April 20, 2011

tz trend review: back to nature

Alright, I know what you are thinking – how can nature be trendy??  I’ll concede that “back to nature” is hardly a new concept.  But we are seeing an evolution in the way that nature is being used in today’s design.  This spring, designers are interpreting flora and fauna motifs in a fresh, almost witty way.

Take C.R. Laine‘s Whittier Swivel Chair, for example.  When did you last see a lilypad pattern … especially one that is over-scaled, graphic and accented in honeysuckle (Pantone’s 2011 color of the year)?  Although I am not personally fond of this fabric, I am in love with the way C.R. Laine is taking traditional elements and reinterpreting them in a modern way. (I also madly love the silhouette of that chair.  It’s very similar to the pair of chairs in my own living room!)

Even birds – one of the most traditional motifs (John James Audubon, anyone?) – become modern and graphic when the pattern grows larger and more open … and especially dramatic in black and white.  Isn’t this Silhouettes Lawson Arm Lounge Chair by Hickory Chair fantastic and totally current?

Oh, and please don’t think this look is overly feminine … at least not the way it is being done now.  Take this art grouping in the Hickory Chair showroom.  Here, the black-and-white art is paired with tailored, menswear-inspired pieces.  Doesn’t this room represent a great balance?  Masculine – feminine, classic – contemporary, graphic – subdued … I see it all here.

And don’t you think this trend reflects our ever-increasing environmental awareness?  With everything going on in the world today – tsunamis, earthquakes and nuclear disasters – I know I appreciate the simple beauty in nature more than ever.  From the humble branches that inspired the Durango Chandelier from Arteriors Home

… to the enchanting beauty of the butterfly, as seen in this bookshelf display at Two’s Company

we realize how precious nature is … and how much we take it for granted.  There’s a reason it feels better to have life in a room.  It’s soothing to the soul!

I think this table (also at Two’s Company) is beautiful with terrariums and the orchid in a simple terra-cotta pot.  There’s even a magnifying glass should you feel inspired to examine it all up close.

How do you use nature in your home?


  • Sarah Devaney-O’Neil
    Apr. 20, 2011
    That branch chandelier is beautiful, have you seen this bed from Anthroplogie? http://bit.ly/gPfVIQ It has the same back to nature theme to it. Love it!
  • Amanda
    Apr. 20, 2011
    Two's new stuff is super cute and great quality! Love!
  • Deb
    Apr. 24, 2011
    great post - some of those patterns are pretty wild! Very jealous of all the market photos - feel like I'm the only one who didn't go :(
  • tzd trend review: experiments in scale
    Jun. 15, 2011
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