Contemporary African Design: Colour & Pattern Insights | Eva Sonaike Blog

How to energise your interiors with colour & pattern

How to energise your interiors with colour & pattern

Our recently launched design collaboration with Soho Home is all about bringing colour into your space. But I know that many people feel slightly overwhelmed when it comes to incorporating colour and pattern into their design. And that’s where I come in to help you easily (re-)energising your home with some easy tips and tricks.

Use cushions to experiment with mixing prints

It can feel overwhelming to put clashing prints next to each other, but cushions are an easy way to practise. They are interchangeable and moveable, so it gives you a chance to play around and find the perfect placement.

I agree that too many colours in a room can feel chaotic, so when choosing patterns stick to one tonal family to create an aesthetically pleasing environment while still offering variety. One pattern should take the lead, so let a large-scale fabric dominate. Combine this with medium or small-scale patterns for accents.

Unless you are fearless like me, I would recommend not incorporating more than four patterns in a room scheme and creating a visual balance by mixing in solid colours every so often to break up the lines and shapes.

Accessories can liven up a neutral scheme

A neutral decor scheme can be calming and elegant, but to create a cohesive design, it needs to consist of a combination of texture, pattern and scale to feel dynamic. A great way to do this is by introducing a splash of colour through small accessories.

Lampshades are a low-key and easily changeable option. As they come in two parts, you can create balance by pairing a vibrant shade with a neutral base (or vice versa).

’Opt for a lighter base and darker shade to give the patterns depth and authority. And if you can pick up this fabric somewhere else in the room, it will create a harmonious overall look.

A standout feature gives the room a design focus

I hope you agree with me that every home needs a ‘Wow’ item - and an occasional chair is just perfect for this because of its size and function. As an accent piece, it can be brought in and out, and it doesn't rely on the rest of the scheme. Plus, it's comfortable and serves a purpose, as well as being visually impactful.

A patterned fabric can change the scale of a piece of furniture, so patterns are great on accent chairs as the overall look doesn't overpower the setting

Use a rug as the fifth wall

rug, one of my favourite pieces in interiors, is an essential layer in any space; its thickness and texture automatically add warmth and character. But, it's also an opportunity to stamp some personality onto a room.

If your walls are neutral, a large rug with a bold pattern can look fabulous. I like to position it in the centre of the room and move all of the furniture away to let it speak for itself.

And if you have the space, you can also hang your rug on the wall and transform it into a piece of art.

I hope this gives you an insight into how to energise your home with colour and pattern. Need a bit more guidance? No problem! Download our free COLOUR GUIDE for tips on how to add colour and pattern the major rooms of your home!

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