Patterns are all around us, from those we create to those that nature gives us. But when it comes to interiors, each person has their own personal preference and design aesthetic.
We're told that mixing patterns can be "risky" in interior design, but with patterns in fabrics, soft furnishings, wallpaper, bare brick walls, and on the floor, how do you create a cohesive style?
The key is to strike a balance between art and function. Introducing patterns into the home adds detailing and texture, elevating a space and giving it character. Throw a pattern into the mix, and utility becomes versatility.
Rugs can be powerful design tools, whether they act as artwork for the floor or simply provide a complementary background for other decor. However, when it comes to area rugs, we often take the safe route, opting for solid designs and neutral colours.
When used to their best advantage, patterned rugs can have a harmonious effect, unifying disparate elements in a room and complementing other features rather than just drawing attention to themselves or disappearing into the background.
There's a lot to consider, but there is hope, and we want to help you conquer your fears and teach you how to incorporate patterns. If you’re a fan but afraid of going overboard, then have no fear as we share some easy-to-follow guidelines on how to play with patterns and win!
Image Credit (left to right) - Nicolas Gourguechon, Chris Loves Julia
Do you want something eye-catching or a little more subtle? Take it from the art world: one common technique is to paint their canvas a solid neutral colour; this sets the tone for the picture and provides a space to build from.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about patterns, but if your furniture and walls are all solid neutral colours, a patterned rug can bring your room to life, adding some sophisticated contrast and a pop of personality and character.
Opting for lighter, neutral tones guarantees success. Keeping the underlying look of the room one hue can help make a patterned rug pop and stand out without competing against other patterns already in the space. If you want to mix patterns, a surefire strategy is to choose one shade and try 3–4 different designs in that shade.
CHOOSE COLOUR WISELY
Image Credit (left to right) - Jessie Lane Interiors, Cody Ulrich
Colour is a natural starting point when choosing an area rug. It can be part of a pattern or the pattern within a rug; one way to make it all come together is to let the colour set the tone for the entire room.
For example, consider how different colours will work with your existing furniture. Your rug may feature bold blues, so bring those out in other elements within the room, like a bold blue lampshade or vase.
Rugs can either stand out or blend in, so think about what effect you want to create when considering colour: what colours you like and what colours you'd like to live with.
If you don't already have furnishings, consider how different rug colours will work with the flooring, walls, and ceiling. Colour and pattern can lift a room, but take care with boldness in both.
KEEP YOUR PATTERNS IN CHECK
Image Credit (left to right) - Leslee Mitchell, Houzz
Fall in love with patterns and give your home a story to tell this autumn and winter. If you want to be brave, there is no better way to introduce them than through a rug.
Their mesmerising quality will, naturally, entice you to keep wanting to add more. But throw too many patterns in a room and it will become overstimulating. Smart pattern deployment begins with restraint; a designer's rule of thumb is to stick to no more than three patterns in any given room and use similar colour families.
While solid colours or neutral rugs are always a safe bet when decorating your home, there is just something about bold patterns that can take any room to the next level.
Powerful geometric and organic patterns can effortlessly become the focal point of any space; using a pattern below your visual field when entering a room makes it appear less intrusive, and a dull room becomes divine.
Image Credit (left to right) - Rikki Snyder, Mad About The House
Somewhere around mid-winter, there is a point when you realise that your toes have had enough of the cold, hard floor. Cue the Persian or Oriental rug.
Function is fundamental when decorating with patterns, so before settling on a style, educate yourself about what kind of atmosphere you want to create in your room. Remember that an area rug doesn't need to match everything, but it should work with the textures and tones of the existing furnishings.
Always keep in mind the purpose the room serves; if it’s a bedroom, your pattern choice may be smaller and more subtle, while in areas with more energy, you can utilise bold, loud patterns with ease.