Looking for the next hot decorating trend? Think ink.
"Tattoos used to be associated with bikers and rockers," says tableware designer Jessica Rust, who introduced her Tattoo Collection of personalized plates, mugs, bowls and platters this month. "Now they're exploding in home décor, furniture and fashion." Inspired by the popularity of television shows "Miami Ink," "LA Ink," "Inked" and "Tattoo Highway," and the mainstream acceptance of "tats" (estimates are that as many as one-in-four people between the ages of 18 and 50 are tattooed), designers have introduced clothing, bedding, rugs, tables and accessories emblazoned with the iconic patterns.
The new "Tattoo Heart Collection" from Gucci features handbags with stylized heart tattoos decorated with the company's logo. Luxury leather maker Coach included a $438 bag featuring the company's name surrounded by a tattoo-inspired border of flowers and leaves in its spring collection.
The hip Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago hired tattoo artist Ami James, star of "Miami Ink," to create tattoo art "Do Not Disturb" door hangers. Kiki Smith's Tattoo line of engraved crystal vases and accessories made for Steuben sold out at stores nationwide.
Los Angeles ink man Paul Timman recently teamed up with Ink Dish Design to create a line of delicate blue-and-white porcelain plates inspired by classical Japanese tattoos. Even jewelry-maker-to-the-stars Harry Winston has several tattoo-inspired brooch designs. Connecticut writer Karen Olson says the trend inspired her new Tattoo Shop Mysteries. "Missing Ink," the first book in the series, was released Tuesday.
But ink on skin is permanent. Body-art-inspired accessories for the home allow consumers to have tats without the long-term commitment.
Ed Hardy, considered by many to be the godfather of the skin-art-to-fashion movement, was one of the first to put tattoo patterns on bedding and bath decor. His Home Collection, featuring comforters, duvets and sheets with retro skull, heart, animal and rose designs, is carried at Macy's and Bed, Bath & Beyond.