We've talked a lot about the overlap between fashion and decor, but can fashion trends be applied to home design? Here are three current fashion trends, matched up to their design equivalents. It was an interesting exercise to find the matches and draw parallels between the two design disciplines on its own, but if you like the look and actually want to give any of them a try, we've also added some tips and tricks on how to make it work in your home...
Generally, the rule that we hear concerning curtains is to go tall and long. Floor-skimming curtains are best, while too-short curtains look awkward. But are there ways in which shorter-than-usual cuts can up the ante of a room? Are the crop tops of curtains cute- or just uncomfortable?
In this room by Carla Aston, the curtains skim the sill, adding some softness to the room without being too heavy. When furniture is pushed up against the wall, or when you have a banquette or a bathtub, shorter curtains can still perform the same visual tricks as longer ones.
So why not just use shades instead of short curtains? Carla explains, "Sometimes you may prefer the softness of a curtain, so you can see the whole, verticality, of the window/view when the curtain is open. When a shade is open or pulled up, the window is top-heavy. All the color and pattern and softness are at the top of the window, even hiding a bit of the outdoors from your view (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that in some situations this might not be your ideal treatment)."
Tip to make it work: The updated crop top look is all about tempering the shortness of the shirt with higher cut trousers and skirts. When using short curtains, think about what else will be on the wall. Will art or furniture balance out the shorter-than-expected window treatments?
Boden flats via Harper's Bazaar
The lace-up ballet flat ("the season's new must-have shoe," according to Harper's Bazaar) pairs a horizontal profile with dainty, vertically ascending criss-crosses. It draws attention up the leg, creating a delicate pattern as it does so. Translating these same techniques to interiors would allow not only the addition of visual interest to a space, but also would encourage the eye upward.
Architecturally, you can see this principle at work in Kate and Andy Spade's Southampton Home.
In this kitchen designed by Brooke Wagner, you can see how the gentle criss-cross patterns pull the eye upward, elongating the cabinets and distracting from the many horizontal lines that often characterize a kitchen, thanks to countertops, shelves, and seating surfaces.
If you needed to de-emphasize verticality, you could apply this trick to the floor, emphasizing the horizontal aspects of your home instead. Beni Ourain rugs perform just this function, as you can see in this high-ceilinged Helsinki living room.
Tip to make it work: Think about where you want the eye to go. Also, don't forget that even neutral criss-crosses will add another visual element to the mix, so if your space is already pattern-heavy, keep the balance in mind.
Flared trousers add volume in unexpected places, creating drama. The movement in flares is dynamic and flowy, and the fit is comfy and spacious.
The easiest way to translate this style to your home is through curtains. Puddling your curtains adds some movement and romance to your home. The black curtains in this dining room show how some extra fabric can add instant drama and ground the room with some extra weight.
But there are other ways to adopt this "heavy-yet-flowy-at-the-bottom" look. I'm sure we've all noticed the resurgence in fiber arts, and while you might not own a museum-quality piece like Claire Zeisler's "Black Tuesday," you can apply the basic principle of adding verticality and drape through art and textiles in unexpected contexts.
If you want to go a more subtle route, the lines in two-dimensional artwork can also emphasize volume.
Or, just add some volume to your bed with a flared bedskirt or some draped bedcovers.
Tip for making it work: With flares, proportion matters. If everything is voluminous, it just looks awkward. Balance the outsized elements with other pieces that have more structure and tailoring. Puddle your curtains for some romance, but keep a more tailored sofa so there's contrast in the room. You don't want everything billowy and pillowy! You could also create volume in other areas that will complement the flares. In fashion terms, this means creating volume on top and bottom but not in the middle. In a room, it might mean adding a hanging plant or a light to a room that features puddled curtains so that there's complementary interest at the top and the bottom of the room.