Create Your Signature Interior Design Style, Part 2

Now that you have the elements of four main interior design styles down, let’s talk about breaking some of those patterns to create your own style. We’ll also explore how to mix patterns and colors to achieve a designer look.

If your style leans toward traditional, a signature of that aesthetic is intricate floral patterns. Freshen up your traditional style with bright, bold floral print wallpaper, curtains or upholstery. Punch up traditional wood cabinetry with painted corbels and crown molding.

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Just as modern is sometimes a tough interior design style to identify it’s also tough to decide how to break the rules, considering that the look is so sleek and clean. Because of the unfussiness of modern spaces, a great way to create your own look is by adding freeform textures such as deep-pile rug or an asymmetrical cowhide.

A great way to buck the contemporary style is to go transitional. Love the on-trend look of gray? Opt for traditional style cabinetry with a stylish gray finish. Tame a contemporary color such as emerald green with a favorite from five years ago such as an ochre yellow or shiitake brown.

Transitional interior design is intrinsically rule breaking in the way it melds traditional and contemporary. An easy way to take transitional up a notch is to abandon the neutral color palette. Instead of a safe, beige sofa, have one upholstered in a nice shade of orange. Or anchor your living space with a contemporary patterned rug in grass green or a deep blue.

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Choosing Colors and Matching Patterns

For many homeowners, choosing paint colors can be daunting—especially if you’re thinking of something bold such as red or a bright blue.

First, be sure the color you’re longing for is going to work for the space and the furnishings that will be in the room. Next, choose the color you think you want then pick one shade lighter and one shade darker. Paint swatches in the room and be sure to check them several times over the course of a day so you can see how the sunlight affects them.

A neutral palette is a safe bet, but if your personal taste is a bit more colorful, you can choose from some other safe options. Grays of every variety are on-trend right now. Choose warm gray for the walls to complement chocolate brown and pops of turquoise in your décor. Blue and white are a classic combination. A soft, powder blue pops in a room with white trim. Throw in some khaki for a cozy, yet bright space.

Want a little more pop in you palette? Emerald green, Pantone’s color of the year for 2013, looks great in the kitchen. Deep red or purple creates a comfortable library where you can curl up and lose yourself in a book. Maybe go with the absence of color—crazy or not, black is in fashion for interiors. See our recent post about decorating with black.

Once you have your palette picked, you may want to incorporate some patterns into the room for visual interest. Patterns are tricky to mix and match, but with a couple of simple rules you can achieve a designer look. Color and scale are very important.

You can choose patterns all in one color family or choose complementary colors such as blue and orange or yellow and purple. To create your own signature look, choose colors one or two shades off the direct complementary hue. Think of the color wheel you learned about in elementary school art class. Think about the possibilities of orange and violet or yellow and blue. The colors you put together can be a direct reflection of your personal style.

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To create a polished look
, opt for patterns in three sizes—small, medium and large scales. A bold stripe, a medium floral and a small geometric pattern will look great for a collection of pillows. Go wild and throw in some texture, too. Imagine a cowhide rug, leopard-print pillows on a leather sofa with chocolate brown, velvet drapes. The colors are in one palette, but the look is pumped up with texture and pattern.

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Whatever your personal interior design style looks like, let it shine in your home!

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