If the thought of adding color and pattern into your rooms strikes fear in your heart, worry not. While bright bold color and large-scale patterns may energize a space, there are plenty of ways to incorporate more subtle designs into your rooms without overwhelming your senses.
Adding color and pattern will enliven any space, creating additional dimension and interest no matter what your personal style. Not sure how much is too much or whether something will clash rather than compliment? Our tips and inspiration are here to help.
Keep It in the Family
One of the easiest ways to incorporate color and pattern into a room is to choose shades that are close to each other on the color wheel. This tonal look is easy on the eye with nothing fighting for attention.
Add soft open patterns in predominately neutral shades and stick to just one or two in a room for harmonious balance.
Pop of Pattern
If the thought of an all-over pattern is too much for you, consider a mostly neutral backdrop, adding pops of pattern in concentrated areas. In our example above, the white walls and ceiling create a quiet background, allowing only small areas of color to capture our attention.
If you are just starting out, consider a bold pattern area rug with furniture in more neutral complimenting shades or a single area of pattern tiles in the kitchen to add interest.
A Taste of Opulence
For those who love a bit of grand style, consider using deeper, bolder shades in your spaces to add drama. A darker, richer color on your walls create a cozy, intimate space so pair this with other colors in the same family.
Add pattern in smaller doses if you wish – an elegant silk embroidered cushion, an Art Deco printed curtain or a row of complimentary cushions will add just enough.
When combining patterns, make sure you pay attention to the scale of the pattern as well as the colors used. The scale is essentially how big it is in comparison to the other patterns around it. Generally speaking, it’s easier to combine a large-scale pattern with a small-scale pattern – its kinder on the eye and they balance each other well.
Chose some neutral shades to compliment them and if you’re feeling brave, add one more medium-scale pattern to the equation.
Sometimes simple can be best and this is most evident when we consider different types of patterns you can use. Graphic patterns tend to create a more energetic feel in a space but can be incredibly effective if you love bold, creative spaces.
Above, we see simple geometric shapes in many colors but because the patterns are all similar, there is a harmony that works well and there is plenty of neutral white and grey to allow your eye to rest.
Another idea to keep in mind when you’re combining color and pattern in a room is the saturation of your colors. While bright, brash colors can be more difficult to combine well, the softer the palette and paler the shades, the easier it is to take more risks.
Above, the dining area is embraced with hints of sorbet shades and these pastels create a harmonious look.
Finally, when it comes to using floral patterns, different moods can be achieved depending on how you use them. Large-scale looser patterns will create a more contemporary look while smaller ditsy patterns will give a room a more traditional feel.
Floral patterns work beautifully when combined with stripes – the florals take on a more grounded look and that graphic addition creates a weighty balance. Check patterns will create a more homely vibe. And of course, don’t forget to use complementary neutral shades to allow the eye somewhere to rest.