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Cotton forecaster predicts bold new world

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, June 28, 2004

Home 2006 will definitely be bolder, brighter, and more lively, even fun.

This is the prediction of Dana Poor, trend forecaster at home for Cotton Inc. Prints and patterns will become even more important, moving the home furnishings marketplace beyond the current vivid solid-color palettes. Bold brights in unique color combinations will dominate both prints and patterns, she maintained in a preview here last week.

Neutrals, she added, will be important but again in unique combinations to brighten up the neutral palettes. Influencing the overall trend directions, she emphasized, "is that consumers are not frightened of color in their homes, and experimental combinations of pattern and color will be key."

Interestingly, Poor picked Overexposed as the key fashion-forward palette. This trend color palette first was developed to help industry members see what was going on in the teen market — brighter, more vivid, vibrant colors in solids and prints. It got so much response, she remarked, that it became universal — for teens and adults — as the fashion-forward statement.

Poor predicted that by 2006, "greens will become dated, while oranges, a range of brights and more saturated blues will come on strong."

Following almost a parallel path, Poor picked Touch of Whimsy as the fashion-forward statement in fabrics among the four trends.

Touch of Whimsy, she said, "reflects an unpretentious and joyful mood with a focus on color and impact. Circular motifs of all sizes, shapes and configurations and conversational prints in bold configurations are key elements in this trend. Flocking and photo-realistic prints also are important."

In color, the five other palette directions include Wine Country, emphasizing saturated colors in lush deep purples, earthy greens and golden yellows with a blued gray as a neutral. Simply Stated features vivid colors that are rich and lively with a soft green that has a sea-foam cast and all colors follow an easy to understand, clear, crisp direction. Spice of Life features Chili Pepper and Sangria — two important spice tones "that won't go away," said Poor. Incense, a bright teal blue and Sweet Vanilla, a pale yellow, are other key colors in this palette.

Laid Back Luxe mixes vibrant colors with neutrals from important wall colors showing "that luxury doesn't have to be boring," Poor remarked. Reflections is a palette of dusty shadings mixed with a bright turquoise and navy.

In fabrics, Swept Away highlights soothing colors and clean lines, with terrycloth, waffle weaves, and sweater knits and important constructions. Rudimentary Elements focuses on handicrafts and one-of-a-kind looks with simple weaves, uneven textures like rattan and basketweaves, chenille upholstery, geometric botanicals and an ikat influence.

Top of the Line mixes luxury with copper yarns, space-dyed stripes, bright oranges, and a reinterpretation of traditional patterns like damasks and intricate jacquards.

Giving an overview of the future, Jamie Drake, the noted interior designer, said, "The next direction is a major return to pattern — and it is retro-driven with a strong emphasis on mid-century modern, not sweet florals."

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