How to use the pattern to the fullest in your home like a professional interior designer
While the maximalist interior design trend continues to be a favorite style on Instagram and Pinterest, the idea that more is better has been grabbed by so many homeowners and pushed to the max.
Social media is full of people showing off their rooms filled with colors and patterns, textures and tactile fabrics, furniture and accessories.
A minimalist’s worst nightmare, maximalist interior design can promote more is better, but there is a way to achieve a room scheme without it looking like visual clutter, and the cornerstone for many of people is the use of multiple patterns.
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Maximalism is still one of the top interior design trends slated for 2022, but if the punchy world of contrasting patterns and strong colors isn’t for you, nature-based shades such as green tones, blues and earthy are all strong styles that are making a splash in interiors this year. Discover here all the major trends of the coming year.
Layering patterns in a room, even on the ceiling, is one way to bring extra visual interest to a space, but there are a few rules to consider before diving in, according to interior design professional and design expert Sophie Robinson. style.
Sophie is considered by many to be the queen of colour, pattern and the maximalist, although her first series on Channel 5’s Dream Home Makeovers illustrated that even black can be a brilliant color to use in a room when, in the first episode, she painted a huge living room in a converted chapel totally black – even on the ceiling.
Sophie says: “Pattern clashing is all about creating friction and drama, but while we’re tearing up the rulebook, there are some pointers to getting it right.”
1. Choose a hero
Start with a heroic piece – fabric or wallpaper – and this should be the boldest pattern in the scheme. This hero pattern can be given the maximum treatment by appearing on all walls, multiple fabric surfaces, or it can simply be the one bold piece in the room from which the rest of the pattern evolves.
2. Breaking up the fight
Upholstery, curtains, rugs, artwork, lampshades, and ornaments can all bring additional patterns to the room. But to break up the pattern clashes, if you want to calm the riot down a bit, add a block of a neutral hue to the walls, or a plain fabric over some accessories, or a piece of furniture with no pattern at all.
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3. Control your colors
Sophie says for the most cohesive scheme, keep your color palette tight, because when there’s a lot going on visually with a lot of patterns, you’ll probably need to rule the color to bring cohesion. But this is a personal choice, as some people like to bring in more contrasting colors and patterns to increase the visual drama to the maximum.
If you stick to a three to four color palette, you can always add extra drama by adding lighter and darker shades of those tones as well – this will bring in more layers of color but still within the confines of the scheme .
In Cardiff, owner and pattern and color enthusiast Angie Spiteri has used many patterns to excite the eye in her kitchen, but pink, yellow and gray provide a constant that ties them all together.
4. Bring Balance
Many interior designers suggest seeking balance in a space to make it more visually pleasing, so that there is not just a riot of pattern in one area, but each side of the room can stand out. identify and have a relationship with each other. This can be achieved through a pattern and/or color that cuts across the space and takes your eyes on a journey, with particular points to notice and linger.
Angie’s living room may look like a riot of patterns, but each area “speaks” to the rest of the room. Blue is a constant everywhere, linking the two wallpapers, the chair and the sideboard.
Pink is also a tone of balance – found in a block via the sofa which sits opposite the pink wallpaper on the fireplace mantle which can also be seen in the dining room, tying these two spaces together.
5. Use “neutral” patterns and prints
An effective way to break up conflicting patterns is to add a few neutral shapes into the scheme, preferably choosing colors that can be found in the wilder patterns. Stripes are a classic example of a pattern to put together a scheme, or how about polka dots, stars, checks, ikat or chevrons?
Interior designer Kelly Wearstler suggests, when mixing prints, pair traditional prints with your more eclectic ones to maintain a harmonious balance of visual design.
Choose designs with prints of different sizes. So if you want a blooming room full of blooms, complement the big blooms with a pattern of smaller, ditzy buds – the contrast will be more punchy. This also extends to the complexity of the patterns, so a very intricate pattern with lots of visual interest as your hero piece will stand out even more when mixed with a simpler, repeated pattern – the busy mixed with the basic .
7. Treat yourself
Do some research online to get an idea of what you like visually when it comes to mixing patterns, as everyone has a different level to stop when they feel enough is enough.
In Cardiff, Angie Spiteri has one of the most stunning examples of the use of pattern in her home and was arguably ahead of her time in bringing maximalist interior design to her home.
The house, which appeared in the BBC’s Best House in Town, has many examples of the use of pattern to create drama, but also its use, coupled with color, to bring order to every room.
From a repeating color palette that can be chosen in each design, to using statement pieces, color blocks and calmer neutrals, Angie’s home is a lesson for anyone who wants to dive into the pattern and swim to a more vibrant abode. Let Angie tell you more about her amazing home here.
8. Let others inspire you
Arguably one of the most visually pleasing, and perhaps smallest, diagrams that illustrate the effective use of pattern is this beautiful shepherd’s hut found at Hawth Bush Farm designed by Molly Mahon block printing.
The color palette is tight and suits the space, bright and sunny, but the surprise use of pink for the far wall intrigues and draws the eye in, which is also helped by the striped ceiling visually pointing into this direction.
The stripes are a bold yet classic statement picking out the floral wall colours, which are complemented perfectly by the ikat pattern for the curtains, also used for the bed cushions to ensure this partially hidden space is connected to the main area .
A small repeat pattern for the bed valance is an additional pattern related to the pink back wall and is a good example of scaling up the pattern. The yellow and blue are incorporated into the floor via the paint and the rug and the accessories also bring additional color and pattern to the room, such as the lampshade and the vase.
Finally, the table painted in a dark, contemporary gray brings some visual balance to the wood burning stove opposite and the whitewashed folding table mimics the earthy tones of the tiles around the burner, again promoting satisfying visual balance.
For such a small and cozy space, there is so much to see in the Shepherd’s Hut, but the cornerstone of the scheme is the use of mixed patterns to perfection. For more interiors, DIY and garden tips, sign up for our bi-weekly Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter, which also features some of the dreamiest dream homes in Wales.