Design Spectator: What’s Black & White and Red All Over?
Here is an age-old riddle that we have all told at least once in our lives…”What is black and white and red all over?”. You think you know the answers but they no longer apply. Based on what I have observed this year at design shows and most recently at this Fall’s High Point Market, the new answer is that it’s the newest design trend for 2017. Almost every showroom featured something in a crisp black and white pattern with red accents which created instant drama. Why does this matter for the readers of this particular column? You’ll be getting calls and requests for skus that work with this in the coming year. It doesn’t take long for trends to circulate from the designers who are followed by “design-savvy-consumers” on social media and bloggers as well.
As always, the interiors industry is in a state of evolution when it comes to trends. The gray trend, while still strong and dominant, is now evolving into a palette of black and white with splashes of red against a gray or white backdrop. Global Views’ showroom in the IHFC Building of High Point mixed their contemporary patterns with traditional and modern design elements. Their signature “ZZ” pattern showcased on the floor makes for a startling and yet stunning vignette with the chinese red vases and is grounded by the Globe Square Floor Screens. The contrasting combo of the black, white and red works as well for the retro 60’s vibe as it does for classic chinoiserie.
Lee Industries and Wesley Hall featured several key pieces at this fall’s High Point market and showcased how the trend can easily change design styles. The nubby black and white zebra print upholstery of the Lee Industries chair has a modern feel to it while the exposed nail head trim tone down the formal aspect to a more “Bohemian Chic” appeal. Wesley Hall pares down ever further to a “rag rug” texture for its upholstery which was a hit this fall. For the other end of the spectrum of the BW&R combination, look at another popular upholstery piece by Wesley Hall. It’s yet another chair covered in the red, near black and white but this one is a stunner as the colors are blended in a “watercolor-effect”. The fabric itself is the best adaptation of the BW&R trend for interiors as its gradations of black transition into charcoal grays, giving off an almost metallic effect.
One can easily classify the Zebra pattern as “timeless”…many beautiful spaces have been accented by either zebra rugs, zebra upholstery and zebras in art over decades. Needless to say, black and white are neutrals but they’re the kind of neutral that are neither boring nor easily ignored. As more and more homeowners are fine-tuning their comfort level with “transitional”, mid-century modern or even “BoHo Chic” furniture and accessories, they’re also looking to find the right way to integrate that look into their homes making it their own.
Crisp white or rich black walls or vibrant red floors are the ideal canvases on which to introduce the dramatic combination. Homeowners and designers alike may find it challenging to locate a clean white or true black flooring so red or red-based rugs fit the bill perfectly. For this reason, black and white chinoiserie prints, toiles, stripes, ikats, graphic prints or zebra patterns work exceedingly well for the two neutrals to come to life. From fashion to interiors, the black, white and red trend will be one to watch out for in the coming months. It works with just about every style and is a budget friendly addition since it’s literally timeless and will never be “time stamped” as “so 2017”.