TROPICAL REVAMP For years, surface pattern design was relegated to wallpaper and vintage fabric. Now, in a funky avatar, it’s covering walls, cushions, curtains and every part of the home
Imagi net he beast soft he African jungle walking across your living room. Perhaps birds of paradise by your windows.
Or oversized peonies in your bathroom. Prints and patterns make a comeback in interior design, and they’ve brought with them a sense of bright whimsical fun. Popular themes feature tropical, animal and floral mot ifs. They’re bright enough to jazz up boring corners without looking like wallpaper from your grandmother’s home. The best part? Clashing several prints together is now cool, making this a quick, inexpensive shortcut to changing the look of a room.
From dragonflies stenciled on to cushions to two-tone zebra stripes on the statement wall, you’ll find that the variety in prints can overwhelm. “Pick a theme which reflects your taste and preference the most,” says Arya Nerker, head of design at Nicobar.
“If you like nature, one way would be giving your dining room a floral or leafy feel.” Adorn your dining table with pineapple print cutlery and splash your wall with palm tree wallpaper.
If you’ re confident enough, use a stencil and paint your own mural.
While flamingos were a popular pattern in 2017, this year’s standout designs are animal prints, and figures of exotic birds. It’s perhaps your best opportunity to go wild.
“A living room can be revamped with striking wallpapers of birds, tiger stripes or photo prints of flora and fauna,” says Son am Gupta, design head at Tangerine.
She suggests looking at lesserused motifs too, like covering a wall with multihued stickers of insect silhouettes – butterflies, honeybees, fireflies, beetles and ants. “Animal prints complement modern décor and gel well with mono chrome designs ,” says Vaishnavipratima, founder of a chain of eponymous interior stores.
“Add an accent chair with zebra prints to your living room for dramatic impact. It will still keep the décor subtle.”
Loud prints are good in small doses, but the trendiest homes are stretching the palette across the living space. Use them in passages, foyers and on curtains. Astha Khetan, the founder of The House of Things, suggests an offbeat idea: mixing two animal prints of the same colour to achieve a cohesive aesthetic.
Your room could have cheetah printed upholstered seating, paired with a rug of another tiger print to get a funky look.
Interior designer and architect, Mil ind Pai, suggests merging animal prints with stripes and polka dots.
This way the animal print will have a minimal yet impactful appearance and won’t be too large to disrupt one’s eye. If you’re not ready for clashing prints, he suggests pairing animal prints with neutral, tranquil and se rene options. For instance, pair a leopard rug with white walls, linens and muted fall shades.
Until we have those digital picture walls from sci-fi movies, we’ ll have to make do with prints.
How about a colourful sunset view, with a beach and palm trees?
“Palm prints and botanical motifs are everywhere, from soft furnishings like rugs and cushions to tableware like plates and even dining chairs ,” says K he tan.
Take inspiration from postcards from the Maldives, Hawaii, Bora Bora or the Caribbean Islands And think of it as a mini tropical vacation in your home. Add to the fresh, botanical vibe by using planters or huge palm fronds in high-ceilinged rooms.
No space? Use large leaf y-print wallpapers and add tropical themed objects (a pina colada, a grass skirt, a coconut).
With prints, balance is key. If your wall has the more dramatic design, then keep your accessories minimal and vice versa.
“Use these prints in places which are usually left blank and dull,” says interior designer and architect, Jyotsna Kanal.
“Reading areas, the foyer, stairwell or the bathroom are inherently transitional spaces to add prints which you otherwise might grow tired of.” A bathroom can have a bold print which is layered with a size able mirror to help break the print visually.
Likewise in a bedroom, you can have a solid green colour headboard with full length lighter curtains on a tropical themed wall to make it look less overwhelming