The Wild and Shiny Fall Trends of 2011


It’s Fall Fashion Week in New York and it’s a doozy. We’re entering a time of bold and bright colors in fashion and that means design is sure to follow. Say goodbye to the days of muted greys and 12 shades of off-white and get ready for boundary breaking palettes like mustard yellow, emerald green and a ton of zigzag chevron patterns.

Jewel tones are here and I couldn’t be happier! Rich, brilliant and sometimes sparkly, these hues are not only a short cut to girly modern design but wield a very tangible sense of power. Ruby, sapphire and emerald are a few of my favorites and even their names have a dazzling effect. The key to designing with jewel tones is to stick with a singular tone for each space. For example, showcase emerald and compliment it with varying shades of malachite, cloverleaf and moss.

One of the most difficult colors for me to wear is mustard.  Even with the best of intentions, a boat-neck mustard sweater often leads to a washed out, jaundice effect.  Not cute.  But decorating with mustard is another story.  Designer and trendsetter Kelly Wearstler shows us how to do mustard elegantly.  Here’s a room full of mustard, gold and brass and it feels fully alive and refined.

Going hand-in-hand with the rise of jewel tones, is the use of metallics.  Shiny, playful and glamorous, metallics tend to off-set the attention grabbing primary colors that are coming into fashion.  Metallic tones are actually a natural fit in the design world and can infuse a room with a youthful feel without appearing immature.  Avoid the pitfall of turning a sharp, clean metallic into a crumpled heap of burrito foil by choosing well-crafted accent pieces and accessories.

The fabrics that are trending in the fashion world right now are not the gauzy, lightweight cottons or fine linens of the past but heavier, complex textiles like faux fur and snakeskin.  The runways are predicting faux fur vests to be the must-have item this fall but before you start rolling your eyes at past visions of shag carpet raver gear, let me introduce you to high faux.  With Prada and Chanel getting into the faux trend, we can be assured that the production quality of fake fur has evolved in a more luxurious direction.  This is great news for home decor items as faux fur can become some of the softest, most cozy pieces of your design especially in accessories like pillows and throw blankets.

Snakeskin may be another stretch in both fashion and design but it has also taken a more sophisticated and neutral tone this time around.  This snakeskin rug is actually made of pure wool giving it a slick look with a soft touch.

The direction of fashion and design this fall packs more of punch than we’ve seen in recent years. Just remember that there are always simple and timeless pieces to latch on to if this sea of sassy trends gets to be too much.  Black and white polka dots are always a safe and fashionable harbor.


  1. This post resonates with me. As a fine artist, I am often inspired by the colors and textures of the runway.

  2. Pingback: Interior Design HQ: 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

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