Design New England

‘The Look’ predicts pretty and bright

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Romo’s Orvieto includes beautiful, bright colors (from top to bottom): Ilsa, Xilia, Asha, Suvi, Pintura, Chennai, Itsuki, Chennai, and Orvieto (on table).

“The Look” is Boston Design Center’s speculation on tomorrow. And we were happy to hear it will be pretty. At least according to Marisa Marcantonio, this year’s guest forecaster of trends at the recent annual day of design at the mammoth BDC in South Boston.


A former style editor for House Beautiful and O at Home, Marcantonio now curates the blog Stylebeat, where she posts the latest and greatest in the evolving marketplace of the interior design and home furnishings. Her research and instincts tell her a return to pretty is on the horizon and with it an avalanche of floral patterns, chintz fabric, and all around softness. And if you like bright colors, Marcantonio had more good news. Electric colors, as in the sunny yellow dress she was wearing (interior design follows fashion, don’t forget) and “salmon, pinky” corals like Pantone’s Freesia and Cayenne, both of which she thinks are top contenders for color of the year, are soon to be all the rage.
Of course, it’s hard to make predictions when at the heart of it design is always personal. But we will go out on a limb and say bright, saturated hues will catch on and all our rooms will be happier, more interesting places.

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Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat addresses the crowd of designers with her forecast of design trends of 2014.

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Other style trends worth noting, she says, are neotraditional (a blend of classic and contemporary), 1970s and ‘80s vintage (brass is the new nickel), and a look Marcantonio termed “rough luxe,” which basically speaks to elemental, repurposed materials that serve custom needs.
This year, more that 40 showrooms actively participated and invited the throngs of designers there for the day-long look-see to discover the new products their own buyers have added to their inventory. We love that fabric and wallcovering houses have definitely been working overtime. Schumacher has introduced its Alessandra Branca collection. The Roman designer, inspired (most likely, instinctively) by classical art and architecture, put together a collection of print and wovens that are decadent and lively.

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For Schumacher, Alessandra Branca’s (from left): Corallina in acid green, Anna Damask in acid green, Dudley in gray, and Andrea in velvet strie.

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Alessandra Branca’s collection for Schumacher includes graphic toiles, chintzes, and floral patterns. In the image above, drapes are Continenti, shade is Branca Stripe, wall is covered in Coromandel, and the pillow is made from Elizabeth.

At Brunschwig & Fils, design director David Toback give a spirited presentation on the company’s two upcoming fall collections, Tresors de Jouy and Hommage, which are due out in October. The designs are charming with plenty of colorways to go around. Toback couldn’t help show off the company’s most steadfastly popular designs, including Les Touches, which he said, “goes with everything.” His parting shot was full of earnestness and encouragement. “We hand these collections over to you with much enthusiasm,” he said. “We can’t wait to see what you go and do with them!”

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(From left): Brunschwig & Fils’s popular Palmette in coral and Les Touches in blue.

Romo’s Orvieto (top photo) has some designs with simple shapes, and some that are more detailed with sketch like hatch marks. We liked the Ilsa design best (top in the image above), but in the colorway of Mimosa, which combines neutral grey, white, medium cyan, and sulphur yellow.
Finally, Osborne & Little’s wallcovering collaboration with fashion designer Matthew Williamson is fun, pictorial, and pleasingly flashy!

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For Osborne & Little, Matthew Williamson’s (from left): Peacock and Tyger Tyger.

Great design is always at your fingertips — read the September/October 2013 issue online!

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