Thursday, May 30, 2013

Decorating Ideas - When Opposites Attract


Article by Jennifer Adams

Are you a dog person when your spouse likes cats? Do you see things in black and your partner sees white? Opposing viewpoints can be exciting when it works, adding spice and fun. When it doesn’t work the result is chaotic and busy.

In décor, opposites work really well to create contrast and excitement in a room. Use color accents to draw the eye around a room, or to create a bold focal feature.

Here are some of my tips on how to successfully use contrast in your décor.

Contrast with Color. From classic black and white to a more modern take in gray and ivory, or even brighter colors can take boring to bold in a flick of a paintbrush. This room, at left, photographed by Simon Upton for Elle Décor of a design by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, is an elegant combination of grayish brown and ivory. 

Alone, these two contrasting colors create a peaceful and luxurious room, and the red bookcase adds an exciting focus. This approach is great for the end of a hall or walkway, or to balance another strong focal feature in a room, such as a massive fireplace.

Contrast with Texture. Rough and smooth, fuzzy and shiny, new and old, busy and plain are ways to use contrast in texture. Prints on fabric and patterns also count as texture. If you have a monochrome room of mostly whites or one color, varying texture is a great way to keep the room interesting. In the photo at the top of this article, appearing in Elle Décor and photographed by William Waldron, the draperies’ grid pattern contrasts the tonal fabrics on the furniture, walls and rug to create a subtle interest.

Go nuts, contrast with everything! The vignette shown in this photo below, taken by Eric Piasecki of a design by Gideon Mendelson appearing in House Beautiful, beautifully shows how modern, shiny pieces (the yellow chest) contrast with the traditional texture and style of the wallpaper and fabrics. As if the color wasn’t interesting enough, the edgy art and traditional style chair balance each other for a fun, eclectic yet pulled together look.


Have fun, be bold and if it doesn’t work, change it later. Bathrooms, living rooms, family rooms, halls and entries are good rooms to experiment with contrast because you can try things easily and inexpensively. Paint, throw pillows and accessories are easy ways to try a new color or texture.

Show us your ideas! I’d love to see what you’ve done in your house!


Photos courtesy of Elle Décor and House Beautiful.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 

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