Read on to see how we combined patterns to create aesthetic layers and visually interesting focal points in our bedroom.
When we moved into our new flat three years ago, we had spent all of our money on the deposit, so our primary objective was to create a space that was functional. Fast forward to the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, our flatmate had moved out, which meant that we were able to reconfigure the space and make it work harder for us. On the functional side, we needed more storage in our bedroom for clothes and accessories and I was really craving a place where I could get ready in peace in the mornings (two years of sharing a two bedroom apartment with one bathroom between three adults will do that for you). Aesthetically, I wanted to keep the basic direction of the room (we had already painted the accent wall and built the ledge in lieu of bedside tables when we first moved in), but wanted to elevate it by adding more pattern through textiles and materials.
One of the main things I focus on when designing a room is the initial focal point, ie. the first thing you see when you walk in the door. In the case of our bedroom, this was of course the wall behind our bed, but equally the wall right across from the door, which is actually also the focal point seen from the bed. I placed special emphasis on this by positioning an old art project of mine as a 3D wall sculpture as well as a pedestal with a sculptural light so it would be the first thing you see when entering the room. I love art, but as it can be expensive I try to use things I already own whenever I can. This creates a layer of personal touch and a hint of memory without necessarily venturing into the private, as can sometimes be the case when using photos of family or friends. The pedestal is actually an old DIY that I made when we first moved in — if you are interested in how I made it, keep an eye out on my Instagram stories as I'm planning to share it with you one of these days. My favourite thing about this view is the way the textures of the curtains (hiding unsightly storage), art piece and pedestal speak to each other and create a layer of depth. Texture is essentially a 3D version of pattern that can add richness to any space.
One of the biggest changes I made to this room is the custom pattern I painted above our ledge. I'm not personally a fan of a feature wall, but this was my husband's special request, and I felt that in this case it created more of an oversized headboard look as the colour perfectly matched that of our Ikea bed, which we picked for the storage underneath. I wanted to bring in more of the white of the other walls in the room so I knew I needed the pattern to be bold. The pattern was actually based on the Atelier Akuko Logo (see icon in the top left hand corner of the webpage) and I used cardboard stencils that I made by hand to paint it on the wall. If you're interested in the whole process, check out my Instagram story highlight called "Bedroom". I also thought that a bolder pattern would compliment the pattern created by the tambour texture of the ledge, another DIY to look out for on my Instagram stories.
To add more depth I added additional patterns through the throw pillows and throw blanket. When combining these patterns I followed the guiding principles I laid out in my psychology lesson on designing with pattern. All of the patterns I chose needed to have one element that bound them all together, which in this case was the colour. As all the patterns had the same colours scheme, I felt that I could take more liberty with the family resemblance by combining both geometric and organic patterns. Most importantly, I made sure that all of the different patterns had a different scale.
From the art piece over the upholstery to the sideboard, everything pictured in the the above image was a DIY. If you were following the process on Instagram you may remember that we broke our marble table top into two pieces. This sideboard, which is actually from Ikea is the one to blame. We decided to veneer it with burl wood sheets. The sheets have to be flattened using a special liquid and pressed firmly while drying. Since we didn't have the proper facilities we used our table top — big mistake. I probably wouldn't do this DIY again as it was one of the hardest things we ever attempted and I'm not sure how well it will hold up, but I do love the way it looks for now. And I made my dream of a burl wood bench a reality! I love how the movement of the burl wood adds another pattern to the mix.
Again, I'll be sharing more details about the whole process and how I made the wall art above it over on Instagram, so keep your eyes peeled!
Finally, the shape of our room is long and narrow, which means that one end is extremely dark. I used mirrors to reflect the light throughout the space, while also ensuring that different angles of the main focal points within the room are visible from the different positions one might take when using the room.