Have you ever walked into a room that was so well designed and you thought “How in the heck did the designer think to put all this random stuff together and make it look so damn good???” Well its not magic (sort of) but it is a combination of pattern used correctly with scale and layering.
I get this question a lot from clients: “If I have too much pattern in a space, isn’t it going to look too busy and feel like there is too much going on?” and the answer is Hell No!! 😉 The truth is that a well curated space with a variety of pattern done in the right scale is the most beautiful and layered way to design a room. I often use the reference of a high end hotel. As a designer, I can’t help myself when I walk around a hotel or high end restaurant and I start touching all the walls and finishes. I’m sure people see me and think I am totally nuts. Those are some of the best places to see the way mixing pattern can make a place look amazing and so unique. I like to bring up the fact that luxury hotels could have 20-30 different finishes and materials in a space, and then clients realize that YES! in fact there are a bunch of finishes and patterns in those spaces. So when its done right it makes for amazing design. In my opinion its safe and easy to play it simple, but just like nature, there is pattern in everything. So please embrace the idea and when in doubt don’t shy away from using pattern.
I’m going to have a little bit of a rant here because this is something that has affected the design community for a long time and I think as designers we are all secretly thinking the same thing but I don’t know that our clients understand how we feel about it. I’m talking about the lack of color in the marketplace that is being dished out to everyone! We deal with this all the time because on a weekly basis we get clients telling us “I love the Restoration Hardware look”. So I’m just going to put this out there into the world. As a designer that is the WORST thing for me to hear. OK I said it – I feel better now!! It’s almost as bad as saying they want a big puffy reclining chair in the formal living room. I want to be clear that I am not knocking down that company at all. I think they have a great business model, nice products, and their customer service is fantastic. But from my perspective and as a professional color expert (yes I just called myself an expert) the majority of their stuff is totally void of color. I am a firm believer that the root of awesome design mimics nature, and I’m sorry but I don’t recall ever seeing nature totally void of color. I truly believe that color is something which brings life, energy, and togetherness in a space. This could be light muted color, or loud bold color. Either way, I feel like we all need it in our lives.
I’ll tell you a short story as a designer. A few years ago I bought my first house and it was my goal to put my “stamp” on this house by using color. I think my husband thought I totally lost my mind, but every room had a strong color and/or pattern. I think I used 4 different wallpapers, painted the baseboards a contrasting color, wallpapered a ceiling etc. When we sold this house, it went for $200k above the comps in the area because it was a gem! It was unlike anything in the market especially in that area. The next house we did however had a slightly different experience. We decided to go all black, white, and grey. A typically and popular palette for the current market in a more contemporary home. We added a bunch of specialty details and did simple clean elements. However, even though the house was bigger and in a nicer area, it didn’t end up having that “Gem” quality and I strongly believe its because it lacks color!
I know that taste is subjective, I get it, and I live that reality every day, but no matter what your taste preference is, I still can’t justify a space that is void of color. So who is with me to make a pact to stop eating the bland food that is dished out and to demand color! Would love to hear your thoughts!
Fashion and furniture go hand in hand through cycles, through seasons, through explorations. They carry similar patterns and colors and move together through the motion of new design discovery in unison. If you look closely at both worlds (fashion and furniture) you can see that they are both sculptures, both art, both work closely with the human body. Below are some sculptural examples, scroll down and mesmerize yourself with this beauty.
Finding both of these amazing works of art on PINTEREST, notice how great artists think a like and develop similar shapes and colors for both fashion and furniture.
Another example of sculptural art in both innovative industries. The beautiful use of color and shape to create these pieces that develop strong visual interest. These images again are from the powerful source of PINTEREST.
Outside of the sculptural side of these industries there is also an everyday side that focuses mostly on pattern and fabric. Anthropologie, Dot and Bo for furniture have similar color schemes and pattern as Diane Von Furstenberg, a great artist that uses color and pattern to express herself. Lets take a look to see how they follow similar identities.
These works of art are both from Anthropologie, following similar color and patterns and are expressing the season between winter and spring. The bright reds shining from the beautiful cool blues.
Notice here, with Diane Von Furstenberg, her use of pattern and color contrast emanate through these unique and stunning chairs from Anthropolgie’s home selection.
DVF vs Dot and Bo’s checkered chair and ottoman. The look, the feel, the ideas are so similar. They both carry the look of comfort as well, treating the body with similar respect.
Pattern and color once again, this time between Diane and Anthropologie. Notice how those qualities are not the only ones that shine through these beautiful designs, but the shape. They both have square or rectangular characteristics for their body which work really well together.
Once again, fashion and furniture hold hands through seasonal change, along with pattern and color explorations. A stunning thing to see multiple industries working together to create balance in the design world!
Rust comes from the oxidation of iron. Its really a beautiful color and brings warmth into a space. The word’s etymological origins comes from the Germanic word rusta which mean ‘redness’. The color comes from the red family is a very passionate color and charges the space bringing in lots of energy. Rust is also in the orange range which represents warmth, fun, fire and the sun. Orange increases the oxygen in the brain and helps stimulate brain activity.
Pleasing color schemes using rust involve turquoise, brown, grey, purple and cream; It creates a soothing sanctuary. Here are some examples of breathtaking rust color pallets:
Rust is the This magical color can be anywhere in the house. Here are some examples of rust throughout the home.
If you are ready to take the plunge and use color in your home or office, contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people find incorporating pattern into interior environments difficult. It can easily overwhelm a space if you use too much pattern or don’t use it correctly. And trying to mix and match patterns can be very daunting – but it doesn’t have to be!
Whether it be a commercial or residential interior, pattern can be applied using wall coverings, tile, fabrics and upholstery, and other graphic elements. You can also use pattern to convey a design style and/or to add visual interest to a space. In order to successfully apply pattern to your space you must first understand the different types of patterns, and secondly how to mix and match them with other design elements.
Geometric Patterns: Patternsformed by geometric shapes, typically repeated. Geometric patterns can be used to complement modern, contemporary, and transitional spaces and complement other types of patterns well.
Organic Patterns: Organic patterns are the opposite of geometric patterns in that they utilize soft lines, shapes, and curves instead of straight lines and rigid shapes. Organic patterns often consist of floral patterns and animal prints. Organic patterns work well in traditional interiors but also in modern and contemporary ones as well.
Motif Patterns: Recurring shapes, forms and figures. Motif patterns can overlap other types of patterns like geometric and organic. Motif patterns can be very subtle, or very bold depending on how and where you use them in a space.
Pictorial Patterns: Patterns consisting of objects or scenes. These are not abstract like the other types of patterns and usually have an easily identifiable theme.
Once you have an understanding of the different varieties of pattern, it’s much easier to integrate them into your design. Here are some ways you can successfully use pattern in your space.
1. Balance patterned elements with solids
Balance is perhaps the most important thing to be aware of when using pattern. If you use too much pattern you will completely overwhelm the space and its users. Pattern should be applied in unison with solids to create a layered effect. For example, if you’re using a large scale print as a wall covering, the floors and furnishings can be solid colors and textures so they complement the pattern, not compete with it.
2. Use different types of pattern within the same shade or hue.
One easy way to achieve a harmonious look using different patterns is for every pattern to be done in the same color or shade. This is one of the easiest ways to use pattern because you don’t have to worry about how color combinations affect the different patterns. Using the same shade in different patterns allows you to use different types of pattern as well as different scales while still creating a cohesive look.
3. Mix patterns with different scales
Using varying scales is so important when combining different patterns. Using the same scale for all the patterned elements will look busy and incoherent. In order to properly layer different patterns you must also use a variety of scales. For example, if your rug has a large scale pattern then drapery, accent furnishings and pillows should have a mix of medium and small scale patterns.
Using pattern in your interior will give it that “designed” look. As long as you use pattern appropriately and always consider balance and scale, you can create a well developed space that will be the envy of your family and friends. If you need help using pattern in your space email us at email@example.com!
People always ask me where my inspiration comes from. Design inspiration can come from many places including fashion, art, social media, travel and of course other interior or exterior designs. Fashion is a huge source of inspiration for interior designers. You can look to magazines, the runway shows, and even your own closet to inspire new colors, textures and patterns in your space. Social media is also a very easy way to gain some inspiration for your next interior project. Resources like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz are my go to spots because the search options are endless. For this post, I want to focus on travel as the ultimate source of inspiration.
Travel exposes you to new environments and cultures that you may not be familiar with. The culture and design you discover while travelling is the most influential source of inspiration because you are actually having an experience rather than just looking through a magazine or surfing the web. Places like Spain with an abundance of mosaic tile work, might inspire a kitchen or bathroom, and a trip to the middle east might inspire you to use their opulent tapestries for rugs or wall art. Here are a couple different countries that serve as major outlets for design influence!
Japanese design is all about simple and natural expression. Interior spaces that are inspired by Japan will be minimalist and beautiful in the most understated way. One easy way to take inspiration from Japanese design is to use natural materials such as wood and concrete. Japanese design is all about nature and void of artificiality. The aim is to create spaces that feel tranquil and are clutter free. Check out these Japanese inspired spaces:
Classic Spanish interiors combine Moorish design characteristics with those of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. One of the most admired fundamentals of Spanish design is that they refuse to follow temporary trends. This has sustained the laid-back elegance of Spanish style for years and is still very influential in California’s architecture and interior design. One of the most recognizable and influential elements of Spanish design is the sharp contrast between simplicity and intricacy. For example, highly detailed carved doorways set in plain white plaster walls. With this use of contrast focus is placed on certain elements with nothing to detract from their intended prominence. Spanish interiors also speak to their love of strong colors. This was exhibited through intricate tile work and through the hanging of wall tapestries. Wrought-iron is also a very common material used in Spanish design. Here are some great examples of Spanish inspired design:
The Swedish (or Scandinavian) interior design style originated in the 1920’s and was greatly influenced by the environmental conditions of the area. For example, long winters, short summers and an overall lack of sunlight translate into spaces that feel warm and filled with light. The abundance of natural resources also explains the overt use of wood and other natural elements in Scandinavian interiors. Wood plays a large role in these spaces – it is the popular choice for walls, floors and ceilings. Scandinavian design incorporates both warm and cold color families, with brighter colors being used as accents. This could be rugs, throw pillows or other textiles and accessories. Functionality also plays a huge role in Scandinavian design and this is most apparent in the furniture design. The simplistic designs and use of natural materials create pieces that are fold-able and easy to assemble. Overall interior design in Sweden is natural, elegant, light, warm and cozy. Here are some Scandinavian-inspired spaces:
It was such a blast working on this kitchen renovation. This was one of those designs that COMPLETELY changed the space from a drab 1970’s eye sore to fresh and up to date modernized kitchen. Below are the after pics from today’s episode of House Hunters Renovation.
When I first walked into this space I knew right away that something with the layout needed to change. It was as if there were a huge block in the middle of the room stopping this kitchen from its full potential. And then it hit me…. Open up the entire kitchen by eliminating the peninsula and get double the space!!
So that’s exactly how I designed the kitchen. I also used the hallway closet space to recess the kitchen pantry and refrigerator. This was a huge factor in allowing all that open space to breath.
Next was the color palette and it truly started off by the amazing glass tile backsplash. It has so much variation in color, sparkle, metallic hues, and wow factor. In terms of the cabinetry, I already knew that the clients Ani and Allen really wanted a light color in their kitchen. So I chose a clean and crisp bright white to allow the other materials to shine! I even designed the countertops with a bright white quartz so that it didn’t chop up the kitchen.
One of the most exciting details in the kitchen is the use of the brushed bronze finish in the pendant light, wall sconces, and door handles. It’s an unexpected change to the basic nickel finish which so many people use, and it adds a very unique and elegant touch.
So after tons of hard work and energy Ani and Allen get to enjoy their wonderful new and contemporary kitchen.
Thanks again to all the HGTV crew! You all rock!!
For more information on the products used in this kitchen remodel go to HGTV.com
If you are interested in hiring ASD INTERIORS or A-List Construction – feel free to contact us through our websites here: