Year after year, something I always speak to is the direct relationship between fashion and the home. As sure as the sun rises every day, trends in the home follow the looks on the last runway. This year, the looks are varied, sophisticated and more than a little bit retro. Not to fret, there are plenty of looks to please of you... My fashion stylist buddy, Colin McDonald and I sat down and had a little pow wow about a few of the latest looks and how to work it like a pro. Here's what we came up with.
Polka dots are making an in your face appearance. Designers like Marc Jacobs and DVF showcased both playful yet sophisticated collections. Now, while I love me a girly polka dot blouse or a cute summer dress, in the home I'm not exactly doing backflips. In fact, I'm thinking two words: tread lightly. First of all, just because something is in doesn't mean you must oblige. Think Jessica Simpson in those high waisted jeans. Remember that? Yeah, me too. It was like the bad prom picture that refused to go away. If you have a thing for polka dots, use sparingly unless you're a trained professional or you dig a "I'm kinda crazy and love it" look. Small dots are elegant, big ones are sometimes a little weird. Think Minnie Mouse.
Big Bold Patterns
This trend has been sticking around for awhile and I couldn't be happier as a result. I love color and patterns in fashion and the home. I always, unfailingly, lean towards lots of color. Happy homes are filled with color, personality and light. All of my own collections are color filled. A woman in a bright orange top, a yellow dress or red pants gets noticed, right? Color in the home has the same effect. Mixing antiques and classic pieces will balance bold color and prints in the home. Too much of any one thing is always dicey. Mixing it up is how you do it. Jonathan Adler is a master at working big, bold color to perfection. Take his cue.
Mad For Plaid
Plaid looks like it's making another round this year. The patterns are bolder and brighter (thank God!) creating a more current look than quasi-preppy in years past. Now, for the record, plaid in the home can make me break out in hives. Unless it's an LL Bean wool blanket or a Waspy-chic Christmas look, it's a tough decor style for some to pull off. My best suggestion, like so many fashion looks, less is more. The only designer I've EVER seen to make oodles of plaid look fierce and fabulous is designer, Jeffrey Banks who I met last year at an event where he decked out a whole space in various plaids. How Banks pulled it off was by mixing classic plaids with edgier stylish pieces and a touch of humor. You should really look him up and check out how he does it, simply fabulous.
Asian looks are hot, no doubt. Some designers like Ralph Lauren infused a bit of Asian flair into their collections that fashion lovers are sure to embrace. Beautiful colors and fabrics with Asian motifs can be classic and totally femme. In the home, Chinese anything is hotter than ever. Ask any art collector or antiques dealer. Recently, while working on a curation with some big antique dealers in new York, I was told anything from China was hot, hot, hot. Chinese antiques can be quite pricey but even just a pretty Asian themed side table or rug can bring a similar vibe for far less money. Framed fabric swatches, little trinkets, a vase or a pillow, for example. The key here is to go with very good quality pieces. If not, your home can end up looking like Hunan Palace Take Out around the corner. Not the look we're shooting for..got it?
Fashion is supposed to be fun. Using similar trends in your home should be also. Fashion is about taking risks. Funny, we are far less likely to do that in our homes where things seem so much more permanent. If you start out small, they're not so just go for it!
What's the worst thing that can happen? Just like a bad outfit, you can change it.
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