Imaginative textiles, ceramics and wall-covering patterns reflect history with contemporary flair.
Many young international designers are drawing on heritage, folklore and their imaginations to create contemporary textile, ceramic and wall-covering patterns.
Some are finding larger audiences through décor retailers and online sites.
At Spoonflower, designer Andrea Lauren creates linocut patterns of woodland animals, flora, even the Loch Ness monster. They’re printed on textiles that can be used for pillows, curtains, bedding or lampshades.
Many early American quilt and rug patterns live comfortably in the 21st century because of their simple geometric designs and clean color palettes.
At Garnet Hill, the Johanna Quilt puts a modern spin on pieced quilts with circle pieces instead of traditional squares.
Annie Selke’s Merry Go Round hooked rug rescales the playful medallions and flowers of a 1930s artwork that Selke found in France; the rug is offered in two different colorways.
Great Plains Native American motifs are crafted into a bold geometric rug exclusively at Crate & Kids from Los Angeles-based Bethany Yellowtail.
The artist has also done a striking wool blanket, available on her own website, that she calls “All My Relations.” Stripes of various configurations reflect Crow and Northern Cheyenne elements, both part of her heritage.
ModCloth has ceramic plates and glassware decorated with delicately painted folk art motifs in a pretty palette of charcoal, lime, orange and mint, from the company One Hundred 80 Degrees in St. Paul, Minnesota.
What’s perched on the hot-pattern horizon?
“Look for Japanese and Persian folkloric themes and motifs — like Williams-Sonoma’s Dragon Zardozi pillow cover,” says designer Karen Wolf of South Orange, New Jersey.
Also on her radar: Delftware. Designers are reinterpreting the traditional Dutch folk patterns, with minimalist versions and the addition of Chinoiserie elements.