Bath, bed & table: Multifarious colours and designs

The bathroom of the future will be more colourful than ever before – if the range of products shown by this year’s Heimtextil exhibitors is anything to go by. Some manufacturers now offer towels in over 40 different shades. For the bedroom, too, the spectrum of colours and designs is more extensive than ever. Floral patterns are ‘in’ when it comes to bed linen while this year’s textiles for the table are distinguished by extremely bright, summery colours.

Colourways in the bathroom include bright, luminous tones with a Mediterranean feel, such as azure blue, egg-yolk yellow, raspberry red, mandarin and turquoise. Or oriental colours such as midnight blue and copper, petrol and jade green. For a more feminine bathroom there are textiles in pale pink, light grey, celadon, pale lilac, not infrequently set off with Swarovski stones. Where patterns are intended to appear bolder and more masculine, grey, midnight blue, anthracite or black are used – colours which are then mostly subtly lightened with a mix of white or greige. Stripes, checks and abstracted baroque ornamentation, oriental paisley designs, kelim-style decoration, cool-looking, imitation wild-animal skins and edgings continue to be popular as design motifs. Alternatively, designers also take their inspiration from the imagery of the great painters like Gustav Klimt.

Towels, towelling wear and more
Bathrobes are part of almost all collections. They are made from terry towelling, cotton with a towelling lining, from velour or – a definite new trend – from highly textured honeycomb piqué. Both women’s and men’s ‘sauna kilts’ have recently come to be offered in a large number of attractive colours, for women in both knee-length and calf-length versions. New fibres have been developed and are now being used, to give better water-absorption and more rapid drying. The lighter material that can be made with such fibres means that the bathrobes made from them are more comfortable to wear. Several manufacturers are also offering additional accessories such as toothbrush mugs, soap dishes, small waste bins, as well as shower curtains in the same colours or with the same patterns as their towels and towelling wear.

Sweeter dreams
In the bedroom, too, the rule is: when it comes to bed linen, ‘floral’ is the thing to have. And the range of patterns is greater than ever before. Delicate petals float over the bed covers, little posies are rowed up prettily next to one another, huge blossoms provide bold, in-your-face fabric decoration or an all-over design. Graphic designs, too, are subject to more interesting variations. Alongside plain stripes and checks for ‘young beds’, there are also lots of designs with sporty and elegant overlaid check patterns or linear designs. New, this year, is patterning with a mosaic character, which provides playful or architectural accents, depending on the colour. Rediscovered at Heimtextil as a form of decoration is a delicate shepherd’s check in an elegant colour duo. Also popular amongst traditional patterns is baroque foliage, medallions and oriental paisley designs, predominantly in more subdued, tone-on-tone colours. Like the decorative fabric panels, bed linen, too, can be found with a pedestal design – or with patterning only on the upper section of sheets and bed covers. A more frequent discovery is the large decorative pillow, often embellished with embroidery, designed as a deliberate adornment for the bed. Bedspreads are lighter and airier. They are often coordinated with the bed linen in terms of both pattern and colour. Plaids and blankets are presented in rather nobler, discreet colours (particularly popular is a pale jade). And for those with a taste for it, there are also more eye-catching things like the blankets with wild-animal patterns in stridently dyed velvet or artificial animal skins in luminous colours.

People eat with their eyes as well as their mouths
The exhibitors at Heimtextil have made a point of bearing the wisdom of this old saying in mind. And for good reason: consumers want their dinner table to be a feast for the eyes – and not just on high days and holidays, as they once did, but every day. Textiles for the table impressed everyone this year, particularly because of the bright, summery colours, ranging from the lightest yellow to the darkest aubergine, often including more than 20 shades in a single item. For a rather more elegant ambience, there are table textiles in white, cream, grey or muted pastel shades, often in transparent material and decorated with embroidery. Linen, above all in beautiful, natural shades, is to be found in more and more collections. As in the case of soft furnishings and bed linen, floral designs are also the great favourites for the dinner table – with carefully drawn scattered flowers, faded water-colour effects or with large, theatrical blossoms. Alongside these, graphic patterns fight their corner with strictly delineated, loosely inter-connected checks or a Mediterranean tile design. ‘Table linen’ in a collection consists mainly of table cloth, table runner, a table set or napkin set; not infrequently, however, it is also taken to include aprons, tea towels and the metalware for blinds and curtains. The animal world, which is, after all, a provider of nutrition, has found its way into the kitchen big-time, with original artist’s drawings of fish, rabbits, hens, stags and wild boar for table sets, tea towels, oven cloths, bottle covers and chair cushions.

Stefan Jakob

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