Contrast is often the secret ingredient that gives memorable spaces their impact. This key design principal draws people in with visual focal points, while simultaneously pulling it all together. Colour, texture, shape and pattern are all mediums through which you can experiment and adjust the level of contrast you are trying to achieve.
Play with colour
Giving a room a complementary colour scheme, or choosing a palette that utilises two shades on opposite ends of the spectrum, is the easiest way to create contrast. Black and white is the obvious choice due to it timeless quality – monochrome is eternally chic and will never go out of style! But, if you’re looking to shake things up a bit, why not pick bolder partnerships? Charcoal grey with hints of mustard yellow is a match made in heaven, while deep navy and blush pink create a softer, yet still striking duo. Keep in mind that one colour still needs to be dominant, with the other serving as an accent. Choosing one shade for walls and another for textiles and accessories often works best.
Experiment with texture
Combining the rough with the smooth adds visual weight, so that components of your design draw attention more easily. This technique is most effective when the two contrasting textures are used in close proximity to each other. Think about pairing sheepskin rugs or woven cushions with sleek furniture, or placing lighting and decorative pieces with a tactile finish on top of smooth surfaces.
Mix shapes and pattern
Juxtaposing sharp, angled corners with soft, rounded edges is another great way to add contrast. Most commonly seen in furniture, this works especially well with mid-century modern and Scandinavian styles, which rely heavily on geometric shapes. Mirrors, wall art and table-top accessories are also quick and easy ways to create interest.
It’s very much the same case with pattern. Blend linear prints with curved designs across textiles and artwork to create show-stopping displays. Depending on your preference, you can opt for busier patterns or quieter arrangements – its all about repetition and frequency.
No matter your style, there is always room for a bit of contrast to ensure your interiors really pack a punch.
Top photo credit: Lulu & Georgia