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DESIGN LINE: Fall Fabric Trends

Monday, October 15, 2012

 

What do this fall's latest fabric trends hold for home design?

Having grown up in Charleston, South Carolina, you can probably imagine I’m a warm weather girl.  So this time of year, when the autumn winds start blowing and my friends are discussing the “rejuvenating” Fall, I pray for that last Indian summer day and mourn the loss of my twilight hours on the beach. 

But there is one thing this season always brings to my world that I can look forward to: new, luscious fabrics. The past few weeks I’ve been looking at loads of new stuff—the fall lines from my favorite sources.  When each autumn season arrives, my office fills up the the latest mohairs, the newest plaids, the “best” wool crepes I’ve ever encountered (yes, they get better every year).

Here are the trends I’m seeing right now:

Animal Inspired Prints and Wovens

I’ve never been a fan of anything thematic, but there are definitely heaps of realistic animals hitting fabrics this fall: horses, dogs, and just about anything else you can think of. The lush fabrics I have been loving are the more subtle, animal inspired ones: those that replicate the patterns of animal skins or simply remind you of the wild kingdom beyond.

Clean Graphic Patterns

An array of fabric samples that have arrived in the last few weeks. Note the play of pattern and colors at work.

This fall’s fabrics are kicking the bold graphics up a notch.  There’s a new twist on classics, from diamonds to greek keys to zig zags and chevrons.  More than just trends, I see many of these patterns lasting well into the future.  With them, you get classic and trendy all in the same place.

Stripes and Loose Plaids

Stripes have been all the rage this year on the runway, so it’s no surprise to see fashion-inspired stripes and plaids in upholstery lines this fall.  Both are trending looser: wide-checked plaids, large-scale stripes, suit-like houndstooths.

Watery Florals

As a designer that cannot stand “fuss,” I am thrilled to see watered-down floral patterns that have romance without realistic roses.  Beautiful, loose floral fabrics tell their story softly, without smacking anyone in the face.  Whether it’s a batik-like velvet, a blurry damask pattern, or a tone on tone embroidered silk, these patterns elicit a bygone era and can be used for both modern furnishings and antiques alike.

Don’t forget about colors!

While much of this fall is muted charcoals and taupes, there are definitely color trends happening that should last well into 2013.  Blues of all shades abound: from navy to slate to teal.  Reds are hot too, in bright rosy shades and red-orange hues.  Muted golds, ambers and yellows are figuring prominently in fabric lines as well.

At the risk of sounding paradoxical, I can’t help but impart one of my basic design philosophies--do not get too caught up in trends!  Interiors that are designed to be trendy may be hot for several years, but then they’ll be tired, stale spaces that speak to an era, a decade or even a year.  Trends are to the interior of a home what scarves are to an outfit: an accent: something that is easily removed and stored, reupholstered, reconfigured, etc.  So grab a throw, upholsterer a couple of chairs, or shop for a few pillows to freshen up your house this fall.  Like fine chocolates and all decadent things we truly love, trends are perfect in moderation: a taste or two will do just fine.

Kelly Taylor is the 2012 recipient of New England Home magazine’s “5 Under 40” award for excellence in design as well as Rhode Island Monthly magazine’s 2012 Gold Award for residential interior design.  She practices residential and commercial interior design in Providence, Rhode Island.  Please find her on twitter at @ktidnet or visit her website at www.ktid.net.

 

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