Tag Archives: trends

Tick … Tick … Tick

April 30, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

This article originally appeared in the 2015 April/May edition of Omaha Home.

It has been said that time waits for no man, and we, being of precious little patience, couldn’t wait to introduce you to some of our favorite timepieces. Check out this decidedly eclectic mix available from
area merchants.

Mid-Century Classic
George Nelson’s industrial designs put him at the vanguard of American Modernism. His famous Ball Clock, a timeless starburst pattern available in multiple colors, is just one of the reasons we’ll forgive Nelson for also being behind another groundbreaking design—the Dilbert-esque office cubicle.
Gadgeteer • $335

Prairie Power
Gustave Stickley was the preeminent proponent of the American Craftsman movement. Barbara Streisand once paid $363,000 for a Stickley sideboard (and that was in 1988 dollars), but you can appreciate the clean lines of this solid oak Prairie Style gem without breaking the bank.
Allens Home • $280

Kitsch Klassic
The Kit-Cat Clock was introduced at the height of the Great Depression in 1932, a time when people had little to smile about. With its trademark wagging tail, oscillating eyes, and Cheshire grin, this kitsch klassic offered some much-needed levity…and still delivers an infectious smile over 80 years later.
hayneedle.com • $49.99

The Art of Time
Salvador Dali’s trippy The Persistence of Memory presented a mind-bending landscape dotted with a trio of melting clocks. Inspired by the surrealist’s take on the illusory nature of time, this artsy clock is formed in a way that allows it to wilt away on it’s perch along any shelf edge.
The Afternoon • $19.95

Gee Wally, That’s Swell!
Isn’t this the same clock that hung in June Cleaver’s kitchen back when TV offered a robust selection of three (Three!) channels in glorious black-and-white during the “I Like Ike” era of Leave It to Beaver? This fun piece from Kikkerland will add oomph to any playful kitchen, retro or otherwise.
City Limits • $13.99

Minimal Magic
Created by Gideon Dagan for the Museum of Modern Art Collection, this minimalist design features a gravity-defying mechanism. A red ball effortlessly orbits the clock’s circumference, seemingly under its own power, in this mesmerizing example of magnetic magic.
The Afternoon • $65

Pretty in Pink
She may be known mostly for her vibrant, oh-so-chic handbags and other accessories, but take a look at this smart little bauble from Kate Spade. Perfect for a night table or dresser, an enamel surround in Spade’s signature pink accents the nickel-plated housing of this Lenox clock.
Borsheims • $50

Bavarian Beauty
A cottage industry army of pieceworkers scattered across Bohemia contribute the intricately hand-carved individual elements that come together in this amazing example of German craftsmanship. A kinetically bombastic performance awaits each and
every hour on the hour!
Chimes & Times • $595



January 16, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Fall High Point Furniture Market was a mecca for the most seasoned of style-spotters. We checked in with the professionals at Interiors Joan & Associates to learn more about the hottest textile trends—and the technologies behind the manufacture of the fabrics that add both texture and timeliness to your decor.

Topsy Turvy
by Architex
“Made from recycled polyester, this eco-friendly fabric boasts a patented Crypton finish that makes this textile all but impervious to stains, odors, and mildew. With great durability and light-fastness, this fun fabric would be a good choice for heavy-use applications like pet beds and kids’
booster seats.”
Karie Boggs, Allied ASID


by Pollack
“Famed furniture and boat designer Matthias Pliessnig also dabbles on occasion in textile art. This dimensional fabric in a silk/acrylic blend melds woodland themes with graceful nautical curves in evoking a soothingly organic motif.”
Karie Boggs, Allied ASID



by Pollack
“A true labor of love, this silk/cotton/poly blend uses a global village approach in its creation. Handcrafted in India, the pattern is first blocked in one village before being handed off to craftswomen in another who do the accent stitching. Artisans in yet a third village apply the mirrored inlays.”
Lisa Cooper, Allied ASID


Breathe Velvet Wild Flower
by Black Edition
“This work of art was created by Jessica Zoob. The acclaimed British impressionist has been featured in countless home and design magazines, and one of her most recent commissions is for a palace in Dubai. Here her dappled paint strokes form a variegated composition that is at once subtle and dramatic.”
Beth Settles, Allied ASID


Pallas Faux Fur
by Zinc
“Subtle markings and beautiful, natural coloring create a luxuriously tactile experience in this faux fur. Try this fabric on throw pillows to give a room just the right punch of drama.”
Beth Settles, Allied ASID



Incognitus Gilded
by Concertex
“This metalized vinyl wonder may not be bulletproof, but it’s the next closest thing when it comes to homes with young children. Crayons? No prob. Ballpoint ink? A breeze. Those dreaded Sharpies? Thought you had us on that one, didn’t you? Just wipe with a dry cloth!”
Karie Boggs, Allied ASID


by Dedar Milano
“This 100% cotton fabric is best used on vertical surfaces. Try this or any of the complementary hues in this line for the oval back of a chair or other accent piece. Be sure to team it with a solid seat fabric that anchors the tone so as to deliver visual impact in small but powerful doses.”
Lisa Cooper, Allied ASID


Kashmir Leaf
by Colefax and Fowler
“Evoking an updated tree of life, this beautifully embroidered linen/cotton/viscose blend features a bold vine motif that is reminiscent of paisley. This textile is particularly suitable for decorative applications, including draperies.”
Beth Settles, Allied ASID



by Zinc
“Glass beads—virtually zillions of them—are embedded in this metallic weave fabric. The play of light and shadow creates a dazzlingly sensual treat in a texture that is still somehow remarkably soft to the touch. This one is great for headboards, cornice boards, or oversized pillows.”
Beth Settles, Allied ASID

Waking Up from City Planners’ Utopian Dream.

November 5, 2014 by

It seems that the push into new urbanism has cost cities and developers a lot of money. All money spent in an effort to create from whole cloth a new Utopian form of urban-density design. From apartments with ground-floor retail, to new idealized communities where the form-based zoning pushed dense urban public space designs. They are designs that appear to make money only where consumers don’t have alternatives.

Contradictions between the theory and reality become apparent when driving up to one of these new urban-planned projects. I can think of two examples that show how poorly city planner ideals conflict with the realities of consumers. The use of compact parking stalls despite the fact that half of U.S. auto sales are for ever-larger pickups. Also, that notion of “walkable” developments despite the realities of weather-challenged cities such as Omaha.

Even the Lifestyle Mall concept is often a money loser. Yet the redevelopers of abandoned traditional malls where the focus is creating fun gathering places are making money. The trick here is pretty simple: Know one’s local market and design the shopping experience to match instead of using a cookie-cutter approach.

The idea of careful targeting of what consumers want is rewarding developers and cities. Rather than nudging consumers with idealistic regulation, rather than relying on what always worked with the baby boomers, successful development targets the actual marketplace of consumers in all the diversity of wants and needs. Just as states and cities compete to attract new employers with subsidies, successful communities work to attract the entire marketplace of those who will engage and energize their local community.

What appears to be working, and very well in many cities, is the revitalization of historic communities. Reuse of historic structures, rebuilding of historic neighborhoods, and support for the historically successful developments have a proven history of success. These redeveloped neighborhoods and areas appeal to a market segment nostalgic for a pre-suburban lifestyle. One could say: What’s old is new.

Here you have suburban zoning, which recent generations are accustomed to, separating each use. Euclidean zoning. Segregated clusters of similar homes, all linked by big roads. The mini McMansion with a yard, the soccer-mom Suburbans. Homeowners associations with strict enforcement of uniform appearance. The suburbanite exemplifies the notion that bigger is better, or if some is good, more is better.

Then there is the rental lifestyle found in well-located, high-end apartments. Here is a demographic that doesn’t look to homeownership as any sort of investment. This is a demographic focused on convenience and ease of social engagement. Often this lifestyle is a convenient walk, or bike ride, to work, restaurants and nightlife. As opposed to cheap apartment life of the ubiquitous suburban three-story walk-up units, the upscale apartment lifestyle often comes at a price point higher than home ownership, per square foot.

Another trend starting to gain momentum is the tiny-house movement. Despite minimum size requirements in most zoning codes, people skirt the requirement by building very small homes on trailers. Cities might consider embracing the tiny-home movement because it allows for a very affordable housing product. Much like incubator businesses, this affordable housing allows residents to become part of a community without financial risk. Think of underutilized infill locations being offered as temporary, or permanent, locations for communities of tiny homes. These folks tend to consider their lifestyle focused on quality as opposed to quantity.

Instead of imposing Utopian new urbanism on consumers, focusing on the different lifestyles consumers desire is the successful model. Seek the bottom-up, consumer-driven model as opposed to the top-down, authoritarian model we now see so often.


Tracking the Trends

April 14, 2014 by
Photography by Carlisle

Vogue calls 2014“The Year of Dressing Dangerously” and the year when “More is More.” They submit that the keyword of spring collections is “vibrant,” and challenge us to experiment with them and with the trends.

Sadly, so much of what we see from a high-fashion standpoint screams for attention by mixing elements that don’t relate for an overall look. The result shrieks style confusion. The high-fashion look today is, for the most part, high on bad taste. That said, there is still so much to choose from and style with that everyone can have a very “now” look, regardless of age.

Look to Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Carlisle for sophisticated yet relevant interpretations of the trends. If you leaf through magazines and mentally replace the head of the model with your own head, you will almost always assume the look is decidedly not for you. In contrast, I can flip through Carlisle’s Spring Lookbook and replace the young model’s faces (like the ones on this page) with those of almost every 60-plus woman I know. It is then that I see that trendy looks can also be ageless.

Finally, remember dressing with style is more about you than it is about the trend. Not every trend will be for you. The best news? There are enough of them out there that you’ll have lots of fun experimenting with new looks.


Tile Trends: Faux wood is for real.

October 24, 2013 by

There’s a big difference between fake and faux. Fake is meant to deceive, whereas faux is meant as homage. And one of the hottest trends in faux finishes and materials right now is faux wood tile—a ceramic that combines the rich, textured finishes and warmth of real wood with the durability, functionality, and design flexibility of tile.

The strong trend toward faux wood tile is due to its contemporary, sophisticated look and durability. Because it’s water-resistant, you can use it in parts of the home where real wood would be impractical, like in bathrooms and mudrooms.

What interior designers and homeowners love about faux wood tile is the abundance of available finishes, from natural, earthy tones to colors that most would never dream of staining in hardwoods, like washed-out whites and light grays. These lighter colors have become increasingly popular in more contemporary homes and boutique hotels, especially those with open, light-filled spaces that bring out the tile’s visual wood-
grain texture.

This year you’ll see many rooms with faux wood tile and be stunned by how amazing it looks. Just because faux wood tile looks like a million bucks, it doesn’t mean that it will cost you a fortune. In fact, the price per square foot is a mere fraction of what you’ll pay for real hardwoods, a point that has undoubtedly added to its appeal and rise in popularity.

Just don’t dare call it fake.

To learn more about tile trends, visit TileShop.com, or pop into The Tile Shop’s retail store at 12951 West Center Rd. And don’t forget to check out the Tile Shop’s free How-to-Tile classes every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.

There Are NO Fashion Rules!

February 25, 2013 by
Photography by Jim Scholz

I can’t tell you how many times people come to me with a question regarding whether or not they can wear a certain, usually trendy style of a jacket, pant, skirt, top, etc. My reply is always, “It depends on what you wear it with.”

Too many people follow the trends too closely, thinking that, in order to be fashionable, they have to wear what they see, as they see it. Fashion is a lot more forgiving than most people think. It’s more general than specific, more enabling than disabling. It’s “change” that you are in “charge” of! There are no fashion rules, just styling relationships to pay attention to.

When it comes to color, some people still believe there are only certain colors they can wear. The only colors that matter are the ones next to your face. I happen to look horrible in almost every shade of pink, but if I wear a shirt or a scarf in a flattering color under a pink sweater, pink works for me! I don’t look good in beiges either, but if I stack silver necklaces and wear silver earrings with beige, it goes from terrible to terrific on me. So if you’re worried that you won’t look good in emerald, the color of 2013, play with what you pair it with or limit emerald to your skirts and pants.

If you care about looking your best, your shape and the shapes of clothes you wear need to be compatible. Short women often tell me that they cannot wear long jackets. They usually determine that when trying them on over pants and skirts of a different color, which usually does make a short person look top-heavy and shorter. However, if you are short, the right long jackets can and will work over matching bottoms.

When it comes to skirts, the length makes a big difference. Length is always individual, and it varies according to what it’s worn with. Women with heavy lower legs usually look better in pants, but in fall and winter, they can wear dark tights and boots, and be confident about looking great in almost any skirt! In summer, ankle-length skirts with flat sandals are best.

The cut of your pants and jeans is very important. Never buy a pair of pants without examining how they look in back from a three-way mirror! Whether you can wear a wide leg, a tight leg, or a flared one depends more on what you wear it with than on the shape of you.

The shapes of what we wear shape us! I have proof of that. In 1991, when I was the Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation designer for the first time, the fashion look focused on waistlines. Pants, skirts, and dresses were wide-banded and belted at the waist. Almost all of the princesses and countesses had small waistlines. In 1997, when I did the ball again, fashion hadn’t changed enough to make much of a difference in body shapes. By 2002, when jeans were worn at the hip and below, girls had lost the definition of a waistline. Even thin and tiny girls had waist measurements considerably larger than those of girls their size in 1991. My relationship advice based on that is “beware of the comfort zone.” Clothes that are too comfortable are dangerous not only after a person is 60, but always!

I welcome your feedback and invite you to send questions to sixtyplus@omahapublications.com.

Mary Anne Vaccaro lives in Omaha. She designed and made couture clothing for an international clientele of professionals and socialites of all ages. She created ready-to-wear collections that were sold from her New York showroom, and she designed for the bridal industry. She designed for three Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Balls and ran a fashion advertising business in five states for a number of years. Invisible Apron® is one of several products that she has designed and developed. She still designs for select clients and works as an image consultant, stylist, personal shopper, and speaker on the subjects of fashion, art, and style. For more information, visit maryannevaccaro.com or call 402-398-1234.