Making a Statement

Trending colors, prints and fabrics can refresh any home
By Kamala Kirk
Allison Knizek/Submitted Photo

Colors and patterns are important in interior design, as they can completely change a home’s atmosphere and evoke either relaxation or excitement.

Color scheme, wallpaper patterns and furniture prints add definition and interest, and can breathe life into any new space.

“Neutral rooms are beautiful, no doubt about it,” says interior designer Amy Peltier of San Marino-based Amy Peltier Interior Design & Home. 

“But adding a pop of color can bring life, personality and charm to a space. You put on a simple black dress and a pair of plain black shoes. That’s a great start, but what if you added a pair of red shoes and a purse with a little color and pattern to it? Maybe you put on red lipstick and some gold jewelry — now you have a styled outfit. That’s what color and pattern does for a home.”

For those who are hesitant to experiment with colors and patterns, Peltier recommends starting with neutral basics.

“That means all of your big, expensive pieces can be in tones of neutrals and you can add color with art, accessories, throws and my favorite — pillows,” Peltier says. “We’ve launched a new brand called the Pillow Addict that allows you to play with color and pattern outside your comfort zone without the expensive commitment.”

When using mixed patterns to create a more maximalist environment, architectural and interior designer Allison Knizek always starts with one — usually the boldest — and works her way out. We here bringing in complementary smaller patterns or completely different-looking patterns.

“For example, I may start with a bold floral and then pull in a geometric design with like or complementary colors,” Knizek says. “Color and pattern, especially when combined with mix master skills, always brings the jaw-dropping ‘wow’ factor. It takes some thought to create a balanced blend versus something that looks like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

When it comes to color, Knizek says warm tones are trending again because “I think we’ve seen enough gray in home décor to last a lifetime,” she says. “I love playing with shades of roses, salmons and chocolate browns for paint tones, as they play so nicely with strong jewel tones as well as black and white.”

As for prints and patterns, Peltier says she sees ll prints with a vintage vibe taking center stage.

“I’d say florals from modern to classic are having a moment right now,” Peltier says. “People are really looking to add personality and comforting elements to their home in response to the pandemic. Prints and patterns do just that, but what they look like — from subtle to bold — is really up to you and your style preferences.”

Knizek adds, “In terms of pattern, I’m loving all the floral variations that can be found both in wallpapers and in textiles, as they make a perfect backdrop for more linear, graphic patterns to be layered on. I’m a pushover for graphic black-and-white rugs and tile mosaics, and they act as very grounding factors and wonderful bases for bolder décor items.”

In many cases, Knizek says that wallpaper will be her starting point for an entire room.

“I will play off the theme, color and texture in making complementary decisions for the other elements in the room,” she says. “The wallpaper palette will also inform my fabric and paint decisions, such as the slightly twisted ‘Thistle’ pattern by Cole and Sons in a cheery breakfast room I did. I found a performance velvet in the same pale aqua to use for the chairs.”

Peltier loves putting patterns on a big piece of furniture, although she admits that it is a little bolder and scarier to pull off.

“In my own home I have a patterned sofa. I then added coordinating pillows with a different scale or type of pattern to balance out the rounded floral pattern on the sofa,” Peltier says. “A little less of a commitment is adding patters to your chairs or even easier — drapery panels.”

Peltier also encourages mixing up the scale of patterns to prevent a space from becoming distracting.

“If you have a big print with a white or colored background and you then add another big print, it will be become too busy and overwhelming,” she points out. “If you pair a big print with a complementary small-scale print, you’ve got a good match. Also, don’t add in too many patterns. Mix things up with a good solid or texture. Stripes and plaids can also help balance it all out — that’s a winning combo.”

With a Modern Tuscan remodel that Knizek did, the walls were done in shades of salmon, and rather than pick textiles using those same shades, she went with graphic black-and-white drapes and a black-based embroidered satin on the entry bench that added some drama thanks to their high-contrast nature.

“Both fabrics are from Calico, and the paint is from Dunn Edwards,” Knizek says. “In my French Deco remodel, aqua velvet settees bring a plush wash of bold color to balance the black, white and purple accents in a transitional library space.”

Texture is another great way to add interest to a room, according to Peltier.

“Pillows with fringe and tassels add loads of texture, which can really act like a print, and they’re very popular right now,” she says.

Another big trend has been a push for very durable living materials in the home, including new fabric and rug innovations, and stain and soil-resistant materials.

“Performance fabrics make up about 50% of all textiles that I purchase,” Knizek says. “The newest technology in fiber and weaving makes this category of fabrics the natural choice for busy households, as they resist stains and are easy to clean with just a mild soap solution. Perfect for households with kids, pets and red wine.” 

Peltier adds, “With everyone in their homes twice as much as before, our houses are taking extra abuse, and durable fabrics and finishes have been a huge request from clients. The design world is exploding with livable options. Rugs are now being made with a PET material, which makes it soft for an indoor feel but durable for outdoor use. A huge bonus is that PET is recycled plastic materials. As for fabrics, they’re now built with major stain resistance. Brands such as Inside Out and Sunbrella are dominating the market. You no longer have to sacrifice looks for durability — which is a very good thing.”

Allison Knizek Design

Amy Peltier Interior Design & Home

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