Monday, June 25, 2012

Ombré Design Trend

Finish selection shown from Aria Metal Hardware

As trends cycle throughout history, ombré is one that has been a domineering force in the new millennium.  Today's strong resurgence is seen in hair styles, fashion, upholstery, wall treatments, draperies and just about anything you can put a finish on.  It falls under the Eclectic genre of design and pairs well with metals, cool tones, and new-found objects.

The word ombré is a French term meaning shaded and is used to describe color that is graduated from light to dark and often into stripes of varying shades.  It is interesting that the first recorded use of the term was used to describe a dyeing technique with fabric in 1841.  However, the word was not entered into the Oxford English Dictionary until 2005.

top:, bottom: glamlamb.

Ombré draperies can be achieved with a Bohemian tie-dye of sorts or color-blocking, with finite attention to detail in the graduation of color within the fabric or finish.  Draperies are the most dramatic way to use an ombré finish in a room.  These treatments define the height in a room, create a cohesive design and direct the eye to the room's focal point or main motif.  Pairing metal drapery hardware with natural tones of satin nickel, brushed nickel and matte black with an ombré design creates a fluid and smooth transition from ceiling to floor or floor to ceiling.

The photos above create an ombré pattern using the entire space and draw the eye into the heart of the design.  The top photo defines the architectural focal point of the bay window and draws the eye down into the design while washing down and out through the floor.  The bottom photo does the opposite.  It washes down from the light ceiling and grounds the eye into the deep blues in the furniture and floor covering as the focal point in the room.

Wallpaper by Pierre Frey, Paris

Wall coverings and paint finishes are another dramatic way to add ombré to a space.  It can be accomplished with a sophisticated graduation of one color or many as shown above.

                                    Pillows by, Pouf by Surya

Accessories are an easy and subtle way to add ombré into a design. 

glamlamb, House Beautiful

There are many ways to add ombré both big and small into your design.  It can rejuvenate a tired old design or create Pop art in a new modern space.  Before you break out the Rit Dye, how will you choose to use ombré in your next design project?

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