How to Use Bold Colour & Pattern Like a Pro

How to Use Bold Colour & Pattern In Your Home to Design Like a Pro

Life would be pretty “blah” without colour in it. It’s a way to express our individuality, our creativity, and to make our homes interesting as well as beautiful.  Even if your style is minimalistic and modern, there is always room for colour and pattern somewhere.

Where to start? Where to find inspiration? A great way to introduce some colour into your space can be with artwork. Art is very personal, so what you select really says something about you and your style.  Do you like modern, abstract, still life, traditional, landscapes, watercolours, or photography? Some people like a bit of everything and a mix is always a good thing. Whatever your style, art “speaks to us” and if we love it, we buy it and take it home.  I usually know within about 10 seconds if it is the piece for me, an almost instant reaction.

Original contemporary artwork by Toronto artist Michael Adamson

Beautiful original contemporary artwork by Toronto artist, Michael Adamson.

Another way to add colour, pattern and punch to your space is to add some fabulous fabric.  Fabrics are my true love.  My favourite way to use fabrics is to put together a fun mix, using both different colours and pattern scale and sizes. Tip: Follow the rule of “Small + Medium + Large” when mixing patterns.  That way, all of  the patterns will balance each other out.  If you use fabrics that are all the same size of pattern, then they tend to fight with each other. So, mixing a solid with a small pattern and then a large scale pattern will look great every time! Find a fabric that you fall in love with and use that as your jumping off point for all of the other fabrics that you select to go with it.

Solid fabrics from Cowtan & Tout, Manuel Canovas

Colour!! Beautiful solid fabrics from Manuel Canovas and Cowtan & Tout (available through Designers). Photo: Cowtan & Tout


Colourful fabrics from Christopher Farr Cloth

Colour and pattern in these Christopher Farr Cloth fabrics.

With these fabrics from the British company, Christopher Farr Cloth (available through Designers), you can see how Small + Medium + Large-scale patterns all work together.  Each pattern is different, but they all compliment each other and create visual excitement, and definitely a sense of fun.

A fabulous way to add big impact to your space is to anchor it with a spectacular area rug, or carpet. With my clients, I will almost always select the carpet first, as it can easily become the focal in the space, and can set the tone for the rest of the design to follow. While many people like to have something quiet or subdued, I prefer to go BOLD with the carpet. Consider its artwork for the floor, we often refer to it as “the fifth wall” because it gives us another opportunity to add design, colour, pattern, and texture.  I can set the “mood” for the room, and give you a great starting point from which to select paint, wallpaper and fabrics.

Gorgeous custom Ikat design area carpet from Weaver & Loom, Toronto

Stunning Ikat-inspired design in a custom area carpet from Weaver & Loom in Toronto.

Wow! Look at that colour, pattern AND texture in this gorgeous area carpet. This beauty is a custom-designed carpet from Weaver & Loom in Toronto, but there are also some fabulous ready-made options. The other great bonus to colour and pattern in your area rug is that it hides a multitude of sins (anyone with kids or pets will understand this!), is easier to maintain, and wears better.  Wool (contrary to what many people think) is very easy to take care of, wears like iron, cleans well, and will last you for a very long time.

Are you looking to make a bold statement in your space? How about wallpaper?? Wallpaper can instantly create change the entire feel of a room. You can add pattern AND colour AND drama, too!

Thibaut wallpaper in "Rowan Damask" pattern Photo: Thibaut

Wallpaper can mix both contemporary and traditional elements to give you that “WOW” factor. Photo: Thibaut

I ADORE this wallpaper from Thibaut (available through Designers)! I love the bold colour paired with a more traditional damask pattern – this can easily be used in a contemporary space (as shown in the photo), or in a more formal, traditional room. Just WOW.

The fastest and probably the easiest way to add colour is paint.  Wonderful, fabulous, easy, inexpensive – paint. Love it.  Instant gratification, for sure!

Photo: Farrow & Ball, paint in hallway in Dix Blue No. 82 & Pointing No. 2003

Gorgeous blue/green and white show off the spectacular architecture in this space. Photo: Farrow & Ball

Rich and luxurious, Farrow & Ball offer a unique and specialised palette of 132 paint colours, made in England. This line of paint has a signature depth of colour and finish, like no other product on the market. Their palette is carefully curated and edited each year. Colours are bold, rich, classic and truly inspired. And don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with the stunning herringbone pattern on the floor in this photo!

So many ways to add colour and pattern into your home!  Try one idea, or combine a few of these concepts….Colour is for everyone, and with so many possibilities it will be easy for you to incorporate colour and pattern with your personal style to decorate your home like a pro.

Feature Image: Original artwork by Canadian artist Paula White-Diamond.




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