• Thomas Lester

Color in Moderation

It was singularly impressive. It being the virtually universal welcoming by the retailing community of the color explosion in home textiles during the market in New York last month.

And that welcome extended, albeit in a slightly different way, to the home textiles products shown the following week in High Point, N.C.

Looking over HTT's semi-annual poll of retailers regarding what they thought was hot, exciting and directional at Market in New York, the return of color was a universal pick. And our list ranged from the very mass to the class.

And the color story ranged from bold, eye-popping tones to more subtle shadings. But all were definitely a far cry from the recent seasons' domination of taupe to brown to teastain mixed with heavy fabric constructions.

In High Point, during the International Home Furnishings Market, the home textiles segment was a tad more sophisticated. Fewer bolds and brights. More saturated shades, especially in the berry and purple family, were the favorites at this market — as well as a new soft, rich blue, first seen at Decosit. But still it was the emphasis on color, color and more color that was evident.

What will be critical is how the retailing community translates the fresh, lively color story to consumers. Conversations during market in New York indicated that there were some tendencies — as is typical in this business — to excess. Too much, too pervasive and, as a result, too soon gone.

Not every room can handle strong doses of color. Nor should every bed, window, bathroom or kitchen be subjected to color overload.

If the mainstream players in the home textiles world can temper the urge to overkill, it may be more years than fewer before we're back to the boring world of taupe and beige.

It could happen!

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