My ideas and thoughts for Trend Bible on colour and trend directions for 2012.
There has been a radical colour and print revolution in children’s design over the past few years that has given way to a shift in the choice of motifs and core colours that have traditionally been associated with boys and girls. Moving away from the clichéd over use of pastel blue and pink/ pirates and princesses was something that I actively set out to challenge when I opened my store. Taking this modern approach to styling gives parents new choices whilst allowing children the opportunity to express themselves more freely and to experiment with colour in a way that is in tune with the contemporary family home.
I can sense a move away from bold wallpapers to either anaglypta or feature walls in plain colours or the use of more subdued prints. Giant signs and letters, glittered typographic posters, accents of fluorescents, mirror balls, vintage beading and gold details evoke a bohemian feel with faded glamour of the vintage circus. New colours will bring a fresh tropical feeling to homes that juxtapose dramatically against darker shades of grey and black that people will begin to use with more confidence. We will see colours transend both age and gender boundaries as the division between child and adult spaces becomes more harmonious.
We have just finished developing an Olive Loves Alfie soya based paint range that will give families a new perspective on colour that will be available in January 2012. Seek out and revive mid-century school furniture like James Leonard’s ESA classroom chairs for children’s rooms. Make a graphic statement and add a fun and practical design feature by painting the chair backs and the inside of desk lids in blackboard paint to write children’s names on or to give them an unexpected blank canvas. Have fun with children whilst maximising the impact of colour and creating a sense of order in your home by organising shelves and cupboards into colour groups. Introduce some depth to your home by painting a wall with matt blackboard paint encouraging creativity and organization.
One of my favourite things when I was growing up was an old print tray on the wall of our downstairs loo. It was home to a collection of tiny things from all over the world that were constantly being rearranged. I think it gave me an interest in objet trouve, functional and utilitarian art that works so well in a non precious family home. Children are wonderful little collectors so identify something to collect together that can be carried through into a feature in your home that adds colour and a narrative to a space. We have an on-going collection of badges that we add to an old standard lamp and the walls of our downstairs loo are constantly evolving with a multi coloured sticker collection that tell the story of our travels.
When I opened my store I wanted to find an alternative to the prolific use of licensed characters that were used to market children’s clothing and products. Instead of surrounding our children with adult conceived characters I wanted to bring back the art of ‘make believe’ that encourages a creative and deeper exploration of the self. Having an 8 year old daughter I have a particular focus to find a balance between the strong trend towards gender neutral design and one that celebrates modern girls with non clichéd sensibilities. At Olive Loves Alfie we strive to recapture that magic through imaginative clothing, toys and home wares that combine a strong aesthetic, lasting quality, progressive use of colour and fair production principals.