Talking Trends with Kerry Rowe of Kerry Rowe Design LLCKristin Crane
At Design Pool, we know how important it is to stay on top of industry trends. With that in mind, we’re launching a new blog series Talking Trends to give us an excuse to talk to talented artists and designers about what they’re seeing. We’re kicking things off with a conversation with Kerry Rowe of Kerry Rowe Design and creator of Box See Studio to talk trends in color, materials, and finish design (CMF).
Kerry is an expert in the field of CMF. She has over 20 years of experience working with clients such as AIS, Ghent, Camira Fabrics, and Flying Pig Coatings.
According to Kerry, when it comes to fabrics, texture reigns supreme. Fabrics created using many different techniques, that feel and look textured, are being used to make a statement, especially when mixed with other materials. As designers have moved away from felt, they have instead been using textured yarns in a more simple structure, or unique weave effects to create a visual texture when woven. High contrast in yarn color can also create striking effects, such as using a white yarn in the weft against a black warp thread.
From Kerry’s extensive experience working with metals, she sees a lot of powder coats used in contract furniture on items such as chair and table bases as well as other cylinder shapes. These solid satins or textured finishes have a way of “catching light in beautiful ways” and look gorgeous with textured fabrics. She is also very excited to see that manufacturers are getting close to developing a material that will mimic the look of anodized aluminum. The new technology will make it possible to have an anodized look, but in a material that can achieve color consistency, is scratch-resistant and is better for the environment.
When it comes to metal colors, Kerry sees the warm brassy tones of plated metals being replaced by cooler shades and silvery tones. She continues to see that wood is very important to create warm and homey spaces. “The luxury look of wood is never going to go out of style.” These days, smoother wood finishes are coming into their own replacing plank looking floors.
The most significant color trend that Kerry is seeing is taupe, mushroom or wet clay hues are taking the place of grey. As grey moves on, so does the direction of creating a space of all one (grey) tone. Light taupe is effortless for color-coordination, making it the new neutral!
Not only is Kerry’s eye for color and trend well-tuned, but she also has a way of assessing trends and using them to great effect in her work. No doubt, any design studio and product development team would love to have Kerry on their staff at the beginning of a season. Well, now they can have the next best thing. Kerry has recently launched a new project called Box See Studio, which she describes as “a semi-annual collection of up and coming materials from the built environment selected to celebrate color, texture, sheen, and form.” Instead of sending an entire design team out for days of trend research, they can bring the trends in with a specially curated box of samples.
Each season Kerry puts together a standard box. She also offers to visit a product development team to train them on how to use it effectively. She can do a deep dive into a particular trend or idea and create a custom box just for those needs. What makes this so unique? Kerry has access to many different manufacturers’ samples and does the work of selecting items that work together and look amazing.
Kerry was inspired to start this project because it was something she “would have died to have” when she was working in a mill. Mills often did not have the resources to send groups of designers out to research the market. She remembers feeling like she was in a creative vacuum. Other trend services are narrowly focused on just color or just fabrics. She pulls different materials together for one cohesive box to inspire and inform a creative team. It’s the next best thing to having Kerry on staff!
Learn more about Box See Studio and Kerry Rowe Design over on her website. What trends do you see out there? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.