Observation is a fantastic learning tool.
Here is a beautiful coastal example of mixing patterns to take away from.
In interior design, I find that looking at other people’s completed projects can be an extremely beneficial influence for the current project I’m working on. To visit museums and be able to see and study historical period rooms is a great way to see classic design for many things including woodwork details. (here is a post a wrote featuring the Minneapolis Institute of Art Museum I visited)
This may sound a little goofy, but one of the reasons I love old movies, (besides a more intriguing script that so many modern movies seem to lack) I love seeing the old styles of the houses and gardens. I for sure take note of those wonderful design details! As we’ve been renovating our late mid-century house, with a goal to make it look like it was built circa 1940’s in the Colonial Revival style, I’ve been looking for everything I can get from that time period. The movie ‘Bringing up Baby’ was a huge influence for our front porch! (here is that post)
It certainly doesn’t just have to be only historical projects to take away from.
If that were the case, Pinterest, HGTV, decorating magazines, not to mention DIY and decorating blogs like this one wouldn’t be around! There are tons of great ways to glean from other’s projects.
Staying at fun inns and hotels can offer some pretty nice examples of design details too. Historical or contemporary, there’s always something to take away from. (here are all the posts I’ve written featuring other inspiring places I’ve visited)
Going through pics for today’s post, I came across these pictures of one of our favorite places to stay in Maine. This vintage coastal inn (circa 1950’s or so?) sits on the banks of the Kennebunk River about a mile from the ocean. The inn was recently renovated, (in the past 12 months). The interiors were finished in a delightful blue and white palette with a nod to nautical.
Being influenced by other projects doesn’t mean I’m trying to just copy them.
Instead, it is a matter of reinterpreting something.
By taking note of what and why certain design details work, (or in some cases doesn’t work!) in someone else’s room, helps me to define how to make my own projects be ascetically pleasing. Noticing the fine points of how other people are mixing patterns and balancing colors are always intriguing for me to see.
Today, using this fun coastal example of mixing patterns, I just want to take note of how the designer successfully mixed the patterns, (and colors) in this space.
Since I don’t know the designer that did this space, I can only guess how they worked out the room design. Here is my takeaway on what I observe in the finished design. They started with a beautifully neutral backdrop. The walls and trim are white. The floor is a solid teak (or mahogany) wood. This space has the basic balance of color with 60% being white, 30% blues and the remaining 10% in warm accent colors.
In a bedroom, the bed, or more defined, the headboard is the main focal point. Thus, this headboard has the busiest, and most visually demanding, pattern of the room on it:
Then, pulling from this main pattern, the other patterns and colors in the room serve to compliment it.
This headboard pattern has an all over curvy and flowing pattern, which compliments the overall curvy and flowing shape of the headboard. Imagine how a plaid or stripe might look out of place on this curvaceous headboard.
The large strong stripe of the rug is a much large pattern than the headboard fabric, but not more visually demanding:
The colors of the rug tie it to the headboard. The pattern is a contrast to the headboard, therefore complimenting it instead of competing with it.
The draperies are more about color and texture:
The drapery print does a great job of adding visual texture. It also draws blue up on the wall, framing the outside water view.
In decorating, groups of three are pleasing to the eye. That holds true with repeating patterns as well… such as the the mini woven pattern. I noticed how the designer 3 times that mini woven pattern in the room. Both the draperies and the stool seats have their own interpretation of a mini blue and white woven texture.
The stool seats have a blue and white mini weave:
I love it when a ‘blue and white room’ mix the shades of blue throughout the space! The blues in this room include navy, cobalt, and periwinkle.
In the furniture opposite the bed, you can see 2 blues, plus the shades in the rug:
To trim the chairs in the pink piping was a fun warm accent. The pink stripe in the rug and pink accents in the headboard fabric all repeat it.
The third place I noticed a mini blue and white woven texture was on the bedside lamps:
The pottery bases had this beautiful impressed pattern.
Below you can see the mixture of the blue furniture on the white background, with the warm accent of the teak floors:
The main view of the room:
The bed base repeated the periwinkle shade of blue.
Though I wasn’t able to capture the view through the window very well. In real life, the view through the window adds to the mixture of blues. Just beyond that narrow strip of green grass flows the Kennebunk River. Full of yachts and boats flowing by just a few mere feet from this inn. It’s clear that the nautical life of the river and nearby ocean play a huge part in the color palette for this room.
One last detail:
The bathroom is a classic gray Carrara marble with warm brass accents. The counter, where the blue and white woven seat stools are at, is also Carrara.
To read more of coastal decorating in Maine, click here to see page with all the posts I’ve written about one of our favorite places on earth!
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