L.A. Home: When Thread Counts

Textile designs shift from neutral into high-hue gear

The bone, beige, tan, and cream fabrics that have allowed home owners to play it safe are giving way to vibrant textiles that exhibit a mix of age-old richness and state-of-the-art breakthroughs. For L.A.-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard, of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, the Ottoman-inspired linen textiles he reintroduced this year evoke a sultan’s robe—“layer upon layer of pattern that’s as luxurious as it is androgynous,” says Bullard. For urban dwellers inclined to forgo chintz and floral, the designs strike the right note of playful yet exotic, he says.

Peggy Platner draws on the Malibu landscape for the bold solids of her cotton, linen, and silk blends, which include “the pinks and mauves hiding in the hills” that she sees on her hikes. “People are taking more risks,” she says of the response to her line. “They’re making a statement of who they are.”

The British firm Zinc is more than a century old, but it uses the latest metallic weaves and printing in its contemporary “Nightclubbing” series. “The approach is architectural rather than decorative,” says Zinc USA CEO Frédéric Henry, whose company’s textiles were used by heiress Petra Ecclestone in a remake of the Spelling mansion.

The venerable Fortuny has revived classic patterns while dropping into the realm of fantasy with its Egyptian cotton fabrics. The new “Camo Isole” design is an “interpretation of the reflections on the water in front of our Venice factory,” says Mickey Riad, co-owner of the fashion house. “On it float various islands. There’s Manhattan, the Florida Keys, Cuba, Sicily, and because one of our workers is from there, the Philippines.”