How to Use Pattern and Color Courageously in Interior Design

The subject of color is HUGE!

Choosing what colours, patterns, materials and textures to put together to create an interior design scheme that looks and feels good may not be too tasking, but throw bright, bold colours and large-scale pattern into the mix and many people at this point will recoil slightly in hesitation.

Decorating with muted colour palettes and inconspicuous patterns is one thing, but when it comes to more vibrant shades and statement patterns, knowing how to successfully pull this off is quite another. In this issue, we would get the low down on how to be brave when using colour and pattern in interiors.

Two elements in interior design are pattern and colour and one should not shy away from pushing the boundaries. Communicating contemporary and progressive designs is usually influenced by the cultural and sub-cultural influences of our time. We live in a multimedia colourful age hence designs should have that feel. In my opinion, a good design is a reaction to cultural currents.

Don’t be afraid to use large-scale patterns. In my opinion, as a designer, it takes courage to use small-scale patterns. By using larger scales a room starts to “open” itself. Mostly, the room appears to be more structured, purer and it seems to have more space. Small scale patterns can quickly look nervous and can make a room seems confined and kittenish.

By using patterns in general, I would advise the use of just one type of graphic. Most times, it looks great to combine the right plain colours with this chosen design to get a conceptual look.

Colour in interior design is very important and it’s important to ensure that the colour palettes within a certain space are well balanced and harmonious. If you decide to use striking colours for an interior design project, it is very important to do it the right way.

The result definitely has an immediate effect on the well-being of the people who use the space. The colours are responsible for the predominant mood and atmosphere in a room. So you bear a lot of responsibility in this decision process.

Colourcourage is a term coined from being daring with colours. You can define your own colour system, which includes design patented colour “families” that have been merged into a harmonious and sophisticated use of light and colour.

These are defined based on regularities of colour psychology combined with the current cultural understanding of colour and are intended for use in the areas of architecture and interior design. In order to make your selection a lot easier, I have a table below that contains a well-balanced and harmonious colour composition. (I hope you find it very useful)

Designs are becoming more colourful than ever before. After the hype for graphical surfaces in nearly all areas of design, it was a logical conclusion that products need combinable plain colours. It is not easy to find matching colours on different materials in the market.

The only way to realise matching colours between  different materials  is to define your  colour choice  by using the original coloured material as a visual reference and the  result is an optimal matching system based on the real material, not only on printed colour charts.

There are many ways to decorate a home in a pleasant and well-balanced way. If you’re scared of bright and bold colours, one has to respect that. But I advise that sometimes you shouldn’t only think about decorating your home as a long-term thing.

Sometimes simple changes can make a home alive and adorable. And if you  practice this idea, you will automatically start to experiment with colours or patterns.

The different elements within a space (walls, floors, furniture etc) must complement each other and work together.  I believe that a credible use of pattern and colour must be based on a conceptual thinking and a matching system. The more pattern or striking colour tone a material has, the more important it is that it matches to the design elements and materials around it. In the last few years, I have worked on the idea of creating a pool of combinable products and materials.

The idea is to fill architecture and interior design with striking but aesthetic colour tones so that the look and feel of a room, space or building is reminiscent of graphic décor or constructivist painting that goes beyond normal dimensions. A room can be converted into an “ornament” without the surfaces in it being decorative.

Now that we understand colours and patterns, I am going to give you a final summary on some top- on- the- shelf easy ways to use these key elements well when you decorate any space.

  1. Always choose one color to start your scheme. That color can come from an existing piece of artwork, a rug, existing upholstery fabric, or a silk flower arrangement. If you are decorating from plans or blue prints, then it is often best to start planning color from the floor up. 
  2. Decide what type of look and or color scheme you want.  
  3. Then start “layering” your color using your selected color scheme. Start with the largest areas, floor, walls and ceiling. 
  4. Slowly bring in other large pieces, furniture, chairs, etc. Remembering to balance the room. Don’t group all the same color in one area, “sprinkle” it so that it is easy on your eye. 
  5. Using patterns is often a hurdle for some people so they just don’t bother, and the color scheme lacks interest. We need to make our schemes look alive by using either pattern and / or texture 
  6. Think in three dimensions when you plan your color. Dark curtains will enclose a room; a similar tone to the walls will keep the space looking open for example. A dark color for the floor will essentially “ground” your scheme.  To create a cozy intimate feeling, use warm dark colors, to create light and airy the opposite, pale and fresh, cool colors will open up a room, and it will feel cool. A dark colored ceiling will lower the height of a room, and the opposite if you use white. Color can be used to reshape your room, for example you have a rectangular room, you can make it look more like a square if you paint the two shortest walls a darker color than the longer walls, this will make them appear to advance, and make the room feel more balanced. 
  7. Test your color scheme – get “test” or “sample” pots of paint and paint large pieces of card or board. Put them in your room or order a large sample of wallpaper or large piece of fabric. Leave these items in the area that you wish to decorate and look at how they change at different times of the day, due to different lighting situations. They will look dramatically different. This is when you need to decide when the room will be used the most and what color looks best in that light! 
  8. Ensure that the room or area that you are working on coordinates or is in harmony with the rest of the house. There is nothing worse than a disjointed color scheme with rooms colored haphazardly. It is very unsettling for a designer, and just plain unsettling for us all! 
  9. If you are looking to choose colors that are in vogue now, your local paint store will be able to help. Paint companies keep on top of fashion colors and produce ranges of colors to suit but if you don’t have any luck there, then try the fabric stores. They have new range of colors for every season.  Another place is of course an up-to-date home and garden or interior decoration magazines. 
  10. Make sure the room has enough light to do your color scheme justice. A very poorly lit room will never look good no matter what you do. Lighting is the interior designer and decorator’s secret weapon.


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Equsi Soup

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