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Home style: Six hot looks in summer bedding

Jul. 16, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

If you were to rank your home-decorating projects, chances are "get new bedding" is low down on your list. We often sacrifice the style in the private spaces in our homes because they are out of the public eye. But think about this: Your bedroom is your sanctuary, and it's up to your bedding ensemble to set the tone for this all-important space. I've found that remaking your bed with a new ensemble completely transforms the look of the entire room.

Let's check out six hot trends in bedding.

1. FLOWER POWER

You see them on the fashion runways and sprouting up in home decor: Flowers are back! Today's florals are blooming with new hues and patterns. Because many floral fabrics mix in a multitude of colors, they offer a great basis for pulling a rainbow of colors into your bedding ensemble. And their perky patterns bring graceful movement to the lines of the bedding. When you pair a strong color like coral, for example, with soft neutrals like cream and taupe, it feels lively but serene.

If you like florals, pick a pattern that makes you swoon as your inspiration. I like to honor tradition in my decorating, yet keep it vibrant and new. Citron is the hottest color of the season, and we play it up big. We're pairing this shade, which rests somewhere between yellow and green, with black, white, gray, turquoise and coral.

2. STRIPES, STRIPES AND MORE STRIPES

We're seeing it all right now -- fat stripes, skinny stripes, in-between stripes and a combination of all of the above. Stripes that zigzag, stripes that undulate, stripes that intersect, solid stripes, stripes made of polka dots, stripes that resemble Ikat. Whew!

We used the still-crazy-popular chevron stripe as our inspiration for one bed because we adored this particular fabric, which weds the graphic elements of a chevron with the romance of a floral. The blue and green that dominate the palette was our jumping-off point for the rest of the accent pillows on the bed, all of which celebrate the clean geometric shapes and fresh colors that are inspiring today's designers.

Patriotic colors are back, but with a new twist. You can go with the great colors featured in Old Glory. Or, you can do a variation, with reds that lean more toward coral or cinnamon, and blues that are mixed with a bit of green.

3. GEOMETRICS STACK UP

Designers are getting playful and reinventing the neat graphic patterns of old, and I'm loving the look they're creating. We're seeing lots of newly interpreted imperial trellis patterns, Greek key (one of my all-time favorites), polka dots, diamonds, all in vibrant, saturated colors.

Although we really like to mix lots of surprising fabrics together when we create our custom bedding at Nell Hill's, we tie the divergent looks together by repeating fabric patterns and colors.

4. IKAT CELEBRATES THE BEST OF OLD AND NEW

Ikat -- that ancient pattern that has been unearthed and reinvented by today's designers -- is still immensely popular and won't be going away anytime soon. In fact, we're seeing the Ikat effect, of creating an image by clustering parallel lines very closely, being used to create a wide variety of shapes like stripes and polka dots, not just the standard Ikat shape. Even though it embodies an Old World, global feel, Ikat looks right at home with today's trendy patterns.

Right now, we are obsessed with navy. Traditionally, people have been wary about mixing black and navy together in bedding, maybe because they were afraid it would look too somber. But when you pour in high-contrast white and swirl it all together through a mix of interesting fabrics, you have a dynamic result.

5. GO WILD WITH ANIMAL PRINTS

Animal prints still show strong in textiles because they bring with them an understated yet interesting graphic pattern. Zebra stripes are among our favorites, and we like to work them into bedding - and upholstered furnishings. It's a great way to make a bed look a bit funky.

6. BRIGHT SOLIDS SHINE

People are opening their hearts, and the doors of their homes, to bright colors this year. You not only see bright yellows, blues, greens, reds and oranges used in all kinds of patterns, but also in solid textiles. Solids do a lot to bring balance to a cluster of exciting fabrics, so they are always a good pick for a duvet cover, quilt or set of accent pillows.

The column has been adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.

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