The Benefit of Detail

Some of the best advice in design is to not overthink things too much. If you've ever seen a room with colors and patterns and textures that overwhelm you the minute you walked in, overthinking is probably the culprit behind that design.

On the other hand, the right amount of thinking can make a world of difference. If you go with bold colors, you're probably going to want to keep textures and patterns limited to one or two stand-outs.

However, if you've got a more neutral room, there's plenty of opportunity there to play with textures and patterns. Apartment Therapy looked at the room on the left (designed by Marika Meyer) to display exactly this principle.

A Blank Canvas

Because of the neutral and light colors of the room, patterns, textures, and details can shine without being overbearing. If you want to achieve a similar look in your neutral-colored space, keep reading for some tips to get you started:


  • Use different patterns with similar themes. From the rug on the floor to the back of the shelves to the pillow, these patterns are all different but they have similar features. This creates a complementary look that works despite the differences.

  • Don't be afraid to mix styles. It's okay to use one style of chair and a different style of table, and it's even okay to use a couple of different types of chairs. Look for things that fit in the room and look good together, not necessarily things that match perfectly.

  • Use an accent color. Keep it light in your neutral, texture- and pattern-enhanced room, and stick to one or two. Use these in different ways around the room to subtly pull all of the pieces together.

Experimentation is not always going to end well, and sometimes you're going to scrub one plan for something completely different. However, if you want to play with textures and patterns, a neutral room is the place to do it!