When traveling, I love to visit home decor stores, tile shops, and hardware centers. I can get lost for hours in books of wallpaper or fabric samples! There are so many beautiful textures and patterns in a dizzying amount of colours and styles.
Even though I love wallpaper, it’s just not practical on our uneven and often damp stone walls but there are other ways you can add pattern and visual interest to your home. Below I’ve put together some of my favourite examples from Pinterest and Houzz. Don’t forget to click on the images for sources.
With a variety or materials, textures, sheen and (of course) pattern, tile is a great way to jazz up a bathroom. Small spaces are perfect for experimenting or making a bold statement since they don’t take a lot of time to update. They don’t use up a lot of material so they’re also budget friendly. Even though the floor seems like the obvious place to use a pattern, the shower is also a great place to create a focal point. Think of it as your bathroom’s accent wall! If you really want to your design to stand out, try a high contrast colour scheme in black and white (or grey) like the bathrooms below.
If you’re not ready for a major bathroom overhaul, start small by adding pattern through fabrics like a shower curtain. It can be swapped out seasonally and is a great way to give your bathroom a new look on a budget a few times per year.
Mats not only keep our floors dry and prevent us from slipping, they can also be used as colourful accessories. But who says they have to come from the bath department? A beautiful (but durable) rug is a great alternative and you’ll be able to pick from a wider variety of patterns. We may not be able to have a bathroom this HUGE but that rug really makes it feel more like an actual room.
In the kitchen, a tiled backsplash not only makes our walls easy to clean, it can be great place to add colour and texture. Just like in the shower, create an accent wall to compliment the cabinets, counters and flooring.
And just like in the bathroom, use a rug instead of a kitchen mat to keep the floors clean and soft underfoot while at the same time adding visual interest.
Window coverings in the kitchen (and in other rooms) are great for privacy and temperature control. They’re also a great opportunity to add colour and pattern. You won’t need a lot of fabric, which keeps the cost down, but you can really make a statement with a bold design. Pair with complimentary table linens, pillows and chair covers for a coordinated look.
And speaking of chair covers, if you have seating in the kitchen, experiment with upholstery or chair covers. It’s another easy way to quickly and affordably update your old furniture. If you’re handy, it’s a great weekend project. If you’re not, there are plenty of ready made seat cushions and covers that are easy to put on.
If you have glass door fronts or open cabinets, adding colorful paper or fabric to the back is a great way not only to add pattern to the kitchen but also to show off that beautiful dinnerware or glassware.
Where wallpaper on the walls may not be practical, you can still use it to line the backs of built-ins or shelves. It really catches the eye and is a great background for your home accessories or favourite photos. It’s available in an endless variety of colours, patterns, and textures. Since you won’t need a lot, splurge on a stunning high end design that will not only be beautiful but also durable.
In the living room, the sofa is another great place for pattern. Pillows are super easy to make at home with a few basic skills (there are a A TON of online tutorials). Fabrics is easy to find and just like wallpaper, comes is an amazing variety. Whether you make your own or pick up a pair at the local home store, pillows can be changed out easily for a new look either seasonally.
And just like those kitchen chairs, don’t be afraid to experiment with furniture in a bold pattern and colour. These pink chairs are STUNNING and instantly create a fun feminine space. If you do go for a high impact design, try to keep the rest of the room neutral to keep if from feeling too busy.
Even if your dining room table is not in use (I am working REALLY HARD at not eating dinner on the coffee table), you can still dress it up with a fun table cloth or place settings. They’re a great way to to add colour and pattern even if you’re not entertaining that day.
Remember those fun pink chairs from the living room a few photos back? You can do the same with dining room chairs! Don’t be afraid to mix and match your seating!
I love sleep so the bedroom is one of my favourite rooms in the house. You can make easily make a custom upholstered headboard in a weekend. Try a colourful pattern to brighten up your bedroom decor. I recently came across the most amazing tutorial here.
Bed linens are laundered regularly so what better way to add pattern to your bedroom than with a fun new duvet cover or a pair of pillow cases? Have a few designs on hand to swap out seasonally! SIDE NOTE: In my 20’s I would buy pretty cheap sheets. They would pill after only a few washes and turned into a scratchy mess. In my 30’s I invested in a few pairs of really nice sheets and the difference is incredible. Not only am I actually SAVING money because I’m not buying a new set every couple of month, they’re soft, silky and a general pleasure to crawl under after a long day. Do yourself a favour – buy nice sheets. Rant over.
If you can’t wallpaper the walls, turn that pretty paper into large scale artwork! When framed it not only creates a dramatic decor statement, it’s also portable so if you’re renting you can always take it down when you move.
Inspired yet? Here are some great general tips on adding pattern to your home. First of all, a little goes a long way, especially if you pick a bold pattern in bright colours. Keep the rest of the space neutral not only so you can appreciate the pattern but also to keep the room from feeling too busy. Yes, you can mix patterns and they don’t have to match. Just pick a unifying colour scheme so they all work well together. Experiment with pattern and TEXTURE. Your design should not only be visually appealing but also fun to touch!