…a Ton of Inspiration!
In January, we took the trip of a lifetime to Paris for the famed Maison et Objet furniture fair, followed by two weeks traipsing around Italy to visit the factories and ateliers behind some of the most storied interior design houses in the world—fabric, furniture, wall coverings, accessories.
It was a whirlwind of parties and field trips, fueled by divine meals, copious wine, and a feverish excitement to soak in every last drop.
“Inspired” is too simple of a word to describe the feeling we had at the end of each day. For three whole weeks, we stepped into a cornucopia of new ideas, color combinations, patterns and textures.
Our big takeaway from Europe? Maximalism is back in a big way. It started on the runways two years ago with the electrifying debut of Gucci’s new artistic director Alessandro Michele Alessandro. As of 2017, it has trickled down to imbue every last inch of international style.
Maybe the current global mood of uncertainty has people embracing all things big and beautiful. Words like opulence, indulgence, and frivolity are showing up in reviews from Vogue to Veranda. The design world is dripping with luxury, and we’re loving it.
So what’s inspiring us right now? Layers; bright, bold colors; florals; craftsmanship, artistry, and everything paired with a good story.
Keep reading for a tour of our favorite new trends as presented by some of the coveted resources we discovered on our travels. And, because these themes have permeated everything from fashion design to interior design, we’re offering samples of both.
How to Layer the Right Way
The key to combining patterns and textures is to layer them in the style of Old World design, but use modern fabrics, wall coverings, finishes and accessories. Start with a neutral but highly textured foundation like Phillip Jeffries’ handcrafted wall coverings made from materials including grasscloth, linen, slate, and goldleaf. Then top it off with vibrant layers of fabric from Brochier and Casamance.
Conni- Layers are important because they tell a story. The more you have, the better the story.
The Road to Bright, Bold Colors
There is no doubt that the number one trend from the runways to your living rooms is the explosion of bright, bold colors. After a decade of neutrals fueled by minimalism and recession-era restraint, fashion houses like Gucci, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana and Celine have re-emerged on the scene with some seriously outrageous hues, not to mention combinations of color not seen before.
Our top picks for color:
Conni – “There are two colors that I have been dying to use….eggplant and peacock. I want to design a moody, intimate dining room and smother it in an eggplant color. It would be stunning at night: low light with lots of candlelight (because we all know everyone looks even better with candles)! The walls would be filled with a collection of artwork that sets a tone of sophistication and humor—the perfect setting for a dinner party. It would be a jewel!
Big florals in vibrant hues are one of our top choices for updating rooms right now. We had the opportunity to visit several fabric and wall covering ateliers in Italy and France, including Rubelli and Brochier. The stunning, handmade patterns (many of them hand drawn and painted before transfer to the products) took our breath away.
Our top picks for florals:
Conni – “It’s funny, I used to think florals were stuffy and conservative…too innocent for me. But now I have a new appreciation for florals. Now they are fresh and sexy! We need nature more than ever at the moment; it brings life into any environment. Everytime I see the new floral collections from Brochier, i get an overwhelming feeling of happiness. It makes my soul sing.”
Artistry and Craftsmanship
In today’s world of fast fashion, throw away furniture and of-the-moment design, the value of artistry and craftsmanship is needed more than ever before. We spent days wandering around the Paris Flea—a rich haven for designers, packed to the gills with funky, interesting, remarkably high quality finds.
In Italy, companies like Fortuny, Clerici Tessuto, and even Cartier opened their doors to us, our starry eyes, and our onslaught of questions. We met third and fourth generation craftsmen. We witnessed techniques that have been in practice for decades. We talked to artists and manufacturers who were beaming with pride, and eager to tell us about their product.
There’s something so romantic about story…especially when paired with a product you can’t take your eyes off of. Some of our favorites: