This tropical hallway on theROOMedit blows my tiny mind.
On paper, there’s no way it should work. Busy botanics on the walls, the curtain and in the next room too? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And yet, somehow, it all comes together to look absolutely spectacular.
After staring at it for quite some time in a sort of Magic Eye-inducing trance, I think I’ve finally figured out why. It all boils down to four cunning design tricks.
1) Colour matching
Someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make sure that the pinks used across the patterns sit as close together on the colour spectrum as possible.
The same goes for the blues and the greens. This helps to create a harmonious look overall. If, for example, the pink on the living room wallpaper had been too orangey or the green on the curtain too yellowy, the scheme as a whole wouldn’t have worked half as well.
Look at the left-hand corner of the curtain.
See how it blends almost seamlessly into the wallpaper behind it? That’s because whoever chose their colours so carefully also went out of their way to make sure that the scale of the leaf pattern on the curtain was almost identical to the scale of the leaf pattern on the wallpaper, helping to create a more unified look.
The human brain naturally seeks out repetition in order to make sense of things. That’s why a room with little or no repetition in it can feel a bit chaotic. Here, the star-shaped leaf on the curtain is echoed in the star shape of the leaves in the hallway wallpaper, creating order and coherence.
And, as already mentioned, the colours from the hallway are carefully repeated in the living room, forming a visual link between the two spaces and pulling the whole scheme together.
But the repetition doesn’t stop there. Squint just a little bit and you’ll see that the splodges of white flowers on the hallway wallpaper subtly mirror the uneven white background on the living room wallpaper.
And that’s not to mention the repetition of the trellis pattern on the wallpaper and the cane chair.
I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ve missed, too. Once you start noticing repetition, you suddenly see it everywhere.
4) A neutral canvas
Last but not least, just imagine how different this scheme would feel if the curtain and wallpapers had been teamed with bold, bright colours in the furniture, floors and woodwork. It would all start to feel a bit overwhelming. By sticking to white and soft, neutral tones for the backdrop, the patterns can sing out without being assaultingly loud.
This might not be the sort of look you could pull off in every household, but it’s packed full of sneaky design tips that I, for one, will be putting into practice.
And if you are feeling brave enough to recreate the look at home, you can find out how on theROOMedit.Read more →