Color My World

Designers Sound Off on Spring Trends

Jill Rowen, September 14, 2008

Bright, bold, energetic and happy are the optimistic buzzwords that describe the home textile fashions scene for spring 2009. Orange is the new go-to color, and design mavens are loving it. After many seasons of subdued neutrals (don't worry, they are not totally going away), a more intense fashion color story is taking shape.

Here, a number of top designers and style makers in every category of the industry talk to Home Textiles Today about what's new for spring.

"There is lots of color and pattern and obviously a lot of interest in prints, which is a nice balance against the sleeker 'hotel' looks. Yellow has risen as a fantastic color in various forms, as well as the 'berry' colors. There is also a lot of pattern and layering which we've seen in the apparel market and also in home. It's part of a retro/bohemian trend that is very refreshing.

"Graphics and large patterns are part of that retro trend and are definitely coming through."

Diane Piemonte, vp creative services, Revman International

"Color is very important for spring, and we see colors from ready-to-wear appearing in home fashion at a much faster rate. Bright colors, plums and purples, and blue greens are important. Orange is also a big color. While you wouldn't necessarily paint an entire bathroom that color, orange towels, for instance, add a great amount of accent color.

"We're also expanding our Sea, Sand and Sky program with new shell motifs and 'beachy' looks, which has been a great success.

"Accoutrements by Anna Griffin for Lenox is a brand new line from the artist. This collection has very sophisticated floral designs. What's really great is that it's a mix-and-match program. Every component in her line is different, so customers can really customize the look for themselves."

Linda Kulla, vp, Lenox Bath Division, Bardwil Industries

"Color continues to move forward with its newly acquired sense of 'Modernity' and 'Sensuality.' However, looking thru '09 into '10 we see the early effects of 'Spirituality' and 'Science.' These age-old foes are now inspired partners, creating a very intriguing result.

"The grey scale of last year has now been influenced by soft hues of lingerie and the world of cosmetics. In fact, all trends, even beyond color, are skewing very feminine on a massive global scale. At first glance, the color result is surreal. This is mainly due to the influence of grey, silver and white on hues.

"As we move into forward, we'll see the influx of directional hues and tones brought on by the undeniable influence of science and technology. The color direction will be twisted, unpredictable and very arresting. We'll describe these color moments using a brand new lexicon inspired by their technological beginnings."

Edward Cardimona, chief global creative director, Springs Global

"People are looking for simplicity and prints are becoming cleaner for a much more modern look. The look is bigger, bolder with more color — it's happier looking.

"Even popular damask and floral prints are being simplified and updated. We're seeing lots of geometrics, and of course, stripes and plaids are always popular."

Eve Harley, creative director, Sleepwell

"We've got a mix of luxury rugs and well-priced brightly colored rugs for spring. We've been in neutrals for so long — and they still do well — but the customer is looking for a brighter story. Yellows and greens along with aquas and blues are important, and purples are coming on strong. We've also done some constructions with Lurex to give a high-end metallic look.

"Our patterns with shells and leaves continue to do well. We're even offering a more casual damask look that incorporates a design of leaves."

Donna Sandy, design director for imported bath, Mohawk Industries

"The season is organized in a revisiting of classic themes with a modern twist, using the program 'Mad Men' as a pinnacle of culture and style that has us all riveted.

"Colors are vibrant and energetic. There is a revival of prints such as tartan, madras, awning stripes and color blocking.

"In prints, there is also a re-emergence of the 'hand of the artist' with large strokes of color and very painterly looks. We're launching an ombre pattern in the Night Sky grouping from the Donna Karan collection, so that look continues.

"And the look of all things natural — leaf and nature prints and animal skin prints and patterns are also important."

Joan Karron, executive vp, CHF Industries

"What we're showing as a collection is a strong theme based on bold colors mixed with white. Not antiqued white, but a clear white. [With] the bright, deep colors again the white is very crisp and very graphic. It looks really fresh.

"I also see that everyone is becoming more comfortable with colors like orange and yellow. It looks so fresh and new and is very exciting."

Albert Sardelli, senior vp of design, WestPoint Home

"Spring promises to be filled with color. Natural/Green products and colors will continue to gain importance, but a rally of color-full and richly adorned products will make an appearance for spring.

"Plum and amethyst shades of the color show will be present in a multitude of values making it the perfect partner for the pewter and platinum products that will be everywhere. Reds going to corals will be beautiful in a wonderful evolution of the red story that kept up a strong presence for many seasons, sometimes going pink and times going orange.

"Traditional looks will be updated with newer details such as puckering and pleating. With the need for a 'green' shade for every market, greens will continue to be present but in a wider array than ever...bottle greens, kiwi and lively limes will be seen at every level of the market.

"Last but not at all least, America's favorite color 'blue' will continue to be very important for a good long while: cool blue/greens and icy shades of true-blue continue — too soothing to abandon quite yet — along with a rich, greener blue version at the opulent end of the market."

Elizabeth Miller, senior vp of design, Karastan Rugs

"We've been in solids for so long, and this season we're really seeing a shift to more color and pattern from colored stripes to full-out jacquard designs. The color story includes very saturated colors on the upper end of the market. In the mid-market, a broad range of colors are covering the marketplace.

"The red family — red, orange, rust, copper, terracotta — is an important influence. And, green — an important core color — is a cool counterbalance to the reds."

Blair Tate, design director for bath and rugs, Welspun USA

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