Fashion Affects Interiors

by Laura Barnett Sawchyn, IIDA TCW

It used to take a full year for the furnishings market to catch up to clothing trends in terms of color and style, but this fall’s new home design product offerings are distinctly more fashion forward—putting them neck in neck with their clothing counterparts. So even though you don’t replace your sofa as often as you buy a new dress, fall fashion is not just found on the runway. Look for it to adorn your walls, floors, furnishings, and home accessories. Surprisingly, it just may correlate with a new fall ensemble that you’re considering for your closet.


This color combination never goes out of style, but every season it takes on a distinctly different look. This fall, bold graphic shapes abound like they haven’t in some time, making them particularly appealing. The occasional shading with gray adds another dimension and all white or all black pops when you change and combine the textures or sheen. 

Floral Print Chiffon Gown (Jason Wu available at Ultimo)

Illustrating a meandering monogram of sorts, black marble rope swirls on a white and grey polished marble ground. It is hand cut and available in 80 colors, but the impact of this colorway is hard to improve upon. (Assembled in the USA at SB Studios available through The Fine Line)

Tile takes on a whole new meaning here with Profile 88. These domed circles and squares are poured and molded Portland Cement. It is at home indoors or out and also has a selection of molds for other shapes and sizes. (Made in the USA and available through The Fine Line)

Ebb and Flow patterned tile is hand pressed ceramic with a wide range of finish options. This undulating pattern would carry as much impact in solid white as it would in two or three toned combinations. Consider mixing textures for a jacquard look—shiny bright patent, crackle, or matte finishes. Just like patent shoes and black tights! (Made in the USA and available through The Fine Line)

No, these aren’t wrought-iron gates; they are just named for them. These and-tufted wool and silk Garden Gates rug patterns are new from world-renowned Stark Carpet. The ground is textured ivory with the gate pattern cut higher than the ground, so the result is both graphic and multi-leveled. There are thirteen different black and white designs, all woven to order in any size.

JANUS et Cie, manufacturer of high-end outdoor furniture, is continuing to expand their line to include indoor components. The Zofa collection was inspired by the geometric beauty of urban architecture and designed by Dedon’s team, Harry and Camila. Its’ graphic lines are constructed of powder coated aluminum available in white or graphite and a patented hand-woven fiber that resists damaging UV rays, pests, and wear and tear. It’s a fresh, contemporary approach to furnishings that works as well in a contemporary living room as it does on your covered terrace.

The Maluku chair, sofa, and table really bring the outdoors in! The black or white pebbles used to cover the frames add a dimension unlike any other. You can feel it just by looking at it. (Made in Indonesia and available at Pauline-Grace)

The Damar armoire represents such over-scaled geometry that the graphics are undeniable. The case is crafted from textured matte black terrazzo stone with bands of polished black sea penshell. (Made in Indonesia and available at Pauline-Grace)

The graceful shapes of the Natuna Collection are also made of natural sustainable materials. The bold profile of the curved table is molded of black terrazzo; both the angled table and curved buffet are wrapped in palm fiber. (Made in Indonesia and available at Pauline-Grace)

The simple design of these Sipura console tables has a distinct edge. Available in many natural finishes and sizes they fit perfectly wherever clean lines are required. Pictured in white terrazzo stone and dark bark. (Available at Pauline-Grace).

The Paris chandelier was inspired by champagne bubbles. What could be more chic than champagne from one of the fashion capitals of the world? Here it is, made from hand-blown glass in several textures and transformed to a beautiful light source. (Charles Loomis Inc. Lighting available at the Bright Group).

Layers of clear glass are fused and formed into cascades of ripples to catch and reflect the light, like a sparkling piece of jewelry. Accented by polished stainless steel, the Bijoux fixture is the perfect accessory. (Charles Loomis Inc. Lighting available at the Bright Group).

Marchesa Couture Chiffon Dress $2970 (photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus,

Swirling across the ceiling is the Organza, inspired by an organza ball gown. Hanging this over your dining table will make every meal a formal affair. (Charles Loomis Inc. Lighting available at the Bright Group).


All strong graphics need not be black and white. Whether it’s flower power, op art, or prairie style, bold retro patterns are very much in vogue. The palette has more range than the originals, but the patterns remain bold and distinguishing. Escada Flower Printed dress $1790 (photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus,

I don’t know which is stronger—the color or the graphics of this bowl! The strong round and square shapes play beautifully together, especially in red lacquer. Consider this as a punch to your otherwise black and white interior. (Stella Bowl from JANUS et Cie)

Cast bronze circle tiles are available in eight different metal finishes that can be sealed for use in wet areas like your kitchen or bathroom. Consider your options, especially since the grout becomes so much a part of the design. Change the color of the grout along with the metals for a completely different effect. (Made in Maine and available in Chicago from The Fine Line)

The negative space represented by the grout is also a big part of the Circle of Life tile. Mixing bold colors together with the circular, square, and rectangular shapes available create the perfect op-art motif. (Handmade in Minnesota and available in Chicago from The Fine Line)

Made in the Midwest by a sister and brother team, Mixed Confetti consists of multi-colored random geometric shapes, which is one of their more whimsical patterns. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, it certainly looks right to me. (Available at The Fine Line)


Exotic patterns and luxury textures abound, transporting you to foreign locales full of glamour.  The sophisticated colors and pattern combinations only add to the intrigue.

Look great for the paparazzi when you get off the plane in this coat, sweater, and skirt by Peter Som (Available at Ultimo).

Couture Embellishment is the artistic vision found in this amazing mural collection designed by Geoffrey Bradfield for Stark. Hand painted silk is paired with embroidered silk to offer a texturally rich and opulent statement.

Jet off to Turkey, or just think you did by installing this enchanting wall mural from Iksel. Designed to resemble ancient tile designs of the Ottoman Empire, this wall covering is hand-painted and can be mounted as a single panel accent or multi-paneled, room transforming, work of art. The collection consists of panels inspired by many other far away places, so you can select your favorite scene and visit without leaving home. (Available from Stark)

Recycling at its finest! Stark Carpet strikes again with an ingenious way to preserve old, classic Oriental rugs. Understanding that not all antique rugs can be restored to their original splendor, they have devised an enterprising method to preserve them. By cutting and stitching the salvageable sections they create unique patchwork Orientals. Of course, the colors are variable since no two are alike.

The Bright Group, 6-166 Merchandise Mart, Chicago
The Fine Line, 209 W. Illinois, Chicago
JANUS et Cie, 1876 Merchandise Mart, Chicago
Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago;
Pauline-Grace, 1414 N. Kingsbury, Chicago
Stark Carpet, 6-102 Merchandise Mart, Chicago
Ultimo, 116 East Oak Street, Chicago

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