Incorporating accent colors into your interior design is a well-known trick of the trade. Here’s another version of this idea less people know or think about: accent patterns. Consider your living room. What are some dominant patterns you see in your window treatments, your throw pillows, your rugs, your upholstery? Do they match? Do they clash? Like color palettes, it’s good to have a nice variety of patterns and textures in a room. You won’t want to make the mistake of being too matchy-match or being to random in your arrangements.
Design expert Karl Lohnes has a few tips for how to incorporate appropriate, pleasing patterns into your home. If your home has not patterns or too many and you don’t want to start from scratch on your furnishings or interior design, think about how you could incorporate one tip at a time. As it comes time to replace one item or another, you can incorporate more of his ideas.
Mixing patterns and textures
Try to have a straight line and a curvy line in every room. Straight lines don’t have to be stripes or plaid, they can be any print or pattern with objects aligned in a linear fashion. For instance, a graphic T-shirt might not have stripes, but it could have a repeated motif that moves horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Curvy lines include floral prints, paisley, or polka dots.
Try not to have two of the same or similar pattern too close to one another unless the size or density of those patterns is significantly different. Otherwise, the arrangement will either look too repetitive or like a mistake. Also stay away from too much solid-colored fabric. Lohnes explained, “Solid (non-patterned) fabrics can help relieve the eye of too much visual movement but can sometimes look plain if they are not textured.”
The shapes and patterns you choose can have a distinctly feminine or masculine feel. Curvy patterns suggest the female shape, while straight lines are more rigid and masculine. Rounded patterns are also considered traditional while straight ones are modern. When you mix the two, don’t split their arrangement 50/50. An uneven distribution looks more pleasing. Use your favorite pattern for 70 percent of the pieces and save 30 percent for a complementary pattern.
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