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The Hot News In Color

April 23, 2012

I am going to switch horses today before getting back to specific company reviews to make room for the No.1 priority for all Home Textiles Today readers: The STATUS OF COLOR here at High Point Market.

While the brights have predictably kicked in, what's really interesting to see is that there is almost a class division for the color choices exhibitors have made for this season's introductions.

It is mainly the mid-market and lower that's gone all out for the oranges, fuchsias, bright blues, reds, greens and yellows, whereas the upper end of the market has used those brights more judiciously as accents against lots of gray and black as neutral backgrounds. If you look further out which I always like to do, those accents are already changing to a really fabulous saturated and glowing aubergine, some deep moss greens, teal, subtle celadon green, rich ruby reds and foremost among all, a distinctive mauve.
For those who missed the last Mauve Decade - if memory serves that was in the 60s - we might be in for another one the way the purples have been hanging in there. Mauve is on the red side of purple and dusty. It looks phenomenal with gray and the mauve in upholstery fabrics sometimes even carries over into a dark gray furniture finish as it does at Bernhardt.in its Interiors Division.
The browns I previously watched cutting into gray's territory are definitely in retreat this time around.

While black, gray and washed gray furniture finishes predominate, a fresh new all natural blond look is emerging in the rustic modern category (Lauren, Carocole at Schnadig among others) pulling in the newly popular whites.

And white is indeed on the rise. I first reported on the surprise return of white in January from Maison & Objet in Paris, and we are seeing a noticeable pick-up here in High Point - in home textiles, in lacquered white furniture (Hickory Chair, Jonathan Adler, Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams, Henredon) and all-white accessories especially rendered in porcelain or Plaster of Paris (Global Views, Studio A, Tanango among many others.

Textiles follow the modern mood set by many furniture collections: flat surfaced solid fabrics predominate with linens but more often with a wool jersey or worsteds hand, short napped velvets, suedes or suede-like and felted fabrications. In other words, texture is in short supply.
Padded linen is used to great effect at Hickory Chair to softly envelope armoires, chests of drawers, bed headboards and a plethora of screens. The latter no longer just stand there looking decorative but are often used to create built-in looks when they frame seating or storage pieces -definitely a new design approach which ties in especially well with architectural references plentiful in new furniture introductions. Leather, too, is used frequently, often combined with linen.

To be sure, there is pattern: Ikats and Middle Eastern motifs are still going strong as are classic geometrics such as Greek Key variations, fretwork and lattice patterns.
However, random paint splatter and ink blot patterns look newer and fresher as if taken from Rorschak tests or a Kandinsky painting. These appear not only as upholstery fabrics (Hickory Chair) but also in rugs (Safavieh).
Hable Construction, a design company that creates home textiles in collaboration with Valdese Fabrics for Hickory Chair, has also come up with a weaving technique which diffuses pattern definition in denim and gray linen with a vintage jean look.

More to come - hold that channel.