Damask is Dead

Damask is dead…so sayeth the Décor Diva.

A couple of years ago, while working on the bedroom schemes of some of the Irish hotel’s 5 star bedrooms, I was found OOHH-ing and AHH–ing over any damask pattern fabric or wallpaper that came across my path.  That had started back in 2005/06 for me and most other decorators. Damask had made its return to the textile scene and I loved it.

However, my client would have none of it – she did not want to see another damask pattern, declaring that to her Damask had been there and done it. It could be found in most Irish retail outlets, in the form of curtains, cushions, wallpapers and the more.

I looked at her like she had completely missed it, but she was the client.  So we went down another route.

Today I am where she was at that time (5 years ago – talk about Europe being ahead of us).

All I want to cry out is: “ENOUGH ALREADY – DAMASK IS DEAD – been there, done it, got the T-Shirt and all and all and all. Damask as we know it – No more please”.

What may you say provoked this response?  Actually truth be known I have known that Damask was out of the trend spotlight for sometime now, but recently while paging through wallpaper and fabric books, I once again came across damask patterns, I had to give expression the truth.  (Do you ever form a picture in your head? The picture of damask I have in my head is that of one old lady – shrivelled with age with one foot in the grave and the other halfway there).

Let it be known – Damask is done.  Let’s embrace the current trends, albeit a revival of heritage and nostalgia.  Let’s go with the stripes, the vibrant colours, the locally designed textiles that come from fabric houses such as Lula Fabrics, So Kiff, the Design Team, Skinny laMinx and plenty of other.   If you are still holding onto Hollywood Glamour, then at least combine it with that which is natural.  Such a cool look as well.

If someone wants to rescue that Old Lady Damask from the grave, then they had better grab her quickly, give her some natural cloth and trendy bright colours.

Let’s hear how you feel.


10 thoughts on “Damask is Dead

  1. I totally agree. The problem with any trend is that by the time it reaches the retail sector (and therefore the public), the designers / decorators are already fed up with it (since it’s already been know to the designers for quite a long time).

    When the Damask revival began a few years back, I loved it. It was feminine, trendy, glamorous and it went hand-in-hand with the massive French Boudoir trend that did the rounds at the time. Now? Well…it just activates my gag reflex – it’s sad really.

    You arrange the funeral…I’ll bring the shovel.

    • I have to say that your thoughts are my thoughts indeed. Lets just have a moment’s silence ( just one moment) for Damask and hope that our collective silence will bring this home to even the retailer, people. I have a huge grin on my face coming out of reading your humorous comment about the funeral.

  2. Agreed. It’s had its day. In fact, I’ve heard people declaring wallpaper altogether is dead. Clients are still asking for it (being in geometric patterns these days) but I tend to agree that all wallpapers are on the out…

  3. Interesting indeed – what would you say is stepping into its shoes as wall finishes? I don’t really use wallpaper much because I just find that we in SA are subject to paying huge prices for it, as much of it is imported. And then when I do find something that fits the budget and available locally, there is never enough. I do however still like those papers that have no distinct pattern but somewhat of a textured detail (not much) just to bring the wall forward as a feature a bit more.

  4. I thoroughly disagree! Maybe the damask of traditional style, but combined with rustic, industrial, and (gasp) even hollywood glam design damask can be modern and hip! Even wallpaper (as some of your postrs have claimed) is being used more often now than it has been in the past 5 years. I see nothing boring about bold accent wall in a modern wallpaper. We’ve seen a trend of moorish design as well. To incorporate these patterns into current design consider the size of the pattern. Oversized, clean lines, bold color (or contrast) have everything to do with the specific damask being modern or tacky.

    • Morgan, don’t get us wrong – Damask has it’s place and purpose. Like you have mentioned, to attempt a Hollywood Glam interior without Damask would be utter lunacy. And what would a plush French Boudoir interior be without Damask – the terms are almost synonymous. But we have noticed that Damask as a general mainstream trend has past it sell buy date – especially here in S.A. the retail market has so clung to Damask that it’s seriously tired and overused (Damask on freaking everything)! I have to say we have recently seen some gorgeous damask-like wallpaper – it was a totally different and creative take on the original and we would not hesitate to use that in appropriate space. BUT, the traditional Damask, no matter the colour or scale, still activates my gag-reflex. Give me another 5 years, maybe I be over it by then…or trend would have cycled back as it always does, sigh…

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