Color, Chaos & Creativity Returns👏

It’s been a while since I posted but since my trip to Oslo has been so inspiring I had this awesome urge to share!

Invited by the Norwegian Consulate to attend the Fushion Show in Oslo (August 28-30) celebrating fashion, art and music by redefining the creative standards through innovative performances revolving around fashion.

Our first stop was at the LMN Gallery showcasing ESP/Morie Fashion paired with innovative artwork and interactive models in motion.

After taking the reins of a 60-year old outerwear factory at Økern in Oslo in 2015, designer and entrepreneur Elisabeth Stray Pedersen established her label ESP. Ever since, the brand continued to develop the factory’s signature style, which was iconic blanket coats in pure wool, besides creating new designs. ESP utilises the finest Norwegian lamb’s wool from freely walking crossbreed sheep in the highlands around Gol in Norway. The wool is Nordic Eco labelled and their fabrics are Woolmark certified.

Founded by Creative Director Charlotte Fische and Head of Design Linn Sannes Brevik-Ribeiro in 2016, Moiré is the offspring of Oslo based Moiré Fashion Agency.

The brand speaks to the modern minimalist who wants to embrace their inner maximalist – with a strong focus on keeping it elegantly feminine. Totally opposed to the use-and-discard mentality, the brand is built upon a mutual wish for more tailored clothing, one-of-a-kind details and high-quality textiles. 

Moiré loves storytelling and the design process is a significant part of the small but highly curated collections. Every season is a result of a creative development that often involves a range of different designers and artists.

Tonje Plur is a womenswear designer and artisan based in Oslo/Norway. She combines social and geographical references with a variety of craft work and designs, making her collections a visual reaction to the present time.

Avenue is a woman’s and menswear brand founded in Oslo, Norway by Ingvild Abrahamsen, Gustaf Gyllenhammar and Espen Follestad. They showed their first collection in 2015 for Autumn-Winter.  With a long background in music, design and textile production, they are creating clothes highly influenced by their music references. They specialise in high quality garments with natural fibres and make distinct design suitable for everyday comfort.

Established in 1997, Cathrine Hammel is an Oslo-based fashion brand, producing new collections based on a variety of themes each season. The team consists of designers, a garment specialist, tailors, a production manager and a creative director working closely together to create elegant clothes that are meant to be worn in the real world. The clothes are laboriously altered to fit a progressive lifestyle, whereas the boundaries between work and pleasure collide into one single entity. Each garment reflects a Scandinavian way of living and its democratic ideals: Gender equality, a sustainable approach to the environment, social cohesion and a balance between life and work. Cathrine Hammel is a modern wearable fashion brand, catering to open-minded people, who recognize quality and durability as the most sustainable approach to fashion.

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The Balance Of Black and White in Interiors-Paris

As we see certain trends in color this season we are also experiencing graphic great trends in black and white that have been consistent with previous years statistics. This classic and sophisticated style adds dimension and drama to any interior space.

A favorite find at Pinto Paris today is this white chair accented with black piping and black metal arm detailing with accents of cork.Black based cocktail tables with marble tops by Sarah Lavoine Interiors. Importance here is the varied heights in the collection of tables that work as one style statement.

Textural black and white textiles at LE BVH in the Marais. It’s truly about the dimensional aspect of the weave this season in creating these updated graphic patterns.

Terrazzo Containers at LE BVH [trend watch 2018-19 products made with terrazzo]

Textured bathroom tile slabs in an updated chevron pattern in black, white , gray and taupe.

Retail Redo Overseas in Paris and London

Why is it that you can go into any store anywhere in the world and find duplication in products. What happened to originality, newness and craftsmanship justifying an original idea at retail. Lifestyle trends translate down from macro trends so interpretation should be varied and unique, right? Well that theory was lost along the way and in order for brick and mortar to survive at any level, we need to bring back the newness which is lacking! We all need to take the blame, move on and make it right again.

Just returning from overseas this week I unfortunately had the same experience..do not get me wrong, walking the streets of Paris and London were awesome and the food incredible, that might be why many of my photos were food or street trends because they were inspiring in color, texture and dimension.

Walking into Conran’s both in Paris and London as well as Harvey Nichols, Miss Selfridges and sadly John Lewis…it was a wall of sameness.

Plant Wall ✅

Global Artisan Baskets ✅

Cute Cafe✅

Appliances in red, white and blank✅

Enlarged Candle Areas✅

Smaller Furniture Space✅

Growing up in a retail centric family, my parents were both retailers, stores looked unique. Produce space was allocated more towards the personality of the store, window displays were original and technology was pretty much non-existent…which is why I feel products had personality. No one needed to compare every little detail and stores were not all things to all people…I do not remember walking into a department store to buy ketchup?

Hoping we will see change in the coming year in retail, both on-line and at brick and mortar stores.

Take Merci in Paris, I know, I know it’s a “weird concept store”, my favorite for that very reason because it allows you to look at products in a more creative and non-conforming way! Yeah!! Oh and did I mention the line to buy items was literally out the door…guess you get my point…originally needs to return to retail!

Sharing some images that were unique in some form, either color, retail setting or just plain FUN!

Merci, Paris

Food Fav’s

Bold Color And Product Finishes.

I took 2K pictures last week so I will be posting many of them throughout the month of February. Published articles can be found at http://www.designworksintl.com under press or on my personal website http://www.nancyfire.com


Artisan Aesthetic Lisbon Style

Bucket List Worthy!

Inspiration is everywhere in Lisbon, especially if you love Azulejos Tiles. Today these tiles are dominant in every Portuguese city and embedded in its history and culture.

The word “azulejo” means “small polished stone” and although they are not a Portuguese invention, by the 18th century no other European country was producing as many tiles as Portugal. Over the years, azulejo tiles have become an art form used for a variety of design applications both in exterior and interior home design.

Spending time in Bairro Atlo and Principe Real, two older areas of Lisbon, I spotted various azulejo tiles on homes in different color combinations and patterns. Below are a few of my favorites.

Heading back to our art/design studio in New York City, Design Works International, feeling inspired and excited to create our newest textile collections….and we just might have the perfect name….Artisan Aesthetic!

Collaborating with Nature 

For inspiration regarding color I often take my cue from nature. This weekend I noticed that our hydrangeas were starting to bloom at our country house and I was inspired by these awesome cool tones of lilac and purple…having just painted our front door lilac last weekend I decided to use the same inspirational color on our outdoor shower…I am never one to match when designing the interior or exterior of our home but I love the connection of color here…and it’s always nice to collaborate with nature💜 [even better when your husband agrees to paint your front door and outdoor shower lilac]

Surtex NYC Trend Updated From Color, Chaos and Creativity…Part 3

Last month in NYC I spoke about print, pattern and color trends at Surtex NYC, representing our design studio, Design Works International, a lifestyle/product design firm specializing in the home, fashion and accessory industries.

Out Of This World…literally..we are talking Galaxy inspired prints, patterns, embroideries with an iridescent sensibility and style. Nocturnal tones of deep purple, indigo and magenta are part of the color plan to heighten the vibe of this celestial superstar.


Even after a year of playful pineapples…we are still craving for more…NEW this season…the use of millennial pink mixed with metallic and textural accents.


Somewhere Over….yes it’s all about iridescent finishes and rainbow colorways in fashion, home and decorative accessories. The more color…the better and these saturated shades are cross generational…NOT only for the millennial crowd.


Boho Style continues to increase as a lifestyle look and we are seeing the resurgence of Folk Florals..[did they ever go away] as wallpaper, clothing, home accessories and garden tools in Americana color combinations that coordinate beautifully with denim…another trend that has cross generational appeal.

This is the last of a 3 part series …so if you missed part 1 and 2 please take a peek either at Color, Chaos and Creativity or at Design Works International’s blog.

All prints and patterns designed by Design Works International are property of our studio until a purchase agreement is signed. If interested in purchasing prints, our website is Designworksintl.com or call our studio at 212-594-0777 ext 112.

Stay tuned for our next series on new color combinations…2018

Surtex NYC Trend Update Part Two

Surtex NYC Trend Updates From Color, Chaos and Creativity….Part Two


Colorful Contrasts highlight this season by adding fresh and fun color to an assortment of products from paper goods, tabletop, fashion as well as home decor accessories. Do not be afraid of positioning primary colors together especially in full coverage patterns. Royal blue, teal, red and fuschia are leading the pack with a powerful punch of color!


Jewel Toned Textures keep our textured trend alive in 2017-18 with a shift in color to a warmer color palette. Fuschia, tangerine, golden yellow with accents of blue are updated color combinations for the season.


Mostly in home decor we are still seeing soft pastel shades mixed with deep accents trending in fabric prints and patterns. Millennial Pink continues to take the lead with lilac, grey and yellow creating this Soft Edge update!


It’s back, looks like Seaform of the 80’s is back with a vengeance looking new and updated mixed with black and white.


Transitioning from Millennial Pink to Mauve/Lavender will be a trend we will be watching as pinks transition over the next few months.

All Design Works International Prints and Patterns are owned by our studio until time of purchase. To purchase designs log into designworksinternational.com and click on shop prints…you will need to sign into your account or create a new account. Any questions e-mail nfire@designworksintl.com

Surtex NYC Trend Update Part One

Last month at Surtex NYC, I gave a seminar on Color, Chaos and Creativity..trends relating to the fashion, home and accessory markets. Posting my first update today and will continue to post the rest this week on color, chaos and creativity.

Jungle Florals and Tropical Treasures…redefining our lifestyle by bringing “the outdoors indoors” with oversized jungle inspired leaves and flowers. Greenery with bright pops of pink, violet and turquoise.


Our Rock Star trend is a millennial “must have” with spiritually topping the charts with crystals as the next craz! Soft pastels are accented with rich purple and magenta shades.


Colorful Catci take succulents to a whole new level by embracing products in fashion, home and accessories. This season we are seeing pastel colored succulents against deep toned grounds creating a new vibe in contrast color work.


Farm Fresh is truly a lifestyle today centered around organic style painted veggies, fruits and flowers. Colors are vibrant, fresh and saturated. Don’t be afraid to mix and match techniques within prints…it’s an updated and sophisticated way to make these prints new this season.


Cannot forget our Greenery this season with a shout-out to Pantone’s color of the year..we love pairing this special shade of green with contracting green shades creating depth and dimension..also adding black into the mix for a more sophisticated take on color!


Posting more updated trends for 2018 tomorrow…thanks for following💚