There are many ways to add interest to a room, but one of my favorite methods is mixing patterns for a sophisticated look. This is particularly effective when decorating a bedroom, as the blend of soft bedding elements work together to convey a defining story for the room. As we’re getting ready to move to our new home, I’ve decided to start working on the bedrooms first, and here I’ll be talking about the first of those, “the khaki room”.I discussed my design process in my post How I Approach a Space, and today I’ll begin to show you how I apply that process to the first room I’m working on. With the layout of the space already thought through, my next step is to determine a theme for the room, then layer the elements that will embody that concept onto a mood board that will serve as my roadmap. For this room, a room that will function as a place for my adult son to call home when he visits, I wanted a bit of an English library look, with masculine components and dark wood furniture, but balanced by some softening aspects and lightened with creamy whites.With my concept picked out and my mood board set, I can next select my dominant colors that will be utilized for paint and carpet as a backdrop for the fabrics I will showcase. I also do an initial search of my current home to pull together any existing patterns I already own that might work in the room.I chose a warm toned khaki in a sisal texture for the floors and will opt for a similar yellowy beige to envelope the room with a warm glow on the painted walls.Finally it’s time to play with pattern and the very first thing I do is select the most essential mix. Here that will be the juxtaposition of menswear tweeds with a khaki based floral, a contrast type that plays a role in many of my rooms. I love to mix masculine with feminine for the utmost of complexity and interest. I balance wooly plaids and tweeds with delicate laces or in this case, a sateen smooth weave print. This room still reads generally dark and menswear-like, but without the heavy-handed feel of a dreary or basic boy’s bedroom.When mixing tweed and floral, I like to add another layer of complexity in with animal prints. I am still at the planning stage in this room, so I’ve not yet determined the final patterns, but I almost always use at least three patterns to achieve a bit of sophistication.With all that pattern mix going on, of course solids are equally as important. Here I like to play with texture and once again I balance rugged wools against softer creamy linens.As I outlined in my How I Approach a Space post, I select my ideal pivotal patterns first and then try to source them. I never shop aimlessly, choosing from what’s available in store, so that often means digging to find long discontinued patterns. The floral here is one of my favorite Ralph Lauren patterns, the Guinevere floral. If you spend some time on eBay, you can often find ‘new in package’ items that will fill your needs.This wool herringbone pillow is also from Ralph Lauren and the velvet flange trim adds a nice finish to the edging.Wooly sweater knits also work well here, adding to the chunky masculine feel of the room. Our sleeping pillows are always cotton sateen, as my entire family is all about the yummy soft feel when crawling into bed.While I love the use of subtle floral to tone down the masculine tweeds, if you’re doing a room for a boy and the floral is just not working for him, you can get the same layered complexity utilizing paisley in its place. Stay tuned to see how I’m using haberdashery suiting to work in my daughter’s new bedroom. Be sure to check back for the completed rooms, too!
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