4 Tips for Playing with Pattern
Last week I posted about Small Space Decorating as part of a 3 room project we recently finished up for clients expecting a new bundle of joy! I showed how we transformed a spare room for the cat into a functional space that now pulls triple duty as a guest room, office, and music mancave.
One of the reasons the office needed to be moved is because the clients wanted playroom in the old office. This was the 2nd room we tackled and the one I am posting about today. We took this space from a toned-down home office to a balanced but vibrant playroom. It’s now a place where the little one can play, imagine and create…see what I did there…LOL?!?! 🙂 You’ll understand when you check out the before and after!
The clients wanted a balanced playroom that felt vibrant and alive but not overdone with color or too busy.
One of the easiest ways to liven up a space is with color, but there is another secret weapon that works too…and that’s PATTERN!
People find with working pattern intimidating and with good reason. When you get it wrong, you can completely botch a space. However, when done well, it can be a perfect contribution and allows you to cut back on going crazy with color while still keeping your space upbeat.
Today, I will share 4 practical tips for working with pattern that you can use when designing your space.
Tip 1: Know that Pattern Equals Pop
Pattern is striking. After color, it’s usually what gives a space the most pop. Take a look at the photo below. Even though the room is finished in a monochromatic color scheme, different patterns offer the room texture and depth and therefore add an element of life.
Designed by Micheal Abram’s Limited
The more alive you want a space to feel, the more pattern you should invoke. One of my favorite ways to add a punch of pattern is through window treatments. Here’s a space where there were several windows and we used a bold pattern to add life!
Tip 2: Use Patterns that Share Similar Characteristics
Mixing patterns is easy when you use patterns that have similar characteristics. In the playroom project all of the different patterns we used had a linear quality to them. Even the media cabinet contributed! I let this element remain a constant throughout the space and that made the room feel cohesive and added flow.
Tip 3: Implement Patterns of Different Sizes
Even though all of the patterns we used had a linear feel to them, we varied them by using different sizes. The window cornice has a chevron pattern but it’s much smaller than the chevron on the wall. The large lattice pattern on the area rug is very striking and we ‘mini-me’d’ it with the smaller patterns on the storage bins and continued with a variation of it on the lighting.
Fabric we used for the cornice!
Size variation helps establish unity and is a simple way to make connections while keeping the space feeling vibrant!
Tip 4: Neutralize Bold Patterns with Color
One of the major undertakings of the playroom project was adding these chevron wall stripes. Nolan Painting in Havertown, PA did a fantastic job!
Chevron is a bold geometric pattern with crisp sharp lines. The contrast between the lines is intended to be obvious and had we used bold colors, we would’ve easily overwhelmed the entire space. I wanted the chevron to be a member of the team without being the star. To calm the pattern down we used light neutral colors and only did it on 2 walls. This allows you to acknowledge the pattern without it stealing all your attention.
Complete but neutralized!
A team member but not the star…the entire room is the star!
Hopefully these 4 tips will empower you to take on pattern in your next design project and do it with success!
Create. Innovate. Decorate!