How Patterns Can Add Zing To Your Interior Design (Part 2)

Last time, we talked about various reasons why you should incorporate patterns, not just color, into your interior design. It adds visual interest, ties elements together, and helps bring to life a drab or boring room. One strategy is to have stripes and curved lines in every room. Another is to consider which patterns feel masculine and which are feminine. A good rule of thumb is when you have two patterns in a room, one should be used 70% of the time, rather than splitting everything up 50/50. Too much uniformity can be worse than having no patterns at all.

Wooden Accents

Another element to consider is your wood accents. Wood has patterns just like fabric does, though people rarely think of it in those terms. To discern a pattern, examine the direction the grain in the wood runs. For instance, Karl Lohnes, interior design expert, said, “Oak and walnut have curvy lines and zebra wood has straight lines.” You’ll find grain in flooring, cupboards, furnishings, and accent pieces, so don’t forget to think about these elements when you decorate.

Balancing The Scale

Scale in interior design doesn’t refer to balancing physical weight, it refers to visual weight. Every item in a room has visual weight, whether it’s a rug, a picture frame, the TV or a magnet on the refrigerator. The trick is to choose and arrange furniture so that it fits in the room (not too big or too small). Generally, it’s best to have the largest print on the largest piece—whether that’s the couch or a picture or a floor covering. However, sometimes an oversize print can be used as an accent—for instance a large floral pattern on a tiny accent pillow.

Wallpaper is another place patterns should be balanced. Lohnes offered this advice: “When choosing wallpaper, the bigger the print, the fuller the room will look. This is a great way to visually fill a space where a lot of furniture is not needed, such as stairwells, foyers, and powder rooms.”

Pattern Colors

When mixing patterns, remember to make sure they have something visually in common. The best way to do this is with accent colors. Throw pillows could be paisley, printed, and striped, but if they have one or several colors in common, their arrangement won’t look so random. If your room’s color scheme focuses on a single color, create visual variation with texture, rather than color.

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