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Decorating is all about cultivating a space that fits your vision. It’s important that a space be laid out thoughtfully and function as intended, but even beyond that, the best designs reflect the unique aesthetic of the person who put them together. What is crucial to you in an environment? For some people, it’s the sleekness of modernity, all newness and carefully chosen angles. Others are more enamored of rusticity, and choose furnishings that absorb and tell stories throughout their lives. Whatever the goal, it is vital to approach the entire process with a thoughtful eye.

Incorporating patterns is one of the best ways to make this happen. They are a daring way to shake up an otherwise monochromatic palette, and add verve and depth to the rooms they inhabit. As well, they also reflect the individual that chose them, and can be personal in a way that simple colors can not always match.

At the same time, it is important to be thoughtful and show some restraint when it comes to selecting and incorporating patterns. When done well, they add life to a room, bringing it character it might otherwise have lacked. When you use too many patterns, however, you increase the odds that they will clash, and that the room will favor cacophony over cohesion. It’s the difference between a lively party with friends, and being lost in a loud crowd of near-strangers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with patterns:

Establish a theme
A single dominant pattern can set the tone for an entire room. Start with one strong pattern, such as geometric or floral print, and use that as a springboard for other, smaller ones around the room. This way, you’ll be able to establish both contrast and compatibility. If you are having difficulty getting started, look at other rooms in your house, and pick out the elements that you like best about them. These can serve as ideas for future designs.

The theme can be something as simple as a favorite fabric type or color. Once you have this jumping off point, you can work to find other elements that fit into what you would like to establish. Using a single dominant color also gives you the opportunity to play with textural elements, which can add a surprising depth to a room.

Patterns add a fun element to any room.Patterns add a fun element to any room.

Start with stripes
As a basic, classic pattern, stripes are an excellent first foray into mixing it up. As design expert Yanic Simard told Martha Stewart Living, “Stripes are great because they can be modified to fit the space. They can run horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, while also acting as a perfect transition to break up a room’s elements.”

Know your neutrals
When in doubt, use neutrals as the backdrop for your patterns. If you don’t have a strong existing motif, going with neutral elements on large surfaces such as floors and walls gives you the flexibility to make bold choices in other areas, while at the same time providing an unobtrusive backdrop that highlights the best parts of those decisions.

Use them as accents
Once you start working with decorating companies, like Decorating Den Interiors, and finding patterns you love, it’s easy to go overboard and want to add them in every inch of your house. Instead, work patterns subtly into your designs via accents. In the kitchen, it could be a backsplash with unique tile shapes in a color that really catches the light and opens up the room. In the living room, throw pillows are a great way to add pop without having to rearrange things too much. Just buy some high-quality inserts, and you can switch the covers as you see fit. In the bedroom, wallpapering a single wall with a dynamic pattern makes that choice stand out more, and is easier to change if you’re unhappy.

Spread the love
Just about every room in the house can use a little bit of flair, so don’t be afraid to spread the love and add patterns throughout the house. Patterns need space to really be enjoyed, so avoid the clutter that can come with clustering them all in one room. For even more fun, get the whole family involved – give the kids a few options for patterns for their rooms, and let them feel involved in the whole process.

Work within a single collection
Mixing and matching patterns can be a bold way to set yourself apart, but it can also lead to spaces that look disjointed and a little bit unfocused. Avoid this pitfall by sticking to pieces from a single collection, which will ensure that the hues and dye lots are the same, and thus give you a more cohesive feel even when the patterns are different. Working with a decorating service, such as Decorating Den Interiors, can help you figure out what would be the right choice for your home, and is a good way to figure out which collections fit in with your own personal aesthetic.

Be yourself
After all, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you enjoy and feel comfortable with the designs you have chosen. Feel free to think outside of the box! You don’t have to limit yourself to the handful of patterns you might have been exposed to while growing up. One of the best things about interior decorating is finding and trying new trends, and deciding which of them make the most sense for what you want for your life going forward.

Are you interested in adding some more patterns into your household? Talk to a Decorating Den Interiors personal interior designer now. With a professional to help walk you through the process and show you just the right pieces to complete your desired look, you’ll be able to have all of the character that comes with a vibrant house, without worrying about clashing.

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