182 FABRICS AND WALLPAPERS. OPINIONS BY SERENA CONFALONIERI AND PATRICK FREY
SERENA CONFALONIERI 1 ‒ Home decorating styles using wallpaper and fabrics change over time according to the trends. But decorating styles last longer than those in the fashion world, usually from three to five years. Provençal style, minimalism, natural textures, anti-design, baroque: such past trends have given way to a freedom that permits you to mix it up. It’s a decorative style without reins, completely liberating. I would call it neo-eclecticism. 2‒ Who are my interior decorating influences? I’d have to say the master of Italian design, Gio Ponti, and northern Europe’s most creative designer, Hella Jongerius. In fact, the wallpaper line Architects is inspired by the designs of Ponti, Charlotte Perriand and Oscar Niemeyer. I wanted to play with architecture and classic furniture designs to emphasize their graphic aspects. So, I transformed them from three- to twodimensional to showcase their abstract patterns. 3‒ I enjoy both reinterpreting classics and creating completely new designs. I am also interested in reviving artisanal methods that are rarely used these days. For example, with inlaid wood, I was able to create contemporary wall coverings. Working with leaded glass was really interesting. I used it in the Santissimi collection, three trays inspired by the immense stainedglass windows of Milan’s Duomo. 4‒ I love old homes, lived in and filled with memories. I’m not a big fan of the total look. I prefer settings with bold colours paired with graphics and decorations that break up the style. Vertical or horizontal styles with decorative elements such as wainscoting that leave the rest of the wall in a solid colour. The tone-on-tone look or colour scales also work well. I also like contrasting colours, even if the quantity and combinations are difficult to determine.
PATRICK FREY 1 ‒ The spaces within homes now have a fluidity, a mix of styles; the traditional moulds are being broken. For these reasons, decoration and design are no longer polar opposites. You don’t have to choose sides. On the contrary, they create a synergy, they work together to make our homes livelier, more free-spirited. They can even crossover in the same project; for example, I’m thinking of the Tarsine modular wall coverings (by Serena Confalonieri, Ed.). 2‒ In turn, eclecticism is influenced by trends. On the upswing is wallpaper and panels featuring hand-painted landscapes that are now decorating apartment walls from Milan to New York. It’s also becoming all the rage to use wallpaper as a decorative element on a single wall as if it were a large picture. Among fabrics, those with an unfinished texture are popular, such as linen and wool. For carpets, everything goes, from historical motifs to design projects. 3‒ In the textile world, there’s always been fierce competition between Italy and France. But interestingly enough, everyone in Paris adores Italian textiles, whereas in Italy the French style is admired. Contemporary, of course, but also the more traditional, classic styles. This is seen in the fact that Italy is among the top international markets for Pierre Frey (French interior fabrics, Ed.). In general, our rising sales reflect the popularity of the decor. 4‒ My recommendation to your readers would be to take risks in their chosen combinations, though of course it’s a question of balance… What’s important is that the patterns are of different scales so that they complement one another rather than compete. As for themes, geometric patterns are timeless, reinterpreted in many colours. Figurative decorations are now in vogue – foliage, floral and landscapes. But if you choose them for the walls, select a sober colour for the drapes, and vice versa. And with regard to colours, beige continues to be popular.