In its new spring collection, CB2 has a brilliant orange wool area rug emblazoned with the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
The pre-WWII slogan was originally conceived to calm anxious Brits, but this rug is more startling than soothing. And it’s popular; the retailer sold out fast and had to re-order. Marta Calle, director for CB2, says there’s lots of interest in decor “that’s fresh and new, with great detailing. People want pieces that say ‘modern’ in an exciting and unique way.”
Some stores may still be playing it safe with inventory, but many have clearly opted to go bold, and homeowners looking to add a bit of wow to a room will find lots of options.
Let’s start with walls.
The always-daring Tampa-based designer Given Campbell gives us a new collection of wallcoverings inspired by several Catholic patron saints. For example, the paper named for St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, is interpreted in a repeat of airplanes. A quirky yet wonderful troupe of snails makes its way across the paper named St. Francis, after the patron saint of animals. From feathers to fish scales, in softer earth tones and wilder hues like fuchsia, lime and gold, these wallcoverings hold surprises.
Campbell thinks her art’s appeal is simple: “Drama. Putting bold wallpaper on even just one wall in a room of any size instantly changes the feel of the entire room.”
She notes that with more shelter magazines featuring strong pattern and color on the walls, people are more confident to try it themselves. But she has a suggestion for neophytes: “Use a bold pattern in neutral hues. White on white is especially good for this, because it’s both dramatic and subtle. It’s like design training wheels.” Part of her sales go to St. Vincent de Paul charity.
Mario Trimarchi has created a sculptural dance of mirrored laser-cut steel in his Scirroco bowl, inspired by childhood memories of fierce winds and bits of flying paper. It’s available at MOMA, as is a fun collection of paint-drip-patterned trivets and mugs.
Finally, at the always-intriguing Mxyplyzyk, there are rhino, moose and deer heads like cardboard origami for the wall, as well as brightly colored bowls with interior photo-prints of yummy looking fruit, salad, popcorn or spaghetti. Designer Natalie Kruch has tied more than 500 candy-colored balloons to a wooden stool she’s named Balloona.
Like all of these examples of audacious yet affordable home decor accents, it’s playful, fun and fresh.
Just like spring should be.