decorating with colour and pattern

Decorating_with_Colour_and_.jpgPattern and colour are words that can strike fear into the hearts of people looking to renovate or decorate their homes – it is the reason that so much of what we buy is ‘neutrally toned’ with clean and simple lines!

If you crave colour, texture and pattern, but you are not sure where to start, then below are some tips to help you on your way. Be brave, and bring your individual personality and style to your home or interior space.

  1. Don’t be afraid to decorate using dark colours on walls – dark colours often recede making a room appear larger. They can also be used to balance out unusual shaped rooms - painting the 2 ends of a long thin room a darker colour will make the room feel less narrow. Remember, its only paint! If you don't like it you can always paint over it - so be bold!
  2. Use lighting and lampshades to add texture – there’s more to soft furnishings than curtains and cushions – get creative with your lighting and add a whole new mood to your interior space.
  3. Get a unifying theme or colour – sometimes its hard to know where to start, so start with one thing you love – a piece of fabric, a piece of furniture, or even a favourite vase. Look at all of the elements in the piece you’ve chosen and repeat them in other aspects of the room’s decoration.
  4. Vary the size and shape of matching items to give a more eclectic look. Just because you’ve got a favourite pattern or fabric it doesn’t mean that everything in the room has to match. Use a combination of round, rectangular and square cushions, or mix up cylinder and drum shaped lampshades.
  5. Use the same fabric on different items in different rooms - this creates consistency without ‘over-matching’ – for example, if you have cushions and a lampshades in the same fabric, then place the cushions in one room and the lampshade in another (perhaps adjoining) room.
  6. Same fabric, different colours – many fabrics come in more than one colour choice, so consider using a matching fabric but in 2 different colours to create uniformity without monotony!
  7. Depth of tone - mix a wide number of patterns in similar tones against a neutral background - if you have a neutral sofa or bed linen, then have fun with a variety of fabrics, patterns and colours of cushions. Also, use depth of tone as a way to add texture without too much pattern - choose a colour that you love and then select accessories that have a lighter or darker shade of the same colour within it.
  8. Layer up on fabrics – once you hit a certain number of patterns there no point in stopping! – just keep a common colour palette.
  9. Incorporate unique designer accessories - our homes are a reflection of us, so incorporate things that you love. Choose home accessories that have a story - it's a wonderful conversation starter when you can tell the story of an item that you picked up on an overseas trip, or fell in love with a local market or gallery. The decorative accessories you choose say a lot about what you value as a person.
  10. Use fabric as wall art – some rooms such as bedrooms lend themselves to texture rather than art on the walls. Art is a wonderful thing in the public spaces in your home, but often we just want something soft on the eye and not too intriguing to distract us in our bedrooms. Fabric stretched over a quality artists canvas is an easy way to create interest.
  11. Pendant lampshades - utilise the decorating space in your ceiling area - we tend to think of soft furnishing as being curtains and cushions, but fabric lampshades bring a wonderful additional element to a space.
  12. Consider using an interior decorator - an experienced interior decorator can often be useful to set you on the right path. Most designers are flexible in the way they work with their clients from full service options through to just launching pad ideas to get you started.
Remember that our homes are always evolving. As our lives change day to day, so too does the way we live in our spaces. This creates a never-ending opportunity to personalise and enjoy our homes. Play about with your decorating and be brave, it is only important that you love it!

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