Consumers' rising awareness of the environment permits window covering professionals to draw upon colors and design elements from nature. According to Janet Birch, manager of color and design at Springs Window Fashions and a member of the Color Marketing Group, green, gold and softened colors from the earth, sea and sky are all effects of this leading influence.
Historically, as a new century arrives, society seeks safety in the familiar by identifying with its traditions and roots -- nature and earthen materials are held close. In other words, today's consumers have a strong interest in color combinations and textures from historical periods of design and the beauty of the environment.
A renewed passion for horticulture and love of historic gardens are intermingling with window coverings. For example, Graber®'s NeoClassic II Rose Garden brackets and finials are sculpted in a tradition of elegant architecture. The look of trellises and vines can be captured with wrought iron hardware in a soft verdigris patina. Fleur-de-Lis, Foliated Leaf and Fluted Ball finials lend an image of historic Renaissance to the CourtYard collection, while traditional accents are blended with the use of spiral finials and rope-carved wood poles.
Exterior elements that capture the horticulture revival include large gardens with seasonal blossoms, stone fountains, friezes, rough fieldstone masonry walls and bluestone terraces. For the home, massive pottery, such as bowls sculpted by Swiss ceramist Benedickt Strebel, capture nature in vibrant color with rough texture. His pottery includes a palette of intense cantaloupe, pear yellow and sandstone.
Architect David Hacin of Hacin & Associates notes that his interiors "focus more on space and light." He incorporates earthy elements of granite, maple and slate. Janie Petkus, of Janie Petkus Interiors, Hinsdale, IL, notes that directions in her color palette include "grayed tones from nature: sage green, taupe, mustard and paprika." Petkus says, "Instead of printed fabrics, I'm using more weaves and textures, especially ribbed fabrics." She emphasizes, "Big window treatments are still much requested, but clients also like traditional plantation shutters, sometimes with fabric inserts."
East Meets West
Another influence shaping consumer buying decisions are Asian design elements. Window covering professionals can capture this look with woven linen flat Roman shades such as Fresco by Graber. Consumers wanting to create a positive interior environment that balances energy are consulting Feng Shui experts to channel the power of nature, furniture placement and color combinations to create harmonious surroundings.
In conclusion, our ever-changing global scene continually presents us with a new awareness of the environment and culture. Window covering professionals weaving this knowledge into their products and projects will capture consumer visions for the future.
Scott Fawcett is senior vice president of sales and marketing at Springs Window Fashions Division, Middleton, WI.
Sponsored by Springs Window Fashions Division