The Global Lens

By Patti Carpenter, AmericasMart Global Trend Ambassador

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
GK Chesterson

Patti CarpenterI love color! It makes me happy. You might say I am passionate about palettes…..of color. There. I said it and I’m proud of it! Color can literally make me salivate. In fact, I often refer to colors as tasty or delicious.

Similarly, I love sumptuous textiles and beautifully thrown or decorated ceramics and furniture; the beautiful curve of well-balanced seating, the stateliness of a well-designed table. I love a good wood grain and perfectly polished metals. I love humble materials made into extraordinary treasures. I love creativity and functional design made fabulous. It’s in my DNA. It’s what inspires me and stirs me to get up and get out every day. Without it all, life would be diminished in some way. This I know for sure.

So when AmericasMart Atlanta approached me to be its Global Trend Ambassador, I was more than delighted. I put on my global glasses and got to work. As I travel around the world, 54 countries and counting, I’ll review design, color, print/pattern and materials and share my impressions with you. Come journey with me through the ethos and the ether of the current trends, distill them, and discover the subtle, salable sensibilities in what we find.

To begin, here are the color-related categories clamoring for my creative attention for the coming season.

Color: As we collectively focus on the environment and the climate, the warming of the world draws our attention to that side of the color palette countered by a coolly confident blue. I’m focused on…

  • Orange – warmed and reddened, scorched and sultrySultry Orange
  • Yellow – from red-tinged Ochre to shocking Lemon Zest whitened like a sunspot.Sunspot Yellow
  • Inky Indigo – deep, saturated and newer than navy
    Inky Indigo

Palettes: Colors play together in complex collaborations

  • Pales – pretty pastels that pack a modern, yet softly feminine punchPerfectly Pale
  • Mid Tones – perfectly pitched between pastels and bright; a Frank Stella retro-influence inspiresModern Midtones
  • Black and White – classic to cosmic, these opposites continue to attractOpposites Attract

Till the next time, I hope my reportage engages and inspires you; that it touches you in some visceral way…that is rouses you to join the creative conversation.

See these trends and more at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, January 12-19, 2016. Learn more at

Join Global Trend Ambassador Patti Carpenter for “Through the Looking Glass: A Study In Contrasts”, an interactive journey through emerging international macro trends in color, print, surface design and materials with a focus on the influence of European trends on the current US home and gift industries. Your guide at the crossroads of business and creativity, Patti distills the broad-based themes directing trends around the world and their impact on American markets, while offering a first look at the must-see product innovations people will be talking about in the seasons ahead. Patti’s insightful, carefully curated presentations continue to be an indispensable resource for US-retailers and designers looking to stay abreast of groundbreaking trends on the global horizon. Thursday, January 14, 2016 | 11 a.m  | Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

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