Some of the hottest looks in home interiors are shamelessly stolen off the backs of runway models. That's because fashion design has long served as an inspiration for interior design. This season is no different, as evidenced by several recent designer showcases on Long Island.
Designers paid homage to the fashion world quite literally at the recent Mansions & Millionaires Designers' Showcase in Upper Brookville, using fashion photography and even an actual dress as wall art. Others cherry-picked their favorite bits and found creative ways to weave them into their interiors. And those new incarnations will no doubt be snatched up and reinvented for the runway once again, says Arlene Travis, who runs the showcase each year for charity. "As far as fashion and interior design go, they intertwine," she says.
"It's like an exchange program," she says. "Designers in the fashion world come to show houses to see how the interior designer has interpreted what they are using," says Travis. "It works in both ways, and it's a very strong exchange. They're looking for something brand new."
Apparel-inspired home decor is available everywhere, from boutiques to big box stores. These five fashion trends are too irresistible not to take home.
SAY IT AIN'T FAUX
You can't swing a dead mink in a women's apparel store without hitting a pretty convincing fake one. Faux fur clothing and accessories are back in vogue with a vengeance -- and now the sumptuous synthetics are warming up home interiors as well.
"They've been refined to such a point that they are almost identical to the real McCoy," says Travis. Whether it's a garment or a home accent, the furry appeal is the same: "You can have something that looks very luxurious and yet is within your pocketbook," Travis says. This 50-by-60-inch faux fur throw, shown in Arctic Brown, is available at HomeDecorators.com for $62.
This season's most fashionable fingers are flaunting outrageously oversized cocktail rings -- often with a vintage flair. For instance, "people are taking antique buttons and turning them into rings," says Travis. "That has spilled over into our world," she says. "It's on your decorative hardware everywhere -- finials, sinks, faucets. Look how faucets have changed. They became jewels," she says. Glass droplets dress up the drapes in this Great Neck living room by Pat Gericke, a Manhattan-based interior designer who has lived in both Westbury and Sea Cliff. "The living room color palette can be taken from Lily Pulitzer summer dresses," Gericke says. "With the window treatments we added glass droplets to the valance -- think the 'Girl With the Pearl Earring' -- along with a wide-braided trim on the leading edges of the drapery panels." She says the look is "straight from Chanel's classic jacket."
The smart look of menswear fabrics, such as flannel, glen plaid and houndstooth, is a fashion favorite for everything from purses to outerwear. In the home, "it's used for upholstery," says Travis. Just like clothing, the interior trend has a buttoned-up, tailored look. "Of course in furnishings, it's detailed a little differently," she says. "Where a jacket might have brass buttons, furnishings might have brass brads." This Clybourn Loft Armchair in houndstooth is available at Target.com for $449.99.
Fiercely fashionable patterns such as snakeskin and cheetah prints were all over the runways this year -- and now they're all over the house. Manhasset Hills designer Karen Arpino has domesticated the zebra for this Manhasset master bedroom. "Animal prints and hides can be used in both traditional and modern settings and always make the space look fresh and give an unexpected punch to the room," Arpino says. This one's not a real hide -- it's a wool Stark carpet that Arpino turned into an area rug.
Outlandishly embellished hats -- the aptly named fascinators -- made a splash at the recent royal nuptials in London. This did not go unnoticed by home decorators, whose interpretation of the trend involved lampshades, Travis says. "They're using wonderful things like grosgrain ribbons and jewels encrusted on the lampshades." This feathered masterpiece appears in the Breakfast Room White Christmas by Cold Spring Harbor design firm Dyfari Interiors in the 2011 Home for the Holidays show house at Orchard Hill, open through Dec. 18 at Old Westbury Gardens.