Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Geometrics 101

Show Your Soft Side

"To ensure your patterns don't become too harsh or rigid, remember to add patterns with curves, such as concentric circles or waves, to patterns that are more structured, such as chevrons." In this small living room  a curvy zebra rug and circle-like honeycomb pillow was added to offset the sharp diamond pattern on the wall.

Size Things Up

"Scale is the most important part to keep in mind when introducing a geometric, or really any pattern, into a room."  If you pair, say, a large pillow pattern with a small one, the larger pattern will certainly overshadow the small. An easy rule of thumb: pair geometric shapes with the next largest or smallest pattern, matching the large stripes in a vintage print with slightly smaller ones in a pair of chevron stools.

Stay Neutral

This tiny powder room, designed by San Francisco-based Niche Interiors, is a study in bold design.  A slightly metallic ogee trellis wallpaper gives the space an element of surprise. When working with this much pattern, however, you'll want the palette and other elements to remain neutral. "It works because we kept the rest of the bathroom neutral — white moldings, wood floor and a mirror tie it all together.

Ground Your Graphics

Bold prints may win your attention when you enter a room, but your eyes inevitably need a place to rest. Create a few spots in between using a solid color. They'll help ground the geometric patterns and keep it from feeling overly busy, like in this tiled kid's room.

Advanced Geometry

Ready to take your geometric game to another level? Layer it on with other patterns. "I'm a huge fan of layering patterns, but it does take practice."  Blending and layering adds depth, as in the case of this floral window treatment and graphic pillow combo.  Plus, it's much softer and easier on the eyes than two geometric patterns paired together. The trick for making sure two patterns are complementary, "Imagine the pattern in black and white. How much contrast would the pattern have? Is it entirely mid-range or lots of very deep saturated colors contrasted against bright white? When layering, look for some of each."

Keep Your Balance

A common trick of the trade is to juxtapose modern shapes with more classic ones. This adds to a counterbalance of the elegant sophistication to this bathroom's carrera marble countertops. The mirror works as a mix between the two styles — mod with sophisticated lines.

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