Textiles can really make a room, but they can also be pretty polarizing once you're talking patterns beyond a simple stripe or classic dot. Right now, there seems to be room for a little bit of everything in the world of fabric: old world toiles sit alongside bold geometrics at showrooms, and you can't go far down the Pinterest rabbit hole without stumbling upon a global-inspired ikat or an African mudcloth.
Pillows and throws are easy enough to switch out a couple times a year, but when you're talking upholstery, curtains and wall coverings, those are investments that need to last longer than a season or two. So we tapped three tastemakers with expertise in fabric—Wendy Estes, owner of online home decor boutiques Layla Grayce and Zinc Door, Kate Reynolds, co-owner of textile showroom Studio Four NYC, and Christina Bryant, founder and CEO of St. Frank—for intel on what's going gangbusters now, what's coming down the pipeline and what just won't quit (but in a good way).
Nature Inspired Neutrals
Right Now: Leaf Motifs
"Botanical and leaf prints are still going strong and beginning to mix and mingle with historically traditional prints such as toiles," says Wendy Estes, owner of online home decor boutiques Layla Grayce and Zinc Door. Greens and browns are likely colorways for these palm prints, frondy florals and other foliage-based designs, but you can definitely find blues and grays out there, too.
What's Next: Surf Chic
From the meteoric rise of West Coast designers like Emily Henderson, Sarah Sherman Samuel and Amber Lewis, it's hard to deny that California casual is having a moment in the interiors world. But these days, it's less sunny mid-century modern and more sun-washed by the sea.
"Laid-back, surf inspired interiors are also trending," says Kate Reynolds, who together with her business partner Stacy Waggoner, owns the textile showroom Studio Four NYC in New York City (her pattern happy bedroom is shown at the lead of this post, via Elle Decor). "We recently collaborated with Nina Freudenberger, who wrote the beautiful book "Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Sea", on a collection of wallpapers and fabrics." But it's not overtly nautical. Today's version of coastal textiles is more abstract (think triangles for dunes, and not a seahorse in sight) and in bleached-out hues—sandy tans, shell pinks and cornflower blues—as opposed to saturated teals and tropical aquas.
Right Now: All Pink Everything
"Blush has been a color near and dear to our hearts at Layla Grayce going on 10 years," says Estes. "Also known as millennial pink, this color is full-throttle right now, romancing and dressing even bathroom spaces at the moment." Estes finds blush to be an easy, neutral shade to incorporate in textiles especially—think pillows, tea towels, bedding—to soften any room.
What's Next: Going Green
If you want to be ahead of the color curve, green is where it's at. "We have noticed that all things green are getting a ton of love lately with interiors, especially carpet, fabric and wallpapers," says Reynolds. "The scope is wide, and we have seen requests ranging from deep emerald greens to more organic grassy tones."
Reynolds says flowery, blooming vine patterns are also something Studio Four NYC clients are feeling right now for walls and curtains. "It is an especially nice addition to a well lit, windowed room, connecting the outdoor garden view to your interior," says Reynolds.
Right Now: Mudcloth
Who better to get advice on internationally-inspired textiles than Christina Bryant, the founder and CEO of St. Frank, a luxury home decor company with an emphasis on products from around the globe? Her buying model involves connecting with artisan groups in villages and immersing her team in the history of local crafts to create unique products for customers.
Right now, mud cloths are killing it in sales for St. Frank, especially the black and white variety. Hand-dyed indigo textiles are also doing well, too, according to Bryant. Both of these types of textiles are definitely at home in the larger boho trend that's happening in interiors these days.
What's Next: Frazadas
"Now we are seeing colorful frazadas get attention and traction as well," says Bryant. St. Frank also recently released wallpaper based on the kuba cloth pattern, which is starting to take center stage in her shop and beyond, as well. Some of these textiles can be pricey, but there's a ton of versatility there. A larger frazada—a colorful large textile handwoven in the Andean region of South America—or piece of kuba cloth—a handwoven fabric made using the strands from raffia palm leaves—is great as a throw on the couch or at the foot of the bed, but they can also double as rugs when layered over a sisal.
Handmade is Hot
Right Now: Block Prints
These days, "small scale block prints are getting a lot of attention," says Reynolds. "They are easy to use as both wallpapers and fabrics for upholstery, and the handmade quality really stands out in this printing technique." What's special about small block prints is that they are easy to mix in a room, since they often read as solids from afar, especially in quiet color palettes. But when you get up close to a hand-blocked paper or piece of material, you can see the slight variations in color and pattern that make these textiles truly one-of-a-kind and personal. "It is often the maker's process as well as the actual design that appeals to our clients," says Reynolds. "We are seeing this now more than ever, and we are thrilled that consumers are trending towards appreciating the handmade and artistic nature of textiles and wallpapers."
What's Next: Embellishments
It's no secret that home decor follows fashion. So Estes predicts that we'll continue to see the ruffles, intricate eyelet cutouts, fringes and pom pom's that are dominating the runways today continue to trickle into interiors. This kind of detailing can be used as trim on the edges of pieces or woven right into the fabric of a textile.