s because World really cares what’s going on underfoot. So we make this wild and wooly texture of Kodel polyester! In the widest range of colors. All as exciting as this Reef Blue!

It’s time you put your foot down in this World! It’ll make your world a lot softer.

Vintage shag carpet from World Carpets 1970

… Ten thrilling steps for womankind!

You have to see …touch and walk on this luxuriously different shag carpet by Patcraft in order to enjoy its beauty and the delight of the deep, deep permanently textured nylon pile.

Beautiful, glowing “soul” colors and textural beauty are locked in to stay through the modern miracles of heat and chemistry.

The long staple yarns make it look clean and stay clean longer. Silky hard finishes lessen annoying fuzzing and pilling, and the built-in resiliency, like a tempered spring, prevents matting.

“DASHING TIMES” — the shag carpet that boasts nylon for strength … modern engineering for long life … and Patcraft for fashion and beauty. Patcraft Mills, Inc., Dalton, Georgia.

One small step: Everything that happened the day man first walked on the moon in 1969

10 shag carpet colors - plus a lunar lander from 1970

Dan River announces carpet

Gorgeous carpet… of DuPont nylon. In every texture, every color, every sensible price. Just as you’d expect.

Dan River shag carpeting from 1970

Some carpets just aren’t made for butterfingers. (1970)

“Butterfinger” is a term of endearment used to describe those among us whose fingers are not, in any meaningful sense, connected to their brain. They drop things. And if anything small enough is dropped on our carpet, forget it. It’s lost.

On the other hand, where a rich, thick carpet might be bad for fumbling fingers, it’s not bad for the feet. A Jorges carpet made of Encron polyester by American Enka, is so thickly piled, rich, soft, warm, and plushy, its scandalous.

Which, by the way, is the name. Scandalous. And to make decorating a pleasure, it comes in a beautiful array of House & Garden colors.

All in all, because a Jorges Scandalous carpet of Encron polyester is probably the plushiest around for the money, it’s a pleasure to have, to look at, and to walk on.

But if you happen to be one of the lovable people whose fingers we referred to earlier, beware. You may be spending an immoderate amount of time on your hand and knees, searching for the escapee of the moment. It’s like looking for a tie tack in a carpet.

Grass green vintage shag bedroom carpet 1970

The Shag of any color. (1970)

The name is Sears Matchmate. The pile is Celanese Fortrer polyester. The price, under $10 a square yard. And the color — any color you want!

You need new carpeting. You have your heart set on a lush, thick shag. But you’re on a budget, and besides, you can’t even find exactly the right color for your room.

Well, now you can have the carpeting you want. Sears Matchmate Shags are here. The largest collection of colors ever offered in one shag carpeting. Fifty decorator colors… dyed deep into a specially dense Celanese Fortrel polyester fiber that wears well, cleans beautifully.

But those fifty colors are just the start. Because, if one of our fifty Matchmate colors still isn’t just what you need, bring in the color you want. And we’ll dye your shade at no extra cost. That’s right — your color or ours — Sears, Roebuck and Co. will charge under $10 a square yard. For the shag of any color!

White wall to wall shag carpeting from 1970

Sears Matchmate Shag carpet in 50 colors - 1972

Shag carpeting from Sears in 50 colors

Check out these 10 fuzzy toilet covers from the '70s to see totally retro bathroom decor

Bigelow creates “Serena” in a new thickness for nylon

You’d swear it was customed-colored shag for half the price.

Bigelow Serena shag carpet from 1972


Out: Blah colors. In: Bold, exciting colors. (1972)

Better still, two or three exciting colors mixed together. Mixed, here, in a carpet Lees calls “Bewitching.”

Lees has taken DuPont’s lush Dacron polyester fiber and made it into a Body Shag. What’s a Body Shag? Not one of those old, long, limp shags. But a thick, healthy, plushy one.

Now, if you’re still a bit scared of those glorious color mixtures, consider this: They’re more practical — show dirt less — than the old, drab, “safe” colors… There are 20 “Bewitching” colors. Plunge in.

Vintage shag carpet - Out Blah colors. In Bold, exciting colors

Out: Grandma’s carpet patterns. In: Never-before carpet designs like this one.

… Because more than tastes have changed since your Grandma’s day. Lifestyles have changed.

Shag carpet Out Grandma's carpet patterns(1972)

Armstrong Utmost: The luscious shag carpet in 20 delicious flavors

Armstrong Utmost shag carpets in 20 flavors from 1972

ALSO SEE: Fab vintage kids’ bedroom makeovers: Ideas & inspiration from the ’70s

Fair & warmer nylon carpet from Berven (1972)

FAIR AND WARMER is carpet richly deserving its name! We could fashion the same premium nylon into carpet for a bit less, but, then, it wouldn’t be FAIR AND WARMER!

Unique styling and quality details would be missing. The provocative combination of plump and slender yarns with twists that stay twisted and bouncy… colors spiced by Varidye… Each represents the extra steps Berven takes to make highly serviceable carpet richly beautiful. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be?

Berven of California shag carpet premium nylon 1972

Next dance carpet from Berven (1972)

Berven shag carpet from 1972

Amtico Vynon shag carpeting (1970)

Vynon shag carpet in smashing colors possible only in this deep, dense polyester. Now you see why only one carpet can touch our vinyl…

Get down with 70 groovy vintage vinyl floors from the '70s & '80s

Green shag family room carpet and vinyl flooring 1970

This is the jungle: Side view of high-pile shag rug

Green jungle shag carpet 1972

Platform bed with a bright yellow thick shag carpet (1976)

Bright sunshine yellow shag carpet for a bedroom 1976

Unique low seating for a dining area, with mottled shag carpet (1970)

Unique low seating area with mottled shag carpet 1970

See vintage kitchen carpet from when it was popular home decor in the '60s & '70s

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Comments on this story

5 Responses

  1. Hello! I live in Fayetteville, N.C. and live in my family old house. When Dad had build the house in 1970 he had a Yellow,red Shag Carpet in the family room as time when by it was still good but we had a Water break and had to pull it up!
    getting down to it he put in new carpet I hate it. He is not here a lot I am still year latter and want to replace it with a Shag carpet just like the one we had befor!
    our family room is 15ft x 14 ft wide and long the mean room.
    Where can I get a shag carpet just I had be for and is there a store nor Fayetteville, N.C.??
    YOUR Mr.Farrell

  2. looking for long shag carpet for office and dining room I sed to have chic shag in other house, I like different lenghts it had and thickness ,what colors do you have?

  3. -What are the health effects of a 1970’s shag rug?
    -How long does a 1970’s yellow thick shag rug last until it needs to be replaced from becoming a health hazard?
    -Is it true that thick 1970’s shag rugs are illegal to use?
    -If so when did they become illegal to use?
    -If there illegal to use after a certain date or period of time, can I report it to the city and force the place to be upgraded or demolished?
    -Can I make a dispute hearing with the tenancy branch to force my landlords to get new carpets?

    1. I don’t know if shag carpeting is any more or less healthy than other types of carpet, but I haven’t seen it around in many years. One of the problems with shag carpet, as I recall, is that it didn’t hold up well. A friend of mine growing up got shag carpet in his house, and within a year it fell apart and needed replacing — and anyone who has replaced carpet knows that’s no small task.

  4. Such a throwback to my childhood! I was born in 1979, our house was built in 1976, and we had shag EVERYWHERE. Dark brown in the living room, yellow in my sister’s bedroom, a sickly green in mine, and dark red in my parents’ bedroom. My grandma’s dining room, meanwhile, had a multicolored shag that is memorable to this day. And no, it did not hold up that well.

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