It’s that time of year again, change is in the air. Well, almost in the air, but I am not going to complain about these recent 80 degree temperatures at the end of October. Summer is definitely over, the kids are back in school, and the holidays are rapidly approaching.
It is also time for the Fall Furniture Market up in High point, North Carolina. Think of it as the bi-annual fashion show for the home where manufacturers and exhibitors showcase their latest collections so that designers like myself can catch a glimpse of the future trends in home decor.
This year I saw a revival of several themes from the past but as always these styles were tweaked and twisted like we have never seen before. The results were some fresh interpretations of familiar elements, sort of a look into the future with a nod to the past.
Here are some of the trends that caught my eye this market:
(NOT SO) TRADITIONAL TUFTING – Tufting is not only for Chesterfield sofas and leather ottomans, we are seeing it pop up all over the place. On seating, headboards, even some case goods, this traditional detail gets a twist with contrasting color or even metal buttons. It is a luxe detail that adds texture and dimension to solid fabrics and leather and can take a print fabric to the next level.
BOLD BRASS – It is coming back on everything from light fixtures to furniture to accessories. However, this is not the cheesy, shiny, polished brass of yesterday (like the outdated door hardware I recently talked my clients into replacing), but richly grained and brushed giving it an understated patina and allure. It instantly adds warmth and glow to a space.
PLENTY OF PIPING - contrast piping is showing up on a lot of upholstery - this time around it is done a little differently with brighter colors and new materials like metallic threads. It highlights interesting shapes and silhouettes and adds another layer to the design.
STATEMENT TABLES – Who says a table has to have 4 legs, straight edges and, well, just be plain and boring? No offense to the classic Parsons table but sometimes you just want to make a statement. Whether it is a live edge dining table that showcases the natural beauty of the bark of a tree or an unusual sculptural coffee table base supporting a floating glass top, tables are making their own statement.
DUAL FABRIC UPHOLSTERY – I am not talking about those patchwork quilt, shabby-chic style chairs and ottomans that were (unfortunately) in vogue a few years ago. This new trend is a much more sophisticated look which typically pairs a textured or patterned fabric with a solid one. Sometimes the pairing is more about subtle contrast material such as smooth leather on the outside back of a piece with a velvety chenille on the inside cushions.
BURLED, BLONDED, and CERUSED – after years of being drowned in dark stains or covered with paint, wood grain is again being celebrated for its natural beauty and warmth. Exotic inlays of curly maple evoke Neo-classical influences while honey toned veneers hint at Mid-Century Modern. My favorite is the French cerused finish which is a liming technique used on oak to elegantly highlight the linear grain. The technique is not new but the look is fresh, understated, and simply divine.
BRING THE INDOORS OUTSIDE – Manufacturers are really blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor furniture. Durable plush fabrics and intricately detailed weatherproof finishes will provide you with comfort and style you never thought possible for outdoor furniture. Given our wonderful climate here in the Lowcountry (80 degrees in October!) and the proliferation of outdoor rooms and entertaining spaces, these innovative all-weather products will serve us well.
So, is your home going to fall behind with the times or fly towards the future with the new trends? Remember, it is OK to pay homage to a classic look but infuse it with some contemporary flair for a fresh look and feel.