Tag Archive 'patterns'

Jun 14 2012

Mixing Patterns: How Unlikely Combinations can take a Room from Drab to Fab

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Isn’t it amazing how often you can look at a completely decorated room in a magazine or showroom and say, “I would have never thought to match that pattern with that one”? It can be a daring move, but mixing patterns and textiles is one of the most enjoyable and unique way to make a room look like it was professionally designed. It just takes a little editing and a daring attitude.

If you love the modern look of sleek lines and crisp whites, but don’t like the cold feeling it can sometimes create you can easily turn a room that is otherwise stuffy into a warm room with personality. Mixing patterns with textiles and color is really the perfect storm of proper decorating, but it takes a little know-how to pull off. 

How to Edit your Eye

Did your mom ever tell you that an outfit you put together didn’t match? This is something we are taught from a young age, that we have to match our shoes to our shirt, and our sweater with our pants. However, when it comes to design, things that match too well tend to be boring and underwhelming. In fact if you can match a busy pattern with a striped textile you will not only add some intrigue to the room, it will entertain the eye of your visitors as well as your own.

You may have to retrain your eye to see beyond the obvious. If you have only used matchy-matchy colors or patterns to decorate in the past, try to imagine introducing bold accents like a tufted leather ottoman with a lime green cross-hatch throw and combine that with a subdued cream pinstriped pillow and a Native American inspired area rug, but make certain that the colors in all of the accents are from the same “family”. Don’t try to mix primary colors with warm colors, or pastels with cool blues- this will make an otherwise inventive use of pattern look awkward and disjointed. 

How to Become More Daring

The only way to become a pro at mixing unexpected patterns and colors is to try your hand at it. This means that you need to take a daring step and see if you can make the leap from predictable to spontaneous. This doesn’t mean you need to buy new orange carpet or fly in an intricate light fixture from Morocco, it simply means that you need to begin layering with one unique outside-of-the-box item at a time.

Try incorporating a unique pattern in your color scheme about once a month for five months. This gradual process can help you to eliminate patterns that may not mix well or are too safe. Remember a pattern doesn’t always have to be busy, it can be streamlined or intricate, it can be bold or it can be subtle. The key is to look for unique textures and patterns that blend but don’t disappear into your room. After you’ve added 5 new patterns or textiles to your room, you’ll be amazed at how chic your room seems without changing anything drastic.

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Jun 04 2012

Color Code and Pattern Personality: How to Decipher Your’s for the Best Choices in Décor

In design, it is amazing how the little things can make all of the difference. From a simple throw pillow to a thoughtful art piece, it is the accents in a room that can really highlight your beautiful furniture or lofty ceilings. If you don’t understand how to use accessories to your advantage you will be missing out on an inexpensive way to take a room from plain to full of pizzazz. While color and pattern are the two main ingredients required to give any room personality, it takes a little know-how in order to really make a statement as well as blend everything effortlessly and purposefully.

Choosing Patterns 

This is a little bit trickier than choosing color. A pattern has the ability of telling the story of your room, where color has the ability of setting the scene. A fleur-delis pattern tells the viewer that you enjoy a classy and refined lifestyle, but if you bring it together with a pop of hot pink, it also takes your room to a fun and hip place, where your friends won’t be afraid to bring their kids or ask for hot cocoa instead of Chardonnay.

Most people have no idea how powerful patterns can be, nor that they have the ability to speak volumes about your personality. Do you love checkered patterns, country landscapes, shabby chic floral, or pinstripes? Perhaps you are drawn to the wacky and outlandish lines of a mid-century modern wingback chair, or you like the streamlined look of a simple linen drape. These little accents are the finishing touches on your room, as well as a declaration of your style.

Choosing Color 

After you have decided which patterns you are attracted to, then do a quick diagnostic of your color code. This may change depending on the room. In some rooms we like a moody, low-light color scheme for example in the bedroom, but a burst of bright orange in the living room can provide a lot of energy. These color codes can go together as long as you pay attention to hue. The color spectrum is an amazing thing. The right shade or the addition of yellow, green, white, or red to any color on the color wheel and you turn a pink into a purple or a green into a blue.

That is why it is very important to choose colors that blend together. Not all blues go well together. A bright blue that is like a robin’s egg will not blend well with a blue that has greenish undertones. The best way to decipher undertones is to ask your local paint store for a paint book. Choose colors that are close to each other. If you like a bright yellow in the front of the book and want to match it to the nearest taupe, don’t pull a color from the back and instead choose the brown paint swatch nearest to your original selection.

To-do: Flip Through Fabric Books

The next time that you are at a fabric store, flip through their fabric books. Every time your eye is drawn to a certain pattern (pay no attention to color) ask for a swatch of that pattern. Once you have collected 3 or 4 of your favorite patterns, then move on to color and do the same thing. This is a quick self-study in deciding what your pattern personality is.

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Mar 08 2012

Pattern, Color & Texture – Creating Amazing Rooms

Not all that long ago homeowners wouldn’t dare mix patterns and colors in any way that wasn’t traditional.  Neutral colors were, for the most part, bland and lacked personality.  Today, all of the rules are out the window when it comes to decorating your home!  Rich textures, contrasting patterns and lots of color create rooms that are filled with personality and dimension.

There are still a few rules, but not too many.  If you’re ready to turn your dull home into an extraordinary showplace, here are a few tips for decorating with these various elements.

Consider room size when choosing patterns

Take the size of the room in to account when deciding on the patterns you want to use.  Large patterns can look overwhelming in a small room; for example, a large floral print on furniture upholstery tends to look garish.  For smaller rooms stick to small and medium sized patterns.

In contrast, large rooms look better with patterns that are medium to large in size.  Small prints can get lost in a large room; a small print often looks like a solid color from across the room in an area that is open and spacious.

Colors liven things up

It’s fine to have neutral colored walls and even furnishings, but color is what brings a room to life.  Consider bold splashes of color in throw pillows, rugs, wall hangings, vases, curtains and other accents so as to add interest and appeal to the room.

When using color, use those you love most but stick to three basic shades so that the look is coordinated and not confusing.

How to mix patterns and textures

If you think back a few years, it’s very likely that you never saw plaid patterns, stripes and floral designs mixed in the same room at your mother’s or grandmother’s house – it just wasn’t done!

Today, designers know that mixing stripes and floral patterns or plaids and solids makes for a look that is bold, elegant or even country chic, depending on what you are striving for.

It is perfect acceptable – and even encouraged – that you use stripes and checks or stripes and floral patterns together, as long as all of the pieces contain some of the same color.  For example, if your color scheme includes burgundy, blue and cream shades you would want all patterned items to contain a single one of these colors such as burgundy.  A burgundy and blue striped throw pillow will look divine when paired with a floral pillow that contains the same shade of burgundy.

Use a varied array of texture in the room; nubby rugs or accent pillows stand out even more against smooth or satiny surfaces.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit when it comes to patterns, color and texture.  By combining all of these elements, your rooms will make an impact that is not soon forgotten by all who enter your home.

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Jul 17 2011

How to Mix Patterns for a Stylish, Beautiful Home

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Decades ago, a majority of homeowners wouldn’t dream of mixing patterns.  A living room would be decorated with floral patterns, stripes, plaids, geometric or abstract patterns, but they were never mixed.  Today, mixing patterns is all the rage – but you have to know how to do it correctly to achieve an appealing look.  Mixing patterns adds depth and interest to any room, and gives it a unique style that is rich and beautiful.

One basic color plus white equals eye-catching

You can easily accomplish a beautiful look for any room by using white and a single color, such as blue.  Paint the walls bold blue, add white furnishings and wall hangings with various patterns.  An upholstered white chair embellished with bold blue flowers is striking with striped white and blue curtains on a nearby window.

Throw in an ottoman with geometric blue and white design; add some wall art and you have a spectacular room!

Bold, vibrant color plus various size patterns is striking

If you enjoy a bright, cheerful room these ideas are great for the kitchen.  Mix up shades of bold, dark yellow with orange, deep red and pumpkin shades.  A large hanging for one wall filled with big, bold flowers creates a focal point for the room.

Add further interest with a small-scaled pattern, such as a striped or checked runner for the table.  A bright yellow table and chairs gives the room a lift; add a splash of white here and there with smaller accessories such as a vase filled with white daisies or ceramic whatnots.

Coordinate colors for a look that is soft and pleasing to the eye

In the bedroom, think of colors that are directly across from one another on the color wheel, such as red and green.  Then go a bit further and think of colors with a common hue.  For example, pink is a lighter shade of red, yellow shares a hue with green.  Mix patterns and solids in shades of yellow, pink, green and red for a look that is colorful yet soft.

An easy way to mix patterns in the bedroom is with bedding and throw pillows.  A round, oblong sage green pillow, sold bright pink pillow, square plaid combining all of these colors and a flat round pillow decorated with a huge pink and green flower create a look that is interesting and attractive.

For a pulled-together look that is attention-grabbing, mix patterns of small, medium and large sizes which help to maintain balance.

If you remember to coordinate colors and throw in a good mix of solid colors through walls, floors and furnishings, you can mix and match any patterns you like to create rooms that are far beyond ordinary.

The most beautiful rooms are often those in which you let your imagination run wild.  Be creative, and try out those ideas that are floating around in your head.  You just might find that it’s easier than you think to design rooms that are full of texture and interesting patterns!

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Nov 02 2010

What to Keep in Mind When Using Patterns to Decorate

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Are you thinking about decorating your home in patterns?  This can be fun, but at the same time, too many patterns can be overwhelming.  There are several things to keep in mind when using different types of patterns in your decorating, whether you want to make a small room look bigger or taller, or want to liven up a bathroom with a great decorating theme.

There are many great tips and several different types of patterns that you can use to make the areas of your home look appealing!  Just keep these things in mind when deciding what you are going to do in various areas of your home.

Patterns can visually transform the size of a room

There are several different types of patterns, and some can even be used to make a room appear larger.  Geometric patterns are the best to use for accomplishing this; for example, use vertical patterns to make a room appear taller.  Are you decorating a girl’s room, and looking for a feminine touch? If so, then use floral patterns, they are great if used within the same color scheme.  If they aren’t used with the same color scheme, or used too much, then the look can be confused and overwhelming.  Another great one is the motif pattern, where a picture is used over and over again; this can be abstract or even have a theme, like nature or whatever you like to use.  For example, having frogs on the bathroom wall is a motif pattern.

Incorporating color with patterns

Now, to make sure you don’t just go crazy while using a certain pattern, there are three important tips to keep in mind.  While using coordinating patterns, try to keep the background colors the same.  For example, if gray is your background color, keep it as the background in various pieces.  Also, only use pattern in a small portion of the room.

If you have a black couch and the pillows are black and white zebra print, then make sure the pillows are the only item using a zebra print so it isn’t too much.  Or, use pattern for the wall, like wallpaper, while keeping the rest of the colors in the room subtle.  It is also a good idea to consider using both textured and plain fabric in the same room for a more unique, personal look.

Just keep in mind you don’t want to use too many large patterns in one room or it will overwhelm everything else.  Also, small patterns are effective when used in small rooms, because they work really well in rooms with a variety of surface angles.

Now we all can agree that patterns can be a very important part of a room, but it is up to you how you use it.   Just keep in mind that too many large patterns look not only confusing but unorganized; too few patterns can leave a room looking a bit on the drab side.  Keep these different ideas in mind while shopping around.

Do you want your small room to look more spacious?  If so, go with geometric patterns, like horizontal or vertical stripes to make your room look taller or wider.  Just don’t overdo it and the room will turn out great.  Have a great time, get creative and let your imagination run wild.

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Oct 07 2010

Transform a Stark Living Room by Texture and Pattern

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Let’s face it:  Most people aren’t that attracted to stark, cold looking rooms.  Contemporary and modern styles of decorating can take on this feeling if you aren’t careful.  Actually, any room that lacks pattern and texture can look lifeless.  In this article, you will find many useful tips and ideas for adding a feeling of warmth to a room, so that it feels welcoming and inviting to all who enter.

Not only do various textures and patterns add warmth to a room, the colors involved often add personality and life.  Imagine a room without color!  By adding interesting textures and colors, any room will look much more beautiful and appealing.

Consider your decorating style before choosing fabrics and accents


Before you go all out trying to find the perfect accents and fabrics that will add texture to a room, consider the style of décor you prefer.  A modern or contemporary décor is often sleek; therefore the fabrics you choose should be those that are smooth and satiny.  Consider chintz, silk, and other sleek looking fabrics to carry out the clean, modern appearance.

Those who lean toward rugged or western styles of decorating will prefer fabrics that are rougher in nature.  Nubby rugs, calico, cotton and leather are perfect for those who like the more natural, outdoorsy styles of decorating.

The size of the room determines patterns


If your living room is particularly small or large, you want to take that in to consideration when adding texture and pattern.  Small rooms should never be decorated in very large, loud patterns.  Huge flowers, wide stripes and bold checks dominate a small room, and make it appear even smaller.  Stick to smaller, more delicate patterns and smaller scale furnishings so that the room doesn’t look overwhelmed.

Larger living rooms look fantastic with the larger, bolder patterns.  These patterns are in scale with the large room, and make it all appear more balanced.  Large scale furnishings and large accents create a room that is appealing to the eye.  In any case, never add too many accents, as your rooms will lose their focal point and end up looking cluttered.

Mix and Match!


Whether your furniture upholstery and accent fabrics are small or large, today nearly anything goes when decorating.  Don’t be afraid to mix stripes, florals and checks along with solids.  As long as all of the colors in the room coordinate, mixing patterns only adds dimension and depth, which makes any room feel more welcoming.

Image mixing throw pillows for the sofa that are all colored in various shades of burgundy, cream and forest green – one plaid, one striped, a floral and a solid.  This is absolutely gorgeous!  While this may have been against the rules two decades ago, now anything goes.  Consider a solid colored area rug outlined in bold stripes, while plaid pillows of the same shades accent the sofa and love seat.  The look is rich and oh-so appealing.

If you aren’t sure about mixing certain textures or patterns, try it out!  You may be surprised at just how beautiful a cold, stark room can look when you add a little warmth.

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