Q&A with Lillian August
Lillian August forecasts home décor’s spring trends
Photograph: Lorin Klaris
This spring it’s all about color. Whether it’s painting your walls in a bold red or orchid, or adding pops of metallics to neutrals, adding color to your home is on trend for spring 2014. Lillian August predicts our decorating forecast by providing insight on what inspired this year’s collection and how to make your home spring to life this coming season.
What spring trends should we expect to see in home décor this year?
I really am very devoted to forecasting trends. You start being able to predict just by how the customers are migrating towards certain colors. Pastels are back. Metallics have been added to neutrals. People are adding a punch of color with neutrals, like a citron, deep purples and reds. The orchids and pinks are popular. But the most popular color scheme is navy blue—it’s huge in fashion for women and men and it’s the easiest color for decorating.
What is the most popular color of the season?
Radiant Orchid is the Pantone color for 2014. Radiant Orchid would not have been the color of the year without a sense of magic. If you go online and read their description of radiant orchid, it presents this concept of health, joy and magic. Those are all very romantic terms in a way, and very far-reaching. They are not conservative by any means, so that is what we are experiencing.
What fashion designers provided inspiration for your spring collection?
When you design furniture and fashion, it’s exactly what happens in apparel. I look at all of the fashion designers because a lot of the couture designing is so textile and color, so I study all of the collections. When I start, I study fashion runway. Red is huge right now. If you look at the way celebrities are dressing for the award events a lot of the women are wearing red, so that will filter down to decorating.
Your collection was inspired by the women of design. What aspects of their design aesthetic did you include?
I just think we all have these romantic notions of where we want to go and what we want to do, and it all comes from our past. It goes back to those women who started design as a profession. Elsie de Wolfe said that “Every day I want to live my life to make things beautiful.” It’s about the home, nostalgia and getting it right. If you study the history of decorative arts, Queen Victoria really created that sense of an English home. She created this romantic environment, where before in English history, everything was militaristic influences and all about the men in design. There were five design movements during Victoria’s reign: flower and gardens and floral fabrics. Men were allowed to live with very romantic interiors and feminine influences all because of her reign.
What is the easiest way to update your home for spring?
I think the most important thing is color and paint. I just believe in looking at all the magazine excitement about color and that you’re not being too wimpy about color in your life and color on the walls. I recommend this way of investigating by clipping through the magazines and going online. Pillows are wonderful too—a nice way to freshen up the room is with beautiful pillows.
How would you sum up your collection?
We work in five different lifestyles—anything from very conservative to neutral and organic fabrics, to Belgian-Swedish, to this glamour look. What’s number one for people is creativity in decorating and choosing the lifestyle look you want. The trend now is an emphasis on traditional being a bit more minimalist, with a concentration on proportion and scale and gorgeous color.
Where should homeowners start when designing their home?
Starting is hard. We all live with things we don’t know whether to save or get rid of them. If you have a rug and you think you have to plan your whole room around it, you will be in trouble because it will probably be the wrong colors and style. That’s the major textile in the room, the rug. Today’s textiles are cleaner and more geometric. If you are truly going to update and decorate, you have to make sure you have the right rug and be brave about getting rid of things. You can’t start with accessories because the room has to be perfectly right. This is that whole way of collecting your favorite things and seeing how they work together to form a specific point of view. You want a pulled together room.
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Belvedere sofa and New Albert Sofa photos by Johnny Widner, all other photos by Lorin Klaris