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The Challenges of Modern Decor

shibori pillow 2 tanlged pathOne of the biggest challenges we face when coming up with a design for a new space is finding the proper color palette.  Some spaces simple call for black and white.  Often the homeowners are quite happy with this stark and basic palette.

But in some cases more creativity is required.  Often times a client will want a modern or contemporary design with a splash of color.  And finding just the right pieces to bring out these colors can be a challenge.

A Recent Design Trend

While handmade items have always formed the backbone of the pieces we acquire or our clients, the rise of online marketplaces such as ETSY have dramatically reduced the amount of time required for us to find new and unique pieces.  It has also fostered an explosion in creativity.

The reasons for this are pretty simple.  One of the biggest barriers to entry with starting your own fabric or furniture design business is the high costs associated with having a storefront.  Marketplaces such as Ebay and ETSY have removed many of these barriers.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of designers have started businesses that thrive only on web sales.

The volume of traffic on these sites enables these artists to be extremely specific in the type of product they create.  While a store that made handmade one-of-a-kind napkins might thrive in a  large city like New York, it would struggle to stay in business in a smaller location.

But with millions of shoppers browsing these sites, there is more than enough traffic to make up for the specialization that occurs.

Throwback Techniques

Many of these artists have decided to learn old or even ancient techniques to create items that cannot be duplicated or mass-produced.  And buyers are more than willing to pay a premium for such items.

One specific example that we came across recently is the art of shibori fabric design.  This is a technique that has been used in Japan for hundreds if not thousands of years.  It is very similar to tie dye.  Traditionally shibori was only done in indigo.  But artists such as Natalie Mason at the NatalieVMason.com have begun using this technique with a wide variety of colors and fabrics.

We had her create some custom pieces for a recent project of ours that needed to be livened up with a splash of color.   The colors and patterns create a very organic look that is sometimes described bohemian chic or boho chic.  Essentially it’s eclectic, and overall this isn’t a look we go for.  But used sparingly within our overall designs it is a fantastic way to liven up a room or an individual piece.

shibori pillow tangled path

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