Sunday, August 21, 2011

stripes make me happy...

...It REALLY is the small stuff that just make my day.

Kent Storage Ottoman in Mid-Century Black Stripe pictured with Sutton Sofa in Antique Silver Gray
Bowery Stands.
We all know that pattern can energize a room and actually make existing pieces feel fresh. The stuff that makes it even more fun, is finding ways in your own home where you can add pattern and color in new and unexpected ways.

You may want to do a little scavenger hunting around the house.
See if there's anything lurking around your home:

-A chair in the basement that has, what may seem like an outdated print.
-Fabric in a drawer that was bought, but never used.
-Throw pillows in a guest room that you never really felt worked in the living room.

Pull them out. Toss in that funky chair into the neutral mix, even if the color palette isn't exactly what you feel works right off the bat. It may not, but it can start to get your creative wheels turning once you see it in the room. Even if it doesn't work, there may be a jump start of sorts by seeing something in a new way. A color, pattern or shape that is part of that chair can give you the style click you've been missing, and lead to the ultimate choice in helping you pull your room together in a fresh way.

Pattern and color have a way of doing that. They are the caffeine of the design world.

One of the biggest questions I get is how to use pattern without making a room feel overwhelmed OR, for lack of a better phrase, a hot mess. The simple answer, keep your big design strokes (sofas, etc) in solids, neutrals, classics. Bring in the patterns in your accessories, smaller scale furniture and in accent fabrics. A great way to layer even on top of that, and make your room even more interesting, continue to mix patterns (florals with stripes--stripes with checks--etc) by staying with the same color palette. If you're a pro at doing that with your wardrobe, the same rules apply. Think of putting your room together the same way you layer and work on your favorite outfits.

If you're a pattern, color and style risk taker, you can mix patterns and colors regardless of big or small strokes. The thing to keep in mind, even if there are no limits in your design choices, think about the future when you're buying that large, very expensive bold print sofa. Most of us, especially those that love to take design risks, like to change things up on a regular basis. I know, because I'm the guy who is constantly tweaking a room. If most of my choices (especially the big ticket items) were all part of The Bold and The Patterned (coming this Fall to CBS)--my ability to create change would be limited.

It's all about the balance. Funnily enough, isn't it always? Design really is less about style and more about lifestyle.

Go forth and pattern,

all photography by IMKstudio


Beth said...

Yep, that's a lesson I wish I would have learned before I bought my first big pieces of furniture. I wish the sales people at the furniture stores would have said, "Are you sure?"

But that's why we have reupholsterers, right?

Janelle said...

Thanks for the lesson on pattern, Angelo. I too love stripes (probably some kind of OCD issue?)and couldn't help but notice the cute striped sweater you're sporting in your 'biography' photo! Coincidence? I think not ;)

Love your blog & fb posts. Take care,

Unknown said...

Love this! Thank you for the lesson. Stripes, florals etc..
Your furniture pieces are beautiful..adore the fabrics.

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