Big and bold is beautiful

Minimalist look is out, patterns are coming back

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2012, 10:19am

Big, bright, bold patterns are making a comeback in homes as some people shun the minimalist look and add everything from geometric shapes and florals to their interiors.

While it may sometimes be a challenge to co-ordinate disparate designs, it is easy to achieve a pulled-together look just by following a few simple rules.

When mixing prints, try not to choose more than one of each size, as this can end up looking cluttered, making it difficult for your eyes to rest. Using related colours will tie the patterns together.

Choose a colour scheme - this could be influenced by your art work, a rug or even your base pattern.

But remember to work with the same colour intensity.

Avoid mixing pastels with primary colours or muted hues with vibrant jewel tones.

Patterns work best together if they are made from the same set of dyes in the same hue.

It is also important to create some space for the eye to rest so that it is not overloaded by patterns.

Add some solid colours to balance and separate the patterns. White is a great base that brings everything together and lets your patterns make a vibrant statement. Just make sure to keep the same white throughout for a crisp, clean look. Although it is a pattern, a black and white graphic is a good way to add an eye-catching element to unify the space.

If you want a room to feel harmonious, go for larger patterns.

If you want to draw attention to one part of a room, go for something smaller.

Busy patterns will increase the energy level in a room, while simple or pale patterns promote calm.

Consider also the style of patterned fabrics as each has its own personality or feel. Damask is a formal fabric, yet muslin or gingham plaid are informal and casual. Choose a level of formality and stick with it.

Also avoid putting all the patterned pieces together on one side of the room. This will throw the space off balance.

Distributing solids and patterns smoothly throughout the room will provide a more cohesive look.

Whether you begin by choosing to decorate with your patterns or solids first, be sure the rest of the room continues in that same colour palette to create harmony.

If you are still stuck, try using companion fabrics that have been pre-selected to work together in a room. These are created by fabric companies with two, three or four patterns all designed to exist harmoniously in one room.

Just choose the colour palette you like, and the patterns will have already been co-ordinated for you.