By Christine Bockelman
The bedding forecast is sunny with a lot of color, according to industry design experts.
"Color is becoming more cheerful," said Aaron Stewart, creative director of Sferra. "We're using bright and bold colors more and more."
Ankasa relied a lot on chocolates, beiges and grays in past seasons, but is employing "unexpected colors" for spring 2008, said Jodi Sandman, the company's vice president. "There will be a lot of stark white with stark color," Sandman said. "We're learning that we like bedding to be a more neutral palette with pops of bright color." Ankasa is also expanding its use of embroidery moving forward, particularly using a lot of elaborate techniques pulled from the Indian heritage of the company's owners, Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia.
The company is also bringing back a retro technique tie-dying. "It's not something new, but it's something new for us," Sandman said. "We're playing with multiple colors on the same tie-dyed bed."
Not surprisingly, bursts of color are also big for spring at Blissliving Home. Mei Xu, owner of the modern bedding company, said she's using lots of light gray for spring, but "pairing it with a citron green in an oversized floral, statement piece." Greens, especially mixed with tones of yellow, Xu said, are going to be very popular.
"Yellow greens are definitely important," Stewart said. "I saw them in Italy about a year ago, and [the color] is definitely trickling down."
Xu is also predicting that pattern mixing will be big in spring. "We've seen a lot of that influence, particularly in furniture," she said. "Our Carrie bed is almost like a Japanese kimono. We use fun, bright colors like mango and aqua for a lighthearted story."
Sferra's new Sferra 1891 line showed off bright, tropical colors and prints recently, which Stewart said will continue, but moving forward he also expects to see lots of spalike, soothing colors, like blue. "We've had surprising success with purple," he said.
Waverly is also hoping for continued success with spa-inspired shades. The company's Temple of Flora bed has been a successful seller. "It's so appropriate for the bedroom," Pam Maffei-Toolan, the head designer at Waverly, said of the bed. "It has a very pretty robin egg blue, but a little on the greenish side with gray tones, along with touches of a light, milky coffee shade. The new spa shades are like neutrals, almost. They're lighter, more aquatic colors."
"People are moving toward color," Xu said. "I think people have realized that they spend half their lives in their bedroom and it should be an extension of their personality. It can change with the season or with your emotions. Red can cheer you up, while lavender can soothe you."
On the more tailored front, the menswear-inspired look, also seen recently on Revman International's Michael Kors line, will be sticking around a bit longer. "Sachin and Babi are loving the idea of menswear fabric as a base, and are looking at reproducing vintage fabrics with contrast embroidery," Sandman said. "For spring, they're looking at pale heather gray and pale khaki in cotton-based fabrics that are utilized for suiting and shirts."
Xu will be using a little more black, white and navy in the future. "We're bringing out bedding that's the color of menswear but with very intricate wallpaper patterning," she said. "We've been told by our customers that we need to create a bed for the male audience."
In terms of styling, Waverly is seeing a return to printed bedspreads. "It's another way to dress the bed, but is much more updated that what the word bedspread implies," Maffei-Toolan said. "I think we'll definitely move forward with it. It's less fussy, since you can have a coordinated look, but don't need a bedskirt." Waverly's bedspreads run to the floor, covering the mattress' boxspring.
Stewart said Sferra remains devoted to prints, also, but in duvets. "When I started here four-and-a-half years ago, matelasse was huge, but now we're seeing more of a heavily printed top of bed as opposed to solids," he said.