Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting.

—-Sister Parish

When I heard the first few whispers about it among industry professionals, I thought, “They’ve got to be kidding.”  The 80s?  Seriously?  The decade of overpowering florals, frilly ruffles, and mauve???  But it seems, as I delve into the latest trends for Fall 2010, that they were serious after all.  Yes, my dear readers, the styles of the 80s are back, but in a good way.

A few signs revealed themselves in fashion last fall, actually, with the return of the leggings, long tunics, ruffles, and wide belts.  (No shoulder pads, thank goodness!)  We unknowingly welcomed these looks with open arms, so guess what – this fall, leggings are coming in even stronger, along with the boyfriend cardigan, more ruffles, and the hat!  Think we can pull it off?

Anyway, as we all know, home fashion follows the trends in apparel.  So here we are.  But it’s not as bad as you might imagine.  First let’s address the colors.  While Pantone’s new colors take us back to the old jewel toned palette, this year’s interpretation of mauve has been split into two extremes.  Purple Orchid is much more vibrant, compared to Rose Dust, a quieter, neutral taupe with just a hint of pink.  It’s not the same look at all, even when mixed with Lagoon (this year’s aqua), and the addition of citrus brights gives the fall a nice, unexpected twist.

As far as style elements go, there is a growing trend towards patterns, but not so much florals as damasks, ikats, kilims, and suzanis, and on a much more dramatic, oversized scale.  You will see these patterns on wallpaper in a huge way, so I encourage you to try it, even just as an accent wall.  If wallpaper is not your thing, then definitely on fabrics, which are coming in much more luxurious for the fall: velvets, chenilles, and of course, silk.  Not too many ruffles, or layers in the window treatments, thank goodness, but we do see softness and curves in the lines of the furnishings themselves.  Gold is back, as well, but not in the shiny, brassy way that you remember.  This year’s gold is more matte, and accompanied by mirrored finishes and crystal accents.  So as you can see, the current application of what we remember from back then is nothing to be afraid of.  It’s actually quite stunning, if you just give it a chance.


Leslie Sarmiento

interior designer, published author & speaker

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