Scripps Howard News Service
Spring is just around the corner, and one of the best ways to celebrate this season of new beginnings is to mix some of today’s fresh new fabrics into home decor. Here are my top picks:
-- Walk on the wild side with animal prints
Animal prints are still thriving in the jungle of home-decorating fabrics. Designers keep reinventing these wonderfully textured patterns so they are fresh and vibrant, a perfect way to give living spaces a bit of unbridled energy.
When you decorate with animal prints, be careful not to go overboard. Often, just a pillow or two is all you need to mix things up a bit.
-- Chevron makes the heart beat faster
Chevron pulses with youthful energy. Perhaps that’s why it’s so popular with customers in their 20s and 30s. It’s fun to see their faces light up when they walk in stores and see fireball chairs.
If you’re closer to my age, chances are when you see chevrons you are reminded of the flame-stitch patterns that were so popular back in the day. Believe me, today’s chevrons are not like those kooky patterns in your mom’s living room. Done in turquoise, choral and emerald, they look brand-new. I love a chevron mixed in with more traditional fabrics in pillow arrangements, whether on a sofa or bed, to give the overall look more zip.
-- Lovely lattices look so hip
Today’s designers have given yesterday’s lattice patterns a new modern vibe. Even though the new look in lattice motifs is big and bold, this reinterpreted classic is really pretty quiet, so it works well mixed in with fabrics that are stronger, brighter and busier. My favorite way to use lattice fabrics right now is on side chairs. They create an interesting backdrop for a host of fun decorative treatments in a room.
Lattices are also ideal for layering, whether you’re pulling together a grouping of accent pillows on a sofa or creating a bedding ensemble that is as perky as a cup of morning coffee.
-- Florals that are fresh and fun
When you hear “floral,” do you picture your grandma’s parlor, or those heavy Waverly patterns that were so big in the ‘70s and ‘80s? Erase that image from your mind, because this season’s flower-inspired patterns tell a brand-new story.
Florals today are robust, not finicky, featuring bigger graphic patterns and more open space instead of the heavily layered images of old.
-- Sensational solids
People who love pattern and color usually want to steer clear of solids. But you need to mix in solid fabrics to give an overall display balance and harmony. Otherwise, there is too much going on and the visual impact is overwhelming.
-- Ticking so cute it will tickle you pink
I have been in love with simple, sedate ticking for years, and my affection shows no signs of stopping. If you’re like me, and you like a quieter palette in your furnishings for spring, you can’t beat a soothing, crisp ticking pattern. When you cover upholstered furnishings in a gray-and-cream or black-and-white ticking, you get a slightly textured neutral that gives you a great blank canvass for pillows in any color or pattern imaginable. Or, weave in a pillow made out of ticking to help mute a bigger-than-life pattern.
-- Bold buffalo checks are arresting
My love also runs deep for buffalo plaid. This self-confident fabric comes in lots of color-ways, like yellow and cream. I really like black and cream for spring, spiced up with a colorful pillow.