May 5, 2012,
Jennifer Marks Editor-In-Chief
Combing through home introductions from key shows, here are a few stand-out product directions.
Surface texture is important in every product category. We're seeing more ruffles, more roushing, pintucking and gathering. Cuffs on sheets and cases are getting wider, in some instances dramatically so. And as part of the whole naturals story, bedding components were showing more raw, unfinished-looking edges, especially when constructed of pure linen.
The influence of nature, natural forms and natural motifs was all over the place at the spring shows. If it grows, flies, swims or scuttles along the bottom of the sea - someone has appropriated it for design.
A lot of textures are mimicking forms from nature. Honeycombs, waves, kudzu, bark, animal hides, skins.
Austere elements such as branches were being used to create abstract, contemporary motifs. While botanticals still make a good showing, leaves were everywhere - trailing on vines across the face of duvet covers, down window panels and cavorting across table runners.
There's always more than one color story happening, but throughout the winter/spring this year there was a definite movement toward bright, vivid color. The oranges are getting a little hotter. The yellows are getting more sun-kissed. The reds are growing more intense. And purple ruled the day.
On a parallel track to design that pulls from nature, there's also a growing movement toward white as an expression of purity. At High Point, white was an important part of an emerging trend our sister publication Home Accents Today calls "Marrakesh Modern."
The craft or artisnal movement continues to be important - shearlings, unfinished edges, block printing, traditional and tribal patterns and textiles that convey a handmade feeling.
There is more, of course, check out The Trend Tracker blog on our home page for design notes from Maison and High Point. The Research Says blog at sister pub Furniture Today has a free, downloadable report on "The 10 Market Factors" influencing High Point that includes design trends across a range of home categories, among them the aforementioned "Marrakesh Modern."