Friday, April 12, 2013


Watching the trends in fashion is a sure way of seeing the future looks in the interior design industry. This may not be a complete truism but it's not too far fetched to say that what shows up on the runway is soon to follow in the homes and offices of the design world.
It's not that the interior design field doesn't get to wear the mantle of trend leader at times, it's more due to the fact of how much time it takes to make a garment as opposed to how much time it takes to create an interior environment.
Color blocking has been running down the runway for the past year and showing up on celebrities at all the award shows.
That's why now it's time for it to show up in the pages of the shelter magazines. The whole look of color may have been a reaction to a more positive look from the economy, it could be responding to the termination of political indecision on the presidential front, or it could just be that spring has sprung and with spring there's always an infusion of color
I tend to look at color blocking in two different ways. The more general way is to see massive blocks of color used in stark contrast to one another usually without the interference of pattern.
This way color becomes the message, pure color where the combination of color creates the dynamic, the conflict and the interest.
This is where color blocking reinforces an already existing shape.
It draws attention to shapes that might have gotten lost in less dynamic use of color.
It's a throw back to the 1930's and the work of Mondrian where blocks of primary color were surrounded by deep black lines.
More recently on the catwalks during Mercedes Benz fashion week designers were using color blocking to create shape where shapes didn't exist before.
This seems to reference the work of Frank Stella where color transforms shape to  curves where squares had been and squares where circles had existed.
This is the more recent trend I'm seeing in the interior design arena. Interior and furniture designers are using color to create shape and interest where there wasn't any form before. Walls are being broken up and divided in places that didn't have division before color came in.
Rugs take on a shape that wasn't perceived until color took control creating a pattern you couldn't see before.
A floor has a different sense of space with waves of color that are now almost seen as steps up to the reception desk.
Even the exterior of this building now has a playfulness it wouldn't otherwise have without the color blocking on its fa├žade.
It's spring. It's been a long winter. It's time for some color blocking to brighten up  the world.

Frida Kahlo, 1939
Nickolas Muray, photographer
Represented by Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

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