Mix colour and pattern when decorating

Decorating a home with patterns can be a bit confusing, especially if it's not something you're particularly good at. We take advice from a textile designer.


Rebecca Atwood recently launched a book: Living with Pattern: Colour, Texture, and Print at Home. This step-by-step offers room-by-room advice on using colour and pattern to decorate a home. Unfortunately, the book is not available locally, so we garnered a few expert tips from the book to share with you.

A mood board or colour palette

Creating a mood board or colour palette for any project is important and should be your first step when decorating a room. Rebecca suggests starting with your neutral hues - whether this be greys or warm taupes - and then adding colour and pattern that will be layered on top of this.

In this way you can look at how colours and pattern work together, switching out what doesn't in the planning stage. Layers of colour and pattern give any room a sense of complexity and depth.

Choose interesting patterns that work

You don't want your decorating scheme to be match-matchy, and Rebecca recommends using a combination of small and large patterns and prints combined with difference styles. For example: Pair floral fabrics with an attract design, as on the ceramic bowl shown above.



Pattern elevates ordinary

Remove all the pattern in this room and you are left with an ordinary dining space. Pattern in about creating balance and elevating ordinary into something special. The dining room above has special touches that are also practical. For example, the geometric mosaic floor adds pattern but is easy to clean.

Pattern as texture

Every room needs layers. Layers are achieved by using various elements combined for a room that looks finished and doesn't look one-dimensional. Layers can include colour and pattern, and fabric can also be used as a textural element, since patterns are typically on a small scale, they can be read as texture from a distance.

Interior Design by Kendall Simmons

Bear in mind proportion

When decorating a room, 40 to 60% should be patterned and the rest made up of textures and material differences. Think about building your foundation with architectural details like the striping of a laminated or wooden floor, the organic surface of stone, or the matte sheen on a tile surface, as well as items you bring in like sisal rugs, rattan, and textural fabrics.

Visit Rebecca Attwood's website: rebeccaatwood.com.