mixing patterns, textures, and colors by mandi maurer gray

As an Interior Designer, I am asked on a very consistent basis what the rules are when mixing patterns, textures, and colors. I many times say that there are no “rules” per say, just good design plans. For many, it can be overwhelming to mix many colors together or to add patterns into a space. I feel this leads many to staying with a very neutral color palette with little to no pattern, not venturing far from their comfort zones. For example, even though someone may love pink, they would never think of introducing the color into their decor. My advise is to find a designer whom you feel you click well with and who will understand your concerns and limitations. Maybe your love of pink can find a beautifully designed place in your home.

Below are some examples of mixing patterns, textures, and colors. Get ready to be inspired!

 

Healthy Abode: Spa Bath – Part 1 by Melanie Holden

Are you too busy for a regular spa trip, but in desperate need of a little pampering? Join the club! It seems like we’ve all been required to do more with less over the past few years, which makes for much busier, more stressful lifestyles. Needless to say, all this work and worry is not good for your health or frame of mind. Excessive exposure to stress can lead to or exacerbate serious health problems like sleeping disorders, heart disease, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure just to name a few. It is time to take relaxation into our own hands! Many overworked, underpaid, stressed-out people are turning to the bathroom as a soothing sanctuary for rejuvenation and retreat to supplement or even replace those few spa trips they have the time and money for.

 

But wait, your bathroom just doesn’t exude the stress-free spa oasis atmosphere you’re dreaming of? Well, I have some thoughts to help you transform it in a way that will entice each and every sense. It turns out that I have a lot of thoughts on this subject, because once I started putting those thoughts on paper, I couldn’t stop! There are so many ways to “spa your bathroom” that to do this subject justice, I decided to break this one up into a blog series.

So, part one, here we go! The spectacular thing about spa’ing your bathroom is that you can go all out or just add a few personal touches to what you already have. If you’re not in the market for a gut rehab of your entire bathroom, you can do plenty of little things to create a calming spa-like ambience. Ultimately, trust your senses and choose soothing colors, textures, sounds, scents, and soaps to nurture your body and soul.

But first, you must de-clutter! Clutter creates a sense of unease and chaos, making true relaxation virtually unachievable. Get organized and get rid of anything that you don’t love or is not functional. Make sure that everything has a place and that things are stored neat and organized.

 

Once your de-cluttering mission is complete, its time for the fun part: finishes! Whether working with an existing bathroom or starting from scratch, think natural. Natural colors, textures, and materials add a fresh, organic feel to any space. Incorporate natural stone, actual stones, or recycled glass for an organic, earthy feel in your bathroom.

Deep, rich wood tones and bamboo elements add warmth and elegance to a room. Wood elements will also promote personal growth, inspiration, creativity, and passion.

Incorporating a few metal elements into your bathroom will create harmony and can balance a space. Various types of metals are even associated with good health. Just don’t overdo it; too much metal can cause anxiety. Keep in mind that the goals are harmony and balance. Are you starting to feel a little Zen yet? Many of these spa strategies align effortlessly with Feng Shui principals; hmmm, sounds like a great subject for a future blog, don’t you think!

Plants are another way to enhance your bathroom atmosphere.

Not only a natural accent, live plants clean the air and bring the outdoors inside, adding color and texture. Tropical plants thrive from the bathroom humidity and herbs provide naturally fresh scents. Your bathroom should emanate fresh, clean air, not a chemical jumble of artificial fragrances, air fresheners and cleaning products. Display small pots of lavender, rosemary, sage, or peppermint. Potted fresh herbs will not only enhance your bathroom atmosphere, they can be used for your very own custom aromatherapy bath! Pick a few stems from your favorite herb du jour, wrap them in cheesecloth and tie them to the tub faucet so the water flows through them as the tub is filled.

Check back soon for part 2 of Spa Your Bathroom where I’ll elaborate on the colors you may want to consider for your spa bathroom, what effects particular colors can have on your mood and what chromatherapy is all about. Until then, happy bathing!

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Kimberly Reuther

As many people know I am a huge fan of anything white. White has been a very popular trend in design in recent years from the casual, Coastal Living style to the minimalist ice white design. During this time of year, how do you incorporate holiday spirit without adding color? Actually, neutral color schemes require the same balance all year round: texture, texture, texture. Layers of texture and subtle color changes make neutrals work.

For the holidays, adding in a bit of sparkle transforms your space into a wintery escape. Clear glass, mercury finishes, glitter, metallic sheens coupled with earthy burlap textures, wool fabrics, tweed, raffia, and twigs create just the right balance of textures. Here are a few ideas to try out in your home. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Gray has become the new black as of late. What better way to show off white elements than to put them in front of a gray backdrop. Notice how the textures of the pillows and screen work to reflect light and soften the deep gray sofa. Also, the simple glass vases in a multitude of shapes and colors add a bit of whimsy to the space.

Woodland elements with a modern twist are perfect for adding the layers of texture to a white space. Adding in garland and oversized ornaments can transform any mantel, console or buffet in an instant.

Originally written by Kimberly for Freshome.  View more of Kimberly’s work at kimberlyreuther.com.

 

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