Northwest NEWS

February 12, 2001

Front Page

Spring trends to stylize home and wardrobe

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It is said that yearly trends in home décor follow the fashion houses in colors and motifs, and spring 2001 designs for home and clothing show colors in retro and classic designs to fit every taste and budget. From bold and bright to sherbet pastels, colors with a blue undertone are big, big, big this season. Retail stores and home decorating designers are showing pink, red and even corals with a blue undertone in everything from couches to lipsticks.
   Gone are the yellow tones of last spring, sage green (though still "hot") being replaced by blue-greens such as aqua on walls and accent pillows. Deep red slipcovers, not shabby chic and loose, but tailored and trim, adorn couches, chairs, throw pillows, and bring a warm, homey hue to home furnishings.
   As trends come and go, what drives them? What's new, and how can the average person afford to update a room every time a new trend arrives?
   Take a tour from Carnation to Woodinville and check out specialty design, unique gift and antique, and local retail stores where you might see a special trend item waiting to spice up your home and give your spirit that spring renewal kick without breaking the budget.
   One of the best kept secrets in Carnation is Simply Grand on Tolt Avenue, a gift and design store. An eye-catching chicken fabric from Paris at a jaw-dropping $200 per yard was a tad more exciting than most wallets can take, but was one example of the full scale of fabric prices available to order through the store, along with home décor items.
   "Color trends, I believe, are metaphysical, connected to world happenings. Red portrays energy for our time now. Remember the earth tones of the late '60s and '70s? Through the decades, different awareness affects trends. Trends take a long time to come in and to go out," said Yvonne Funderberg, store owner.
   "I've had more orders for full drapes this year than in the past 10 years," said Funderburg.
   Baby boomers who may recall the full heavy draperies of their parents' homes or wood blinds with the woven earthtone colors, the first Levolors, mini-blinds, wooden shutters or sheers are now back to full draperies for their own homes.
   McCoy's Mercantile in Duvall on Hwy. 203 combines country, primitives and cabin décor items with antiques and gifts. Again, as in Simply Grand, roosters are the hot collectibles. Sunflowers may be garage sale fodder and ivy items long since past, but roosters may stay with us a while. Owner Alana McCoy offers an array of wood, ceramic, big or teeny red roosters and their chicken counterparts that are decorative items, canisters and doorstops.
   In Woodinville, customers will find shop-till-you-drop design, furniture and home décor heaven.
   Sylvanis home décor store, owned by Leslie Thurston, has an eclectic array of traditional antiques, classic, vintage and unique home décor items. Antique Chinese farm baskets are displayed on a $3,500 carved library table surrounded by items priced all over the board. A design consultant is available at the store, located behind the Hollywood Schoolhouse.
   "House," the interior design showplace, is located off the Woodinville-Redmond Road, one block past the Hollywood Schoolhouse on the right. "House" is what you dream your home would look like.
   "Red is coming back in home furnishings, and color in general is back. Homes seem more comfortable with color. In Seattle's blue-gray environment, and especially if there aren't a lot of windows, color really warms up your living space. It's inexpensive and really gives you a lift. Slipcovers have made it so easy to change color," said Michelle Hollingsworth, owner.
   "'Paris' is the sunflower of this season," said Hollingsworth.
   Evidence of this theme is touted from the East Coast in catalogs such as Ballard Designs of Atlanta, Ga., and Woodinville's "House" carries Paris in many accessories.
   Paris accents such as glassware and mirrors, pictures with tin inserts, white with green French provincial furniture and coverings are widespread. And bringing garden décor into the house is perfectly acceptable. As decorating eases up the rules and becomes more personalized, one or more little touches in the living room can freshen and update it.
   "French red toile (pronounced 'twal') de joy is a classic reinvented, and the most common fabric scene depictions come in blue, black and red. Style magazines 20-30 years ago had toile. Leopard, cheetah and animal prints never go out of style. Like a polka dot, they are a neutral and should be used as accent pieces such as ottomans and rugs," said Hollingsworth.
   The newest trend shown at the semi-annual North Carolina design show was the "world traveler" look, which brings together influences from all over the world. "House" had a table set with African mud cloth table linens, Asian stoneware and serving pieces. It was a warm, inviting table to sit family around.
   "The Hemingway family licensed his name for home furnishings, and it opened up the floodgates. It will probably take another year to get to this area, but it was very strong. The more items to mix will make it more palatable. It's also very guy-friendly," said Hollingsworth.
   Home trends are a woman's world? Not according to store owners.
   Pennsylvania Woodworks Ltd., the solid, traditional or modern hardwood furniture and design store on 140th Avenue NE, Woodinville, has seen a large increase in couples where male input goes beyond just the sales-funding level.
   "They (males) want their personalities reflected in the home as well," said Lynn Goodwin and Sandy Ledford, managers.
   "Husbands are looking at the pieces, the quality, the style, and they like to be involved in the process. Since more people are working longer hours, their homes are becoming more comfortable and cozy; a haven. They want to be home instead of going out," said Ledford.
   Pennsylvania Woodworks is also seeing the trend for full drapery orders. Window treatments are very hot.
   Remember your mother's old chenille white bedspread that became the dog's bed? You'll kick yourself now. Chenille in damask texture or the corduroy look is very "in."
   Neutral tone-on-tone shades, and deeper, richer, larger florals are all being shown.
   In your Woodinville travels and hunting expeditions, don't forget a stop at Target and Linens & Things. These retail stores are full of trends, accent pieces and affordable linens to make it easy to update rooms, and these stores are constantly changing with the seasons.
   To move out of the home furnishing mode and into the fashion realm, go to your favorite store to see the blue-based pinks of the cosmetic fashion houses, and the reds and pinks in clothing, but also note the sherbet colors, especially apricot. Very hot.
   Female consumers should thank the fashion industry because they can wear their Capris, "mules" and sweater sets again this spring, but of course those need to be the updated sweater sets ­ the ones with the single closure at the top on the cardigans. Retailers had to get into the wallets somehow, but it's a small price to pay.
   Grab your companions, make a budget, find your store, and renew yourself in spring trends.