Lillian August has had her finger on the pulse of design for over 25 years. Not only is she the face behind her five eponymous furniture stores, but Lillian has also produced numerous incredibly successful licensing partnerships with top manufacturers. Her latest ventures—a gorgeous, 120-piece fabric line for Fabricut and a furniture collection for Hickory White featuring precise antique reproductions and fresh pieces with a classic spin—are evidence of what a design visionary Lillian is. We sat down with her to find out what influences her designs, what trends she’s seeing, and what she thinks you should invest in now.
What inspires you when you are designing your own collections?
My inspiration always comes from my customers. Some of them have a tremendous interest in fashion and trends, some prefer designs influenced by the past, while others focus on comfort. Everything about decorating today is so personalized. I am inspired to provide exactly what our customers want, and my furniture and fabric lines offer something for everyone.
There are historical references in both your furniture and fabric lines. Tell us about how you tap into the past.
For furniture and fabric inspiration, I’m a history nut. I’ve always been drawn to beautiful fabrics; I started out with quilts, and now I collect antique fabrics. I just designed a beautiful tapestry fabric for Fabricut called Tea Ceremony. The design was inspired by an antique Chinese plate with ornate pagodas, people, and palm trees. It’s a scenic toile pattern that we reinterpreted— it’s one of my favorites.
What are some of the big trends you're seeing in furniture design for fall?
There is an incredible interest in the environment and green design. People are gravitating toward natural fibers and reclaimed woods. Another trend is a bohemian chic sense of design that blends different styles, colors, and periods—for example, pairing an English antique with a 1920s rug and an industrial-style table.
What colors are hot right now?
We’re seeing a lot of pale gray, on walls and textiles. People also love combining different natural tones of linens—we aren’t calling it beige anymore. And retro green is huge. And of course, blue has always been America’s favorite color; it’s a classic and is not going anywhere.
What are fall must-haves for the home?
Every room should tell a story, and accessories really do that. They make your environment more creative and surprising. Accessories bring a room to life!