|Textiles play a crucial role in interior design, thanks to the patterns, colors and textures they offer. Here, experts from Robert Allen Group and Silver State Textiles reveal five big trends designers can expect to see in 2010.
Au natural. Instead of relying heavily on the dressiness of silk or silk-like materials, designers and consumers will gravitate toward other natural fabrics such as cotton and linen because of their softness and low-maintenance look. “They offer a less elegant and more relaxed style of living,” says Christy Almond, operating vice president, design and merchandising, for the Robert Allen Group, which plans to introduce several natural collections in 2010. “Many times these textiles have been washed and finished in a way that feels super-luxurious, even though they’re casual fabrics.”
Meanwhile, Manoli Sargetakis, principal of Silver State Textiles, believes that some consumers will seek out naturals with a polyester component. “People really like to have a natural fiber,” he says, “but they’re beefing things up with a bit of a polyester blend so that the fabric can still keep rich color and dramatically enhance the double rubs [a method that tests a fabric’s durability] and wearability.”
Color runs the gamut. Like the fabrics themselves, colors will borrow from a natural palette. “Blues, grays, linens and whites are key right now,” Almond says. “They’re clean, soft and offer a relaxed feeling. Picture a beach cottage where you can cozy up with a book on the sofa and not feel constricted.”
Green is continuing its influence on the spectrum. Robert Allen released a color about a year ago called Leaf, “a very clean, classy green that has done really well,” Almond notes, adding that turquoise will emerge as an important hue in interior design textiles. Sargetakis predicts a return to jewel tones — ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues.
Reconsidering traditional. Textiles will feature a modern spin on traditional, according to Almond. “Many designs look like they’re simple and hand-drawn,” she notes. “They’re a little less fussy than they were in the past.” Such fabrics evoke an old Parisian apartment full of character, Almond notes, where paint is crumbling off the walls and tables have some wear and tear.
“Patterns are more graphic and offer more clarity, but they’re not overly contemporary either,” Sargetakis adds. “We’re adding youth to more traditional textiles.” Silver State is introducing a new collection tentatively called Enduring Luxury, where the company will add a performance component to elegant fabrics within its high-end Alaxi division. The idea is to return to an earlier time and create a legacy piece. “This collection goes back to the days of when your grandmother had a beautiful piece of furniture that not only had class and style, but also durability and an enduring look that could be passed on to the next generation,” Sargetakis says.
Green is the gold standard. Fabric manufacturers such as Crypton have devoted their entire operations to eco-friendly products, both in terms of content and the manner in which they’re produced. Textiles made of bamboo, organic cotton or recycled materials will continue to attract consumers.
Ethnic appeal. “You can barely open a magazine right now without seeing some sort of African, Moroccan or Middle Eastern design influence,” Almond says. “Ethnic designs have been strong in fashion for a couple of years, and they’re now permeating the home on many levels. They’re a little bit irregular and add a beautiful sense of pattern and history to a space.” The fabrics take their cues from traditional textiles such as an African kuba cloth but “are reinterpreted into a different type of fiber with a softer hand to make it suitable for today’s homes,” Almond notes.