Pattern + Color + Texture = A Beautiful Home

I’ve been really into apartment decorating ideas recently; read:ugly/cheap apartment needs a pick-me-up. After experimenting A LOT with interior design I’ve discovered there are a few solid (pun!) guidelines to working with patterns and textures in a room. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

Start with one core inspiration piece. Whether this is a painting you want to feature, a fabulous orange couch or some wacky rug you found in your mom’s attic, keep this piece in mind as you create the space. Use this starting point to draw from as inspiration or to find colorways and patterns that would work nicely with it.

Work with your colors! (A fabulous introduction to colors here) You want to be consistent with your hues, AKA don’t mix pastels with neons or jewel tones.

This also means no bright whites and off-whites together. It just..doesn’t. work. And I know this because my goodness how I have tried.

Consider texture. Rooms can be instantly more captivating when there is a healthy tension between textures of the fabrics you choose. Try adding some Mongolian sheep fur or whatever-you-call-it pillows with simple muslin ones. Combine rough with plush, sequins with silks, etc. BAM: instant chic.

Textures are especially awesome if you’re going for a monochromatic color scheme. It definitely adds the diversity to keep the room from looking like a cubicle.

Show the whole room some love. Distribution of patterns throughout a space is so important. It keeps the whole room interesting and leaves you with a sense of comfort. No one wants to walk in a room that has bad color/pattern balance. It makes people seasick. Bad balance can make it seem like your living room died and went to a bad version of hipster hell.

Patterns patterns patterns. HGTV seems to believe that using a combination of 3+ patterns in a room is the key to good interior design. I kind of agree. Some guidelines for pattern-picking are as follows:
1. The first pattern you choose is going to make the strongest statement. Find a bold, big pattern and use it dominantly.
2. Your second pattern should be very different from the first one to create a healthy tension. Make sure this pattern is smaller and used less.
3. The third pattern is similar to either of the first two you choose. Perhaps it is slightly different from the first yet uses the same color scheme as the second.
4. Any other patterns you choose should act as complements of all of the others. This means use small small small patterns or incorporate some new textures to add diversity.

It’s worth noting that according to Anna Wintour, you should treat leopard print as a neutral…

Go for the moods you want each room to convey. Use colors and furniture to do this. I like a calm and soothing bedroom, so my colors were very muted and monochromatic. I wanted a more energetic living room, so I added a lot of crazy colors and patterns (chartreuse small pillows + bold black and white striped big pillows + orange couch + wood furniture). Voila, mwah, thank you very much.

Whatever you end up doing, have fun with your interior design adventures. Keep it tasteful, fun, chic, quirky, classy etc etc etc. Good luck!