The Design Process Revealed - Pattern

The Design Process Revealed -
Texture & Pattern

Balance Texture

Different textures intensify and diffuse colours. The same colour in a highly reflected surface will be quite different in a matt finish like a suede or velvet. Keeping a balance between hard and soft in a room is a great way of adding interest and depth to a design scheme.

Distract the Eye

Camouflage - people are frightened of pattern these days but pattern is brilliant camouflage. Think about it if you want to lose the corners of your room, and then distract the eye with pattern. Pattern is very eye-catching so choose your feature wall carefully. Your feature wall should be the wall that you want to advance towards the eye so in a long narrow space it is the shortest wall you want to make a fuss off. If you drew attention to one of the long walls it would advance and create a tube. The principal is simple - distract the eye from where it needs to be as far away from the corner are possible.

Be careful of geometric patterns they can act like graph paper drawing attention to how few units go into making up the proportions of your room. Reduce the size of the squares and your eye will be tricked into thinking that the space is larger.

Create an Atmosphere

Pattern is very romantic in that it often has a story to tell. Use this to create an atmosphere. Choose a pattern that relates to a specific tradition or part of the world that you’ve always had sympathy with.

Strong patterns with a lot of detail in colour combinations that have a lot of contrast are extremely stimulating. Use them wisely.

My personal advice for anyone with a very small room is to create a jewel box of pattern, colour, richness and texture. It’s never going to be an airline hanger, so make it an uber boudoir with a riot of personality and a load of detail. Patterned carpets are practical but also help camouflage irregular architectural layouts.

Summary of the design rules

Pattern can be used to distract the eye from the corners of a room, thus creating an illusion of space.

A small geometric repeat on a small wall will make it look larger; a big repeat will shrink a space.

A strong pattern can regulate and create order in an oddly shaped room.

Choosing patterns that are personal to you are a good way of making a room more individual.

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