Well interior design has always been my first love! Those beautiful, warm, inviting spaces have always lured me and tickled me at the same time to delve deep into the world of exciting patterns, interesting prints & enriching colors that make any room a designer’s haven and a home owner’s delight. It is these patterns, prints & colors that one can mix & match to create visually delightful living spaces that make a statement and are comfortable at the same time. Gone are the days of matchy-matchy rooms and simple contrasts. What works today is sass & boldness be it in attitude, lifestyle, fashion or decor! So what is IN are rooms that incorporate innovative design styles with classic decorative elements to create a dramatic yet elegant design statement. And when you take upon yourself the challenge of designing your own room, it is imperative to understand that it’s your personality, aura and your design aesthetics that come into play and set the mood & tone of the entire space.
I have laid out a few simple steps that you can follow when decorating/ designing a room. Follow these religiously and you will be amazed with the results !
Find an inspiration– for your room which could be your favorite color, a piece of fabric, a chair, a fashion outfit or even a painting.
Choose the color palette– based upon your inspiration. This should ideally be three but if the designer in you wishes to be more experimental, you could just add a fourth color only to accent up in the final stages of design.
Play upon the pattern mix- that works best for you. Again three is the ideal number of patterns that you should use with variation to scale (from large to small) being the key to successful mixing.
Mixing of patterns- Your topmost pattern must be picked carefully since it makes the strongest statement in your room. If your first pattern is a large floral, the second pattern could be a plaid, a paisley or a geometric shape that has some of the same colors as that of the first pattern. The third pattern can be similar to either of the first two patterns but must be smaller in scale. A smaller floral would go beautifully with a larger floral and a stripe. The forth/ complimentary pattern could be a tiny check, a textile motif or a printed texture to be used in corners/ sides of the room to add to the finesse.
Mixing of colors- Do not mix pastels with primary colors, or muted with vibrant jewel tones. A large floral, a smaller floral, a stripe and a check will work together if they are made from the same set of colors with similar hues & nuances. For instance, several shades of brown and tan with muted shades of red and green create a calming but interesting atmosphere.
Images Source: HGTV.com
Consider fabric feel- Be aware that there’s more to a fabric than simply its color. All fabrics have a personality or a feel which distinguishes them from each other. Most people would identify damask for example, as a formal fabric, even if they didn’t know its rightful name! Conversely, most people would agree that muslin or cotton are examples of casual, informal fabrics. These levels of formality absolutely come into play when you’re mixing patterns.
Watch your weight- Avoid putting all patterned pieces together on one side of a room. They’ll throw the whole space off balance. Distributing solids and patterns smoothly throughout the room will provide an aesthetically pleasant look. Also remember that other elements of the room such as POP designs; paneling, furniture, wall art pieces, lighting, flooring and accessories contain patterns that should be considered part of the overall grander scheme.
Be careful with whites- When you choose whites, keep them in the same family, whether it’s cream, off-white, beiges or milky white. If your whites don’t match, the fabric will stand out and take away the beauty of the scheme already developed. However within a combination of any whites with a solid color, you may play upon variations in shades & hues of the solid color.
Think function- Pattern can have a big impact on how a room feels. If you’re trying to pull a space together and create harmony, think larger patterns. Want to draw attention to one part of a room–smaller patterns will do the trick. Also consider an overall pattern personality. Busy patterns will up the energy quotient in a room while simple or pale patterns will promote calm & serenity.
Cheat with companion fabrics- As of today many furnishing companies have made the pattern-mixing process easier by creating what they call companion fabrics. They’ve created three to four patterns all designed to exist harmoniously in one room. All you have to do is choose a color palette you like, and the patterns are already coordinated for you. This gives you the confidence to mix up more and even work on bolder coordinates entirely on your own.
Images Source: HGTV.com
Cohesive mix of Furniture and Accessories- Your theme will come into play in deciding upon the choice of your furniture and accessories. Contemporary & Modern themes will feature softened, rounded lines and contain neutral elements with pops of bold color. Clean and streamlined, modern style is characterized by a neutral color palette, strong geometric shapes and asymmetry. A classic theme incorporates into its domain the earthy wooden teak furniture with strong rustic elements in the form of accessories like the buffet tables, armoires or even nightstands. Mid-century modern style is characterized by simplicity and natural shapes. It is often emphasized by ample windows, an open floor plan, minimal yet strong furniture pieces and loads of outdoor inside your room in the form of huge planters and lighting elements.But whatever the theme that you may choose, make sure that you add at least one single piece of furniture/ accessory that serves as the focal point or the transitional piece that breaks the monotony of the room.
Be Cautious with lighting & Shades- If you need to add color or texture to a room, an interesting lampshade will add just the boost you are looking for. Look for a shade with a bold pattern, an interesting texture or decorative touches like beads or tassels and you are already half done with your lighting plan. Lighting adds both visual and physical warmth within a room. Every room needs a combination of general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting to set a mood and provide sufficient illumination. Table and floor lamps, which typically fall under the task lighting category, are especially important because they play both a functional and decorative role in your home. Size, shape and style all need to be taken into account when selecting lights & lamps. If you’re going for a modern or contemporary look think simple and streamlined when selecting lamps.
Image Source: Elle Decor
Images Source: HGTV.com
So go ahead and take the plunge! Design your room and spaces with flair and elan just like I did.Do not let the fear of mixing colors or combining patterns or choosing the right furniture & accessories deprive you of the pleasure that you alone can derive of creating a space which is truly and uniquely your own. And I can safely vouch that my lobby and dining room carry my signature style and a sense of design that is so much me. I redesigned this space almost three years ago but it feels fresh, comfortable & inviting even today. It’s a dream space that I had always been pining for!
Have you redecorated your room/space recently? Do let me know in the comments below!