Design Lesson
Jan 27, 2015

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

By: Helen Racanelli

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson
Jan 27, 2015

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

By: Helen Racanelli

What’s a home without a dose of playful pattern? Whether you want to use a printed wallpaper in a powder room or simply shake things up underfoot with a modern rug, pattern is a beautiful and fun way to do it. First off, you have to start with the right attitude toward adding fun patterns into your home. If you have a lot of strict decorating rules that prize austerity, that’s not the best frame of mind to go into picking pattern. Be open-minded. Have a good time. Pick out patterns that make you smile and feel good.

Here’s a notion: You won’t get tired of your playful prints. If you really, really love a pattern -- it could be a classic chinoiserie-print for wallpaper, chevrons on a rug in a rainbow of colours, a lattice print on an armchair -- you’re likely to always love that pattern. Above all, go with your heart. There is no sense in picking out a pillow fabric simply because, colourwise, it matches with your living room palette. Pick it out because you love the pattern, too.

Introduce pattern in your home in a way that feels smart to you. Not ready for patterned bedroom wallpaper? Opt for a patterned duvet with matching shams, or a set of prints to hang above your bed. You can even frame a pretty wallpaper. A tablecloth reinvigorates a dining room, as does patterned dishware. Patterned towels brighten up a bathroom. At the end of the day, you can dish out big servings of playful pattern with varying levels of commitment, or use it sparingly, like a spice. We’re guessing though that once you get started, you’ll be loath to stop. Here are some playful prints to get started.

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15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Broken chevron

A chevron pattern usually makes a sharp graphic statement, but this pattern turns the expected on its head by breaking up the usual lines of chevrons, in soft but playful hues. This Kilim rug would look delectable on a matte hardwood floor. Palani Kilim rug, Design Within Reach, from $800 USD.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Design Within Reach Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Regal elephants

If you love elephants now, do you think it’s likely you will hate them in a decade? We think not. That said, you might not want to paper a huge room in this print--but a small den or playroom might be just the place for a high-impact, unforgettable print (that is also removable). Walls Need Love Elephant Removable Wallpaper, Urban Outfitters, $68 per roll.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Urban Outfitters Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Zigzags by Kate Spade Saturday

A discussion of playful pattern is not complete without considering the role that throw pillows can play: this is the easiest way to inject patterns into your home. This “zigzag” pattern by Kate Spade Saturday for West Elm pulls in retro, modern and playful elements that are irresistible. Kate Spade Saturday Zigzag pillow cover, West Elm, $49.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: West Elm Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Watercolour printed napkins

A pattern printed in watercolour immediately evokes a softness and organic feel that’s playful but calming. Hand-patterned by artisan Michelle Smith on a cotton-linen fabric, this pretty napkin will be the talk of your dining table when you have guests over. Modern Geometric aqua napkin, MichelleSmith on Etsy, $29.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Etsy Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Patterned duvet and headboard

You certainly can mix a printed upholstered headboard and a patterned duvet cover. Dwell Studio does with aplomb. This pretty bird print is a new classic, the keen-eyed Mindy Project fans among you will recognize it as the duvet on the lead character’s stylish bed. Hepburn bed, Dwell Studio, from $1,000 USD. Chinoiserie duvet cover, Dwell Studio, from $199 USD.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Dwell Studio Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Floral armchair

A big bold floral pattern looks fresh and exciting on a softly curved wingback armchair like this one. A fantastic place for a chair like this is as an accent in a living room, or alone in a reading nook, or in a bedroom. Lotus Blossom Wingback chair, Anthropologie, $1,398 USD.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Anthropologie Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Striped towels

Stripes are one of the most classic of patterns, and one that is nearly universally agreed upon as always on-trend. Shake up the usual duo-chromatic scheme by picking out towels with multicoloured stripes, which look awesome against white marble. Multi Stripe Jacquard Bath Towel, Pottery Barn Kids, from $8.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Pottery Barn Kids Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Trellis drape

Like chevron, trellis prints and patterns have become another instant classic in recent years. One of the fastest ways to add this playful pattern in your home is with ready-made drapes. You can keep a trellis pattern from becoming too zany by picking a soft background colour like gray or porcelain blue. Kendra Trellis Drape, Pottery Barn, from $149 per panel.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Pottery Barn Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Triangle shower curtain

Just because you’re not into bright colours doesn’t mean you should be relegated to boring white shower curtains. Lovers of metallics will enjoy the gold, black and gray triangles that bring the sexy futuristic elements of the 70s to the fore. Triangle shower curtain, CB2, $45.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: CB2 Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Damask tablecloth

Sometimes you have to let a sense of whimsy into your home, and what better a way than with a special-occasion tablecloth in damask, with adorable rabbits on it. Naturally, this is not suitable for a black-tie dinner, but would be delightful for setting an Easter table, or even used at a kids’ birthday party. Bunny Damask tablecloth, Williams-Sonoma, $150.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Williams-Sonoma Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Marimekko dishware

When it comes to designing enduringly playful prints, the celebrated Finnish design house Marimekko is one of the most notable. In 2014, the company celebrated 50 years of its famous Unikko poppy pattern. Marimekko dishware, Marimekko Vancouver, from $24.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Marimekko Vancouver Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Pink wallpaper

Pink tends to be one of those love it or hate it colours. If you’re in the love-it camp, a self-adhesive vinyl wallpaper in a quatrefoil print would make for a fun accent in a small room that doesn’t have a lot of architectural character on its own. Self-adhesive light pink vinyl Wallpaper wall sticker - Quatrefoil pattern C007, PatPrintbyAmy on Etsy, 44 per roll.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Etsy Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Upholstered storage bench

You’re really not going to get a boring plain storage bench to hide your kids’ toys, are you? Yawn! Try a quirky kid-friendly animal print like this one. As You Wish storage bench, Land of Nod, $349 USD.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: Land of Nod Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Paisley bedding

Count on Ikea to capture an on-trend colour scheme (browns and blues and white) and insert it into a long-beloved pattern (paisley) at a ridiculously affordable price. Sotblomster duvet cover set, IKEA, $40 (queen-size).

By: Helen Racanelli Source: IKEA Credits: Style at Home

15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home

Ikat bowls

Ikat is a pattern that has entered the design vernacular a few years back and has firmly lodged itself in the style world. If a rug or curtains is just too much Ikat for you, opt for adorable bowls that will introduce zingy colour into your dishware collection as well. Pad Printed Bowl in Ikat, West Elm, $10.

By: Helen Racanelli Source: West Elm Credits: Style at Home

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15 ways to introduce playful pattern into your home