By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
Camouflage designs have been around for a long, long time. Military camouflage patterns have been popular in fashion and art from as early as 1919! Camouflage patterns have appeared in the work of artists such as Andy Warhol and Ian Hamilton Finlay, sometimes conveying an anti-war message. In fashion, many major designers have expanded upon camouflage style and symbolism, and military clothing or imitations of it have been used both as street wear and as a symbol of political protest. So given this history, we would have to say that camouflage is not a fad (fads come and go quickly). I wouldn’t call it a trend (trends are mainstream influences). So maybe we can label it a design flash with longevity. Small amounts go a long way in interiors and add an element of surprise and masculinity.
You would expect to see camouflage elements in a mountain cabin, or a little boy’s bedroom, but product twists in styling are now bringing it into great rooms, master bedrooms and even nurseries! So it would be safe to say this design “flash” would be taking on more influence than we ever anticipated.
Let’s talk about the principles behind camo. We are citizens of a patriotic country. We support and take pride in our military branches, and camo is their trademark uniform. Patriotism, American pride, respect for our military, all are symbolized in camouflage patterns along with strength, masculinity, security. Since vision is the main sense of orientation in humans, the primary function of camouflage has been to deceive the human eye. The principle of camouflage works through concealment (counter-shading, preventing casting of shadows, or disruption of outlines), as well as mimicry, or even dazzle. In modern warfare, some forms of camouflage, including CADPAT textiles, offer concealment from radar and from infrared sensors. So how do we adapt such a meaningful flash into our everyday environments?
Here are a few examples:
Who says camouflage is for boys only? Take a look at this contemporary nursery, dressed in a stylized, feminine camo fabric.
This young boy’s room is the perfect setting for camouflage design. Neutral walls and floor covering provide a blank canvas for military nuances. It’s dramatic, but not overpowering.
The floor covering industry has answered the call for camouflage patterns for home interiors. Below are just a few examples, including Shaw Carpets, Joy Carpets, Milliken Carpets, Atlas, Mohawk Industries—each has their own interpretation either in broadloom or carpet tiles.
Now it’s up to you to go undercover and scout out your own camouflage styles. Google awaits your search. Have fun!