Fancy bringing some bold patterns into your home decor, but nervous about getting it wrong? Mixing and matching striking designs can be daunting, but knowing a few key principles will help you understand how to balance and co-ordinate everything from chintzy florals to animal prints.
Follow these top tips on how to master using bold designs in your home like a professional stylist.
Geometrics can totally transform any room; they bring a touch of modernity to a space but still look at home in more traditional houses too. If you’re nervous about introducing large-scale geometric patterns for the first time, choose one which has just a couple of colours, then use these shades as accents throughout the room to make sure the pattern harmonises with the rest of the space.
Geometric shapes work so well on fabrics because their hard lines are softened by the nature of the material – this is especially true for curtains, because of the way the fabric folds and drapes. So, if you want to soften the harsh edges of a geometric print, then choose soft furnishings rather than wallpapers.
Despite rejecting this house on paper, Terian Tilston fell in love with it the second she stepped inside. Since then, she’s been turning it into a fun, vibrant family home
Whether you opt for tiger, leopard, zebra or snake, adding a bold animal print to your home requires courage. These patterns are certainly not wallflowers; they’re prints that can add a sense of quirkiness, confidence and glamour to an interior when used as a large-scale decoration. However, they can also be toned down with smaller accessories while still exuding a vibrant, luxe feel.
Animal print can be implemented into your home in a number of ways, from cushions, curtains and rugs to throws, sofas and other furnishings, but you should aim to balance these out with plain colours so that the print doesn’t become too overpowering.
If you’re going to opt for a brave animal print wallpaper, then a great way to incorporate this into your décor without it becoming too OTT is by creating an accent wall where there aren’t any windows to break up the pattern.
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You should also remember that you’re not limited to black and white or brown colour schemes for animal prints, as there are so many options out there to choose from. So, whether you want to go for bold monochrome decor or subtle neutral shades to fit with the rest of your room, shop around for the print you think will fit best.
Armed with a spray can and some sticky tape, Maisie Rees turned her and partner Matt’s uninspired rental into a home filled with colour
To harmonise designs such as large geometrics and florals, clash the patterns and not the colours. You should show a clear definition between the geometrics and florals but tone in all of the colours. As a rule of thumb, stick to a maximum of three shades across both patterns to tie the look together. If you clash colours and patterns, the whole room could become overwhelming.
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Choosing a large-scale floral wallpaper can totally transform a room. The high-impact design will create a focal point for the space.
Opting for a dark floral will add drama to any space and bring the room together, whereas choosing a watercolour floral pattern, like the exclusive murals by Carol Robinson, will provide a soft, romantic feel. Whichever style you opt for, large-scale wallpapers will certainly give you a stunning feature wall.
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Vertical stripes are usually used in traditional schemes to create the illusion of height. For a soft, classic look, opt for a tone-on-tone colour scheme such as cream and white, or if you’re in search of a bold, impactful design, choose contrasting colours such as bright blue and fresh white.
Horizontal stripes are often associated with contemporary, edgy homes, plus they can also make a space seem wider as they elongate the room. When used in a range of widths and colours, this can be a fun and playful print.
Remember, when it comes to stripes, consider the size of the room; the bigger the space the larger the print can be, while a more compact room will require a smaller, subtler pattern so it’s not overwhelming.
An essential part of using pattern successfully in a room is balance. Your aim should be to spread the pattern across the space, rather than have it all in one place. So, it’s a good idea to blend your chosen patterns with similarly-coloured plain furnishings to make your home feel cohesive.
With stripes, it’s best to avoid pairing clashing colours as the design is bold enough as it is, and this will only distract from the pattern and cause it to look cluttered and messy.
If you have a large-scale stripe wallpaper, then you should counteract this bold print with less busy designs such as block-colour furnishings. However, if it’s the accessories which feature stripes, then you can add some dainty florals to the wall scheme too.
Jo Hughes didn’t realise she had a stylist’s eye and a flair for design until a windfall allowed her to renovate her whole home to suit her quirky style