Designer O oline de Vries talks about the art of mixing and matching pa ern for maximum impact
How do you achieve harmony when combining very di!erent pa"erns?
I’m a great believer that more is more! Somehow a scheme works be!er when you use multiple pa!erns instead of one. It’s all about shi"ing the focus. If there are lots of things to draw the eye, you tend to focus on the whole room instead of homing in on the one area with the outspoken pa!ern. Using the same pa!ern in di#erent sizes within a room scheme is another interesting way to layer designs. The di#erence in scale makes you more aware of the pa!ern you are actually seeing. I think it’s a really fun and quirky approach. I also think plain fabrics and paintwork can help make bold pa!erns work be!er together. It will calm down the room, even if you’re using bold colours.
Do certain rooms demand speci#c treatments?
I have just installed a dark green wallpaper, Tangier green, in a northfacing room in our house, which felt like a bit of a risk. I do really like it but it’s de$nitely dark. If you want to try darker wallpapers, I think I would now advise hanging them in the lightest rooms of your house!
What is your starting point when choosing pa"erns for a particular room?
I begin with a colour scheme and select one leading pa!ern that suits it. Then I top it up with anything else that works. For instance, the wallpaper in our hallway is based on art made by followers of the De Stijl art movement. It has a limited colour pale!e and a minimalist aesthetic. Yet, when you are surrounded by it, the design is actually very decorative. Red and white stripes are such a classic combination and always work. The mirror was just an experiment. I felt the space was missing something and I liked the idea of a mirror in the hall. Initially, I tried a traditional one with a gold frame, but that didn’t do it for me. So I bought another one with a plain white frame from a DIY store and I glued my le"over wallpaper around it. I knew it would be fun. Layering pa!erns can hardly go wrong!
What advice do you have for readers who like the idea of bold pa"erns but feel nervous about them?
Try out bold wallpaper in the loo or another small room where it won’t ma!er and you won’t need to use too much. Or buy an inexpensive antique chair and have it reupholstered with a bold fabric. It will add so much soul. Cushions are also a really good way of experimenting with using di#erent designs alongside one another. For instance, the cushions in my bedroom feature three very di#erent designs (Skyline The Hague, Regal Fungi and Porcelain Wings), but the fact they are all blue and white creates harmony.
Do you have any favourite pairings within your own range?
I love pairing my designs! So many of them can be combined. I’m currently obsessed with my latest designs, which are all inspired by O !oman motifs. I like to combine all kinds of geometric pa!erns and play with the size of the repeats and the colour scheme. Generally, I like to use at least one design with a bit of white when mixing di#erent pa!erns.
Don’t be afraid of bold and unexpected combinations. Despite being a more organic design, Classic Chintamani mustard/green looks good alongside geometric repeats Montana green and Tangier green; inspired by the national flower of her homeland, these...