Design Trends: Color, Pattern, Texture
Refresh your home décor with three hot style trends for 2013. Local design experts offer their tips for taking a subtle or spirited approach.
Warm and welcoming, vibrant colors activate a space
Styled by Lisa Peck & Christina Winter > Photos by Alex Steinberg
- Flame stitch fabric is the keystone of the sunroom’s accent color palette, incorporating orange, lime green, hot pink, and cream.
- Cotton poplin pillows with ribbon trim repeat the hot pink of the flame stitch with a simpler, more geometric pattern.
“Bright color lifts the mood of a room,” says Lisa Peck, principal of LiLu Interiors. “It makes it feel more playful and fun.” Warm hues dovetail with sunny spaces, so Peck and her colleague Christina Winter brightened up this sunroom with a vivid, multicolored flame stitch fabric and accents. Using a neutral foil is the simplest approach to incorporating bright tones. “You can always change those pieces out seasonally,” Winter explains.
Layering color on top of color can really amp up a room’s personality. Taking a bolder approach, Peck and Winter added a two-toned orange rug as well as an accent lamp, bowl, vase, and more pillows. “Orange and pink are very gregarious and lively so they’re well suited for a sunroom,” Peck says. Winter suggests a few more bold combinations to try: turquoise and hot pink, green and purple, or purple and orange.
- Orange accessories pick up another hue in the flame stitch.
- A bold rug contributes several square feet of personality.
- Bright white curtains with subtle colored embroidery pop against a cream backdrop.
- “This orange-and-pink fabric by Jim Thompson would be great on an accent chair or pillow,” Peck says.
- A Trove wall covering illustrates how digital printing technology makes more vivid colors—and delicate changes in color—possible.
- The sunroom’s textured rug incorporates two shades of orange.
- A new collection of Kravet fabrics designed by Jonathan Adler have been inspiring the LiLu team to explore new color combinations.
- Benjamin Moore colors: Sweet Daphne #529, Razzle Dazzle #1348, Tangerine Fusion #83.
Behind the Design
Christina Winter & Lisa Peck
LiLu interior designers Christina Winter and Lisa Peck suggest bringing bright hues to active spaces, especially in rooms where you want to encourage socializing. “Color can lift your spirits and make your home a more lively place to be,” Peck says. “You feel so energized as you enter the space,” Winter adds. Depending on your comfort level, or “color personality,” Peck says, color can be layered on neutral pieces—or on more color. “Too often people get scared to use color,” she says. “If you’re a person who has a signature color, I wouldn’t be afraid to do a sofa in a bright color.”
Dynamic patterns add rhythm, pulse, and personality
Styled by Brooke Voss > Photos by Alex Steinberg
- Find linear repetition in pillows and throws.
- The side of this chair was custom upholstered to offer just a hint of stripe.
Brooke Voss, principal of Brooke Voss Design, sees pattern as personality, and explains its use in fashion terms. “Layering pattern into your space—funky, mis-matched pillows on a tailored linen sofa—is the same as pairing chunky jewelry and a great scarf with dark denim,” she says. But pattern isn’t just found in fabric pillows and throws. Many materials can add visual dynamism, including the striped painting, woven wood veneer light fixture, Carrera marble table top, and faux crocodile tray. And you don’t have to commit to an entire patterned piece, Voss notes. The side of this chair was custom upholstered to offer just a flirtatious wink of stripe.
When it comes to pattern, Voss says, everything can be layered or paired, as long as you’re conscious of style and scale. Since the striped, houndstooth, and large-scale plaid fabrics are very linear, Voss added an ikat rug with an open, organic, free-flowing design to contrast the smaller, geometric patterns. She also layered more patterned pillows and tabletop accessories into the design. Since the space and its furnishing have very clean, rectilinear lines and forms, Voss says it was easier for her to “go crazier” without overdoing it. “Everything else is silent, which sets the stage for the pattern,” she notes. Most people are surprised by how easily patterns can be mixed and matched. So Voss says she likes to nudge pattern lovers to think even bigger. “Sometimes you just have to go for it,” she says.
- Black-and-white accessories complement the Tulip coffee table.
- An ikat rug has a free-flowing design that contrasts with the geometric patterns.
- Small, medium, and large: from the tiny dots on this Fornasetti plate to these wide fabric stripes, pattern comes in all scales.
- To contrast rigid, linear designs, look for irregular patterns in natural materials, including agate, hide, and these painted antlers by Wisconsin artist Cassandra Smith.
A collection of bold velvet stripes, huge-scale linen floral, and punchy jewel-toned geometries “channels energy, excitement and a youthful sophistication,” Voss says.
Behind the Design
Brooke Voss Design
Pattern can set the mood for a space, says Brooke Voss, principal of Brooke Voss Design. Incorporating embossed leather, wool herringbone, suiting stripes, and houndstooth, for example, can lend a masculine, clubby feel. But a modern, eclectic look can combine even the disparate dots of Marimeko and Seurat: as when pairing furnishings of various styles and eras, sometimes mixing opposing patterns can be “so wrong they’re right” Voss says. “The cardinal rule is: there are no rules.”
Tactile textures layer richness and depth
Styled by Kayla Vig > Photos by Alex Steinberg
- This two-texture lamp pairs an etched glass base with a ripple shade.
- A monochromatic coverlet emphasizes its quilted texture.
Texture is the most foolproof way to add visual interest to a space, says Kayla Vig, an interior designer with Gunkelmans. “You almost can’t get too busy with texture—you can’t overdo it.” Simple details—an etched glass lamp with a ripple shade, a table accessory with folds and weaves, and a quilted coverlet—add intrigue without overpowering. As when working with color or pattern, Vig likes to incorporate contrast, pairing thick, chunky fabrics with finely woven ones.
To truly embrace the texture trend, Vig brought in neutral pieces—a nubby throw and rug whose raised silk stripes have a visual sheen—and then piled on the pillows. Fabric made of glass beads, often used as wallcovering, “adds a touch of shimmer and glam to the space,” she says. The subtle ridges of chevron-pattern stitching and velvet’s short, dense pile counter long, loose tufts of faux feathers. The wilder the texture, Vig advises, the smaller the accent. “With faux fur or feather, a little goes a long way.”
- Faux feathers and glass beads make unexpected—and alluring—pillow textures.
- This wool-and-linen rug was woven with a silk stripe. The material difference gives a visual sheen and texture to the raised wave pattern.
- Find subtle texture in organic materials, including the grain in this wood flooring.
- Wallcovering made from capiz shell flakes and the glass bead fabric on this pillow incorporate visual shimmer in addition to texture.
Texture doesn’t have to be ribbed, furry, or bumpy. It can be sleek, too, as with this marble tile.
Behind the Design
“Texture adds depth and warmth to a space,” says Kayla Vig of Gunkelmans Interior Design. “When you see texture, especially when it’s layered, it looks cozy, comfortable, and inviting.” Don’t hesitate to mix textures. The bedroom’s pile of pillows incorporates five different tactile materials: woven fabric with chevron stitching, glossy silk, fuzzy velvet, shimmery glass beads, and faux feathers. All practically beg to be touched—though not necessarily slept on.