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What’s Hot And What’s Not An Early Peek At Trends In Fall Fabrics And Accessories

It’s the little touches that make a piece truly exciting, and this blonde dining chair with corset from the Platt Collection will be trending this fall.

Whether you’re reupholstering a chair or brightening a room with accent pieces, you can do it with style just by paying attention to a few simple industry trends.

We tapped into our sources at High Point Market Authority and Showtime, a twice-yearly industry show of the International Textiles Market Asso­ciation, to see what’s hot now in home accessories and upholstery fabric and what’s trending for fall. In addition to what was on display at spring markets, the Market Authority gave us a preview of what to expect to see at the October Furniture Market and December’s Showtime — all of which will ultimately appear in furniture and home decoration showrooms across the country.


Key Looks in Fabrics

Letters and numbers are increasingly popular designs, with less script looks and more block type.

Innovation is in the spotlight and includes latticed leathers, shell and wood trims, layered embroidery, materials like flax yarn and a QR Code pillow that provides a message on smartphones. (For those of you who may be technically-challenged, a QR (Quick Response) code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and most camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background.)

Deep purple is a predominant color, leading a jewel-toned parade that also included ruby reds and sapphire blues.

A return to tradition includes straightforward tapestries that are offered in  modern colorways.

Designs take a worldly turn and run the spectrum from Chinese dragons to Russian folk themes.

Patterns offer sharp edges like flame stitches and chevrons.


What’s Popular Right Now

Patriotic Spirit topped the list of key looks that are on-trend today. All things USA are front and center in design choices. Whether it was truly made in America or items with an Americana theme manufactured in another country, the flag is flying high in American homes. Along those same lines, look for accent pieces with Federalist details, vintage looks or historical references, items that are nostalgia-inducing or display the simplicity of earlier times. Stars and stripes are front and center along with items that proudly proclaim “Made in America.”

Floral motifs have moved away from the smaller ditsy patterns of the past, transforming themselves into big, bold blooms. Colorways are either bright punches or black-and-white outlines. This folk art-influenced category features eye-popping color, figurative florals and black and white blooms.

Another trend, referred to in the trade as Industrial Evolution, invokes something more off-the-factory-floor than Victoriana, displaying a spirit of hard work and craftsmanship. Look for this theme to play out in aged patina, exposed bolts, repurposed goods, rough wood  and steel support.

Challenging us to think pleasant thoughts and dream pleasant dreams, designers are taking “cocooning” to a whole new level, adding enough details to their designs that we may never want to leave the bed. Look for the return of shelter beds, sleek styling, storage —hidden and otherwise — upholstered headboards and wall beds.

White is also hot right now. Set against this season’s hot pink Pantone color of the year, the absence of color makes these designs seem like cool customers in a sea of color. Look for cream, eggshell, snow, vanilla and white on white.

Remember the fruit and veggie fabrics of the ‘40s and ‘50s — often displayed on flour sacks and kitchen curtains? Well, fruit is back, but your grandma wouldn’t recognize it. Stella McCartney’s juicy new fruit motif from the runway has designers going bananas for a fresh new trend of veggies and fruits. But steer clear of the whimsy; the trend is to a more realistic approach. Look for apples and bananas, artichokes and citrus. A few florals sneak in, as well, among the realistic designs and scientific drawings.

Americans live in a migrating culture, and we’ve picked up an eclectic assortment of design ideas with our travels. Tribal/cultural designs hit the runways in New York and Paris this spring, and now the influences of native and migratory cultures are heading into the home. Look for African themes, beads and shells, bright colors, chevrons, flame stitching, intricate patterns, Moroccan influences, Native American designs and Russian steppes.

Regardless of other colors involved, American consumers are still in love with the idea of going green. Yes, the Pantone pink for 2011 is seen in a lot of showrooms, but the real star color now is green. With all the fruits, flowers and verdant shades, we seem to have a permanent case of spring fever. Look for fabrics, accessories and furniture in emerald, fern, jade, lime, pistachio and yellow-green.


Right on the Edge – Emerging Trends

The latest designs that show at market sometimes take as long as a year to arrive in local showrooms. It may be next spring or summer before consumers can actually purchase items that were shown in this year’s furniture and fabric markets. So, what do we have to look forward to this fall and in early 2012?

First of all, the ’60s are back. The runway reports were clear; there is a shift from 1970s influences to the swinging ’60s. Think The Jetsons with color blocks, boomerang shapes and fringe details. Look for bar carts, space-age style and those tapered furniture legs that we remember from the The Dick Van Dyke Show and Ozzie and Harriet.

Influences from the ’60s are already being seen in the color spectrum, with bright pops of orange, mustard and teal returning to the spotlight. Reds are also key, and include wine influences like merlot and cabernet. Look for moody blues, cognac brown, coral pinks, dusty pales, mustard yellow, deep reds and orange, orange, orange.

It’s the little touches that make a piece truly exciting, and these design details stepped right off the runways and into the furniture manufacturers’ eager hands.

Look for baseball stitching, chunky knits, geek chic, metal fringe, ombrés and tie dye, plush fabrics and shearling and calfskin.

Greek key motifs signal a return to neoclassic forms, but they are updated for the 21st century. Look for joined design, over-scaled style, subtle patterns and the use of unexpected media.

In recent years, metals have tended toward the cooler pewters and silvers, but now gold is king — from accessories to furnishings. Look for aged patina, burnished detail and satin finishes.

The next sphere of influence on a global scale will be India — or so says Vogue. Touches of that exotic land can already be found in home fashions, including a peacock motif and sari patterns. Look for spice colors, paisley prints, elegant elephants, prideful peacocks and henna patterns.

Partly due to Ralph Lauren’s overtly western new Polo line, the western influence has gone mainstream. From bedspreads and Grandma’s storage trunk to lampshades and throws, anything goes for the horsey set. Look for equine design, leather straps, stirrup details and western styling.

It’s going to be an exciting fall in fashion and home décor, where anything goes. So, don’t let the fashion police scare you. If you like western, it’s in. Is neoclassical more your style? It’s in, too. And if you want to hang an American flag on the wall of your entryway or display a two-foot artichoke in the library, have at it. Maybe you don’t live in a showplace, but you can make your house a place your family and guests will love by surrounding yourself with pieces that give you joy.

For ex-patriot Brits or just those who love all things Merry Olde England, this British flag chair from Rothko makes a high-flying statement.

Every piece in the Phillips Collection is a conversation piece as shown by this horse and stable, perfect for any home with a western or equestrian feel.

Paragon’s Genie lamp reflects the retro feel of the hipster ’60s.

Influences from the ‘60s are already being seen in the color spectrum, with bright pops of orange — as in this chair from ACG Green Group — mustard, and teal returning to the spotlight.

If you’re into more than just “pops” of color, go bold with these NAO chairs from Eurotrend. You’ll be ready for fall’s color comeback

Like a wave in motion, Eurotrend Vivienne’s stunning lines flow perfectly with the decor of the home, changing shape according to the angle you look at it. It can be special-ordered in two different fabrics for the outside and inside of the chair.

Designers are daring consumers to walk away from traditional bedroom furniture and dare to dream about what their perfect bedroom might look like, as shown by this modern piece from Ruf Betten.

Rustic with a modern architectural aesthetic, each Bluestone coffee table is one-of-a-kind, crafted from reclaimed pine and paired with a hand-cut solid bluestone top. From Crate & Barrel.

The bold saffron color of the Klyne compact sofa from Crate & Barrel is the perfect size for small space living or used in conversational pairs in larger spaces.

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