Is this new fabric trend fabulous or hideous?

Recently while in at the Design Center I saw another designer with her client flipping through the newly introduced fabrics. I heard the client say, “EWW… that is hideous, who on earth would want that in their house”? I was obviously curious what fabric had repulsed her so as soon as they left I went to check it out. It’s either a love it or hate it fabric pattern but I am seeing more and more of it so I am declaring it an official trend. It is street art or graffiti printed fabric.

Street art fabric from Pierre Frey

Street art fabric by Toxic for Pierre Frey

 I laughed to myself because about five years ago I had plans to create this exact same thing. I spent a week in Barcelona and was fascinated by all the graffiti in the city. Truth be told, I became obsessed with it (we don’t have much graffiti in Boston). In my eyes some of it was masterful works of art. The colors and patterns were amazing. Once back home I sent off some of my graffiti images to custom fabric printer Spoonflower and had a few samples made. I had planned to make pillows but life got busy and I dropped the ball and never went forward. Plus, there was a question of copyright issues with the street artists and it began to become complicated.

So to see “my idea” a reality was somewhat thrilling. High end fabric house Pierre Frey has partnered with world renown graffiti artist Toxic to design their street art fabrics.

Graffiti artist Toxic

Graffiti artist Toxic for Pierre Frey

Pierre Frey graffiti fabric

Pierre Frey graffiti fabric by Toxic

Romo fabrics has partnered with another artist named Kirby. They had a pillow on display in the showroom.

Kirby Design for Romo fabrics

Kirby Design for Romo fabric

Kirby’s designs are much less “gritty” than Toxic’s with the use of bright happy colors.

Kirby Design for Romo

Kirby Design for Romo

Duralee has introduced their version and although it is a bit less graffiti like it has that random paint spatter feeling.



This one below is actually paint splatters.



This trend is not just seen on fabrics. Walls are also showing up sporting large coverings of graffiti as well.

Webster and Co. Boston Design Center

Webster and Co. Boston Design Center

Even fashion is embracing the street art look.

Graffiti leggings from Etsy

Graffiti leggings from Etsy

So before you dismiss this trend, keep an open mind and let me share where I think this street art look would look fabulous, and where I think it would be hideous.


A hip loft with either a graffiti accent wall or drapery..fabulous!

A graffiti pillow or two in a teen’s room or a young child’s room depending on the pattern…fabulous!

A graffiti wall papered powder room…fabulous!

A play room or basement with an accent wall… fabulous!

A wallpapered ceiling  in the right room…fabulous!

A “statement” chair…fabulous!


All four walls covered (unless it’s a small powder room)…way too much!

A country home..the look is much too urban

A traditional suburban home…same as country home

Leggings (unless you are under twenty and adorable).

SO…I would love to hear from you…fabulous or hideous?

Oh, and just in case you are curious, here are a few of my graffiti images from five years ago in Barcelona.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Some would obviously transfer better to fabric than others but the dream is still out there. Too bad someone beat me to it!




11 Responses to Is this new fabric trend fabulous or hideous?
  1. Carla Aston Reply

    Very cool, Linda. Of course, this kind of color would catch your attention! Great post.

  2. Laurel Bern Reply

    To each his own, I guess. The only one I like but only for a playroom or something like that is the Duralee. Or as you said in very small doses in an urban setting.

  3. Amy, Home Glow Design Reply

    Fantastic post, Linda! I hadn’t seen much of this until the walls of Phillip Thomas’ room in the Kipps Bay Showhouse this year and now — everywhere! I wish you could have launched the idea! If it’s any consolation, by grandfather-in-law created and electrolyte drink when he was the team doctor for a high school football team (“The Gators”) 60 years ago, but never thought to patent it. Someone else got rich on “Gatorade.”

  4. Angela Taylor Reply

    To be honest these graffiti fabrics etc. do absolutely nothing for me, with the exception of the paint splatters. They are way too busy and distracting for my taste. Having said that, I’m sure there is a place for them, and I pretty much agreed with your examples Linda. Just as a matter of interest, I am seventy. If I were fifty years younger, I may feel differently.

  5. Susan Silverman Reply

    I’m totally on the same page as you when it comes to fabulous and hideous! As a matter of fact I have a Chanel Graffiti tote bag that I purchased in Turkey last year and I love it. (It’s not the real deal I’m sure… but when you buy things in Turkey, you never know).

  6. Michele Youell Reply

    Great post about an emerging trend! I love the examples and your Barcelona inspiration! I agree with your notes that these designs could definately work in the correct applications. Designing a statement wall in a hip, downtown loft is calling to me.

  7. carolanne Reply

    fab !

  8. Jil Sonia Interiors Reply

    Oh yes, I think it’s fabulous, especially when done in bright happy colours, with lots of white!

  9. Kerry Steele Reply

    Hmm! I suppose they are all too busy for me. Maybe in a tweens room though.

  10. Robbie Maynard Reply

    This is fab to me Linda!! I absolutely love these designs, thanks for sharing!!

  11. diane Reply

    I love it and can see it on a single chair in an all neutral living room or on dining chair seats or on the ceiling in a powder room or teen’s bedroom. Hope to see some rooms that have put this fun fabric to good use.

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