Design Dilemma: how to use bold prints
Pattern and prints are back. Here’s how to work them into a room
Liza Marconi of Dust Design: maximalisim is the way forward and pattern and prints the new neutrals
A safe way to play with pattern is to introduce geometrics through a bold rug and then layer up the patterns with cushions
“If September’s Maison et Objet (the influential European interior trade show) was anything to go by, maximalisim is the way forward and pattern and prints the new neutrals,” says Liza Marconi, co-founder of Dust Design.
“Graphic prints and pattern are still quite a scary prospect for most Irish homeowners, especially as we’ve spent so long pairing everything back and embracing Scandi minimalism, it’s hard to break rank and start throwing in loads of chevrons, cubes and retro motifs,” says Marconi.
But if you are ready to embrace the new mood of vibrant patterns, Marconi and Sarah Drum, the other half of Dust have a few design rules they always pass on to clients.
First up, pick a pallet with a few colours and use it for all your print choices. Next use more than one type of print and layer them up, so if using a floral add a geometric. Always play with scale, if using a large zig zag, then add a smaller wave pattern into the scheme and lastly pick up a colour from the pattern elsewhere in the room with a plainer accessory or piece of furniture.
“Pattern can be woven in through loads different mediums: a brave choice would be a full room of wallpaper, like the bird hexagon paper we used recently in a Drumcondra living room, but for many this can be too much.
“Feature walls have pretty much had their day but a more modern approach would be to paper under the dado rail with a bold pattern and then keep the rest of the room white,” says Drum.
Another safe way to introduce geometrics is through a bold rug and then layer up the patterns with throw cushions. “This worked really well on a recent project in Donnybrook, where a Mission-style rug made to measure by Rug Art and a few fun cushions, really added zing and colour to the neutral room.” If trying to source patterned rugs Marconi recommends Rug Art, West Elm and Rocket St George and for finding fun cushions she loves Made.com, Society 6 and Missoni.
If you just want to dip your toes in the pattern pond, Drum suggests experimenting with a few prints from graphic artists like Camille Walala or for a budget option you can pick up prints from sites like zippi.co.uk. for a little as a tenner, says Marconi. dust.ie
Come and see the Dust girls talk more about using patterns and prints at The Irish Times Design Theatre at the Ideal Home Show in the RDS, October 27-30th