Looks To Look For: Jewel Tones

Designers Marshall Erb, Don Ricardo Massenburg and Rachel Moriarty sit down with Kathryn Given, Senior Style and Design Editor at LUXE Design TV, to talk through the hottest trends from High Point Market.

By Elise Hofer Shaw

Looks To Look For: Jewel Tones

Kathryn Given: Let’s start with jewel tones… Because Alexa Hampton’s sort of space and her pieces for Theodore Alexander—that was one of my favorite moments from High Point, too. Tell us about jewel tones.

Marshall Erb (Founder, Marshall Erb Design): Alexa launched that collection, and correct me if I’m wrong, I think October was the first launch of her collection, 200 some pieces with Theodore Alexander. And it was just like a breath of fresh air. We’re coming out of the gray doldrums, right? I mean, now, finally, clients are saying ‘Please, no gray’ instead of saying ‘Please give me gray.’ And to walk into that showroom last October and see—wow—this palette of color. She’s the queen of color. She really can use it and deploy it in such a strong yet subtle and classy way. And we’re now seeing that trickle out to other vendors, too, as it becomes more and more comfortable.

Marshall: It’s so funny… All of the topics that we’re talking about today, and looking at each designer’s backdrop. I’m sort of mad I didn’t decorate my room in jewel tones for this talk [laughs]. This was done a few years ago; it’s a few years older, so anyway [laughs]. This trend has just been something that I’ve been reacting to. I’ve gone from a neutral, sort of all-white, more high-contrast color palette to going toward more jewel tones, and that was a switch I made about two years ago. You can see remnants of the ivory [behind me], and then we’ve got the jewel tones popped in throughout. Here we’ve got the high-contrast black-and-white and the texture that we were talking about… It’s kind of crazy how the designers tend to all move in the same direction. And then we don’t really realize it until we all get to Market and then you’re like, ‘Wait, I did that two or three years ago,’ because it’s only now starting to trickle out on social media and in magazines. And, now, we get to see it at Market which is really kind of fun.

Rachel: And, you know, Don Ricardo and Rachel, I want to get your take on color as well. Are clients asking for color? Do you guys feel like you’re using brighter hues? Don Ricardo, why don’t you weigh in. I want to hear what you think.

Don Ricardo Massenburg (Founder, Design Inkredible): So I was on this for years, this blue thing. I posted like a blue dining room, and then people would screenshot it and say, ‘We want this! We want this! We want this!’ And then I feel like recently colors have, just like Marshall said, the earth tones are just warmer, warmer tones. And I was there in Global Views, and I saw those beautiful reds and the oranges, and so I absolutely agree. And I think, for me, because I was so focused on color for so long, just inviting some of the neutrals in, with some of the warmer, rich earth tones, it’s kind of where I’m leaning personally just because I want to broaden my portfolio, you know. But also, Rachel, just your thought of white as a bold graphic… I’ve never thought of that, so I just wrote that down [laughs].