This May on Wit & Delight, we’re exploring all the many benefits of decorating with pattern at home.
Pattern is a design element that’s sometimes considered secondary to its unadorned counterpart: color. And while color preferences are personal, I think pattern preferences are even more personal. A thoughtful addition of pattern to a space can infuse so much richness, interest, depth, and emotion.
When we think about pattern, what often comes to mind are bold, graphic, visually arresting patterns. But there is pattern EVERYWHERE, on every single scale and in every color combination you can imagine. Decorating with pattern is for everyone, and this month I’m here to convince you of just that.
Decorating with pattern is a tool I have used in all of my homes over the years.
In our current home, the first room in which I applied pattern in a big way was the library (now my office). While designing this room, I was inspired by all the nature that surrounds us on our home’s property, which feels so rich and textural. I was looking for a wallpaper pattern that would echo our natural surroundings. I ended up selecting a beautiful floral pattern that tied in with the blue paint color on the woodwork. We extended the wallpaper to the ceiling, which makes me feel like I’m enveloped in flowers whenever I’m in the space. What I find most interesting about this pattern is the scale—the small size makes it read as a texture from some vantage points, which brings additional depth to the room.
I’ve gone on to apply patterned wallpaper in our basement kitchenette, main bedroom, kids’ bathroom, kids’ bedroom, and guest bedroom. But wallpaper is far from the only way one can add pattern to their home. Every single surface in a home is an opportunity to do just that.
A thoughtful addition of pattern to a space can infuse so much richness, interest, depth, and emotion.
Pattern can be added through foundational elements like wallpaper, rugs, or materials like flooring. I’ve had rugs with graphic striped patterns, rugs in rich Turkish motifs, sisal rugs with subtle woven patterns (like this sisal rug in our family room and main bedroom), and Swedish kilim rugs in cheerful pastel colors. It can be added through a large focal point like a sofa or a set of chairs. It can also be added through accent pieces like pillows, art, and small decor items. In any given room, pattern can be added in one of these ways or in all of these ways. The sky is the limit when it comes to bringing pattern into any space.
This month, I’ll be sharing examples of how pattern can be used in various applications and home environments.
My goal with this theme is to demystify what it means to use pattern in the realm of interior design. It’s to help people understand what can be gained by adding a little more pattern to their own home.
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