And pattern is back--although not seen on cutting-edge home decorating drawing boards for a bit. Fashionable wallpapers and borders sport patterns as do the growing range of products designed to coordinate with them such as window treatments, place mats, shower curtains, bedroom ensembles, pot holders, napkins, table rounds, upholstery, cushions, window and lamp shades.
The patterns on wallpaper this year are traditional, such as toile, damask and floral. Some have a craft look and even are printed on what looks like craft paper. They resemble fabric, wood or homemade needlework like crewel and include buttons, bows, fringe or tassels. Others embrace novelty designs such as farmyard scenes with cows and pigs or jungle animals for children's rooms, garden tools and pots--even earth--seeds, fruits and vegetables. Look for geometric designs influenced by ethnic motifs as well.
More Color, Texture
Last year, the Wallcoverings Association (WA) reported on the unilateral decorating strength of textures, from faux marble, sponge painting, crackled effects or the semblance of distressed plaster to trompe l'oeil architectural elements. These subtle, monochromatic decorative looks that so easily combine with international country styles from the United States, Australia and Africa to France, Greece, Italy or Scandinavia still are fashionable. However, this year, they will be rendered in more detail with intricate effects, evolving into patterned layered looks in three or more colors.
Paris couture shows fuchsia and orange as a startling wake-up from black on black. In U.S. fashion circles, icy pastels and vivid brights join nearly nude neutrals. Expect also to see color--and more of it--in home decorating, especially in folkloreic, tropical and ethnic-inspired patterns and on fabric coordinates and borders. Along with Caribbean carnival colors, walls will see tart, chilled aqua, sunshine yellow as well as gray, from silvery blue and smoke to charcoal.
Home fashion colors inspired by nature are turquoise, brown, persimmon, currant and dried flower neutrals from butternut, faded cornflower, dusty plum to taupe. Earth colors continue to strengthen red with brick, green with yellow, and blue with green. Green, which alone has been at the top of home fashion charts for years, continues to peak with sage, spearmint, pale spring green, moss, olive and forest.
Pastels will be sophisticated and fresh rather than sweet and innocent. With the exception of some kitchen collections made to enhance white cabinets and appliances, neutral shifts from snow to oatmeal, ecru and warm cream.
Finishes and coatings, still news in fashion, are seen in metallic accents to amplify wallpapers including copper, silver, gold, brass and verdigris.
Like the clothes your customers wear, what works for their wardrobe is right for their walls. These days, any style or color you want is available--take a look.
The Wallcoverings Association (WA), Chicago, IL, is an association of manufacturers, distributors and suppliers in the wall coverings industry. WA is grateful to the designers, stylists and marketing directors of the member companies who shared their insight on wall coverings trends for this article.