Push and Pull of Design Aesthetics

I have a small problem that I’m trying to solve. I simultaneously want two things that are polar opposites of each other. Has this ever happened to you?

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I love calming, neutral rooms like the work of Studio McGee or Amber Interiors. Their rooms are not cluttered, anchored in neutral colors, sleek and calming. The rooms tend to have light walls, minimalist styling and patterns on accessories (pillows, throws, rugs). Color is incorporated into the spaces, sometimes a bright color, but usually more muted colors that have a good amount of gray. I love this aesthetic- it’s sophisticated, grown up and calming. These rooms feel like they will stand the test of time and could easily be update by switching out some accessories.

However, the other part of me wants all the color and patterns layered on top of each other. These rooms tend to feel vibrant and give a glimpse into the personality of the residents. I think these rooms can equally feel sophisticated but in a very different way. It’s about the combination of patterns and colors that end up making a visually pleasing room. I also believe these rooms feel harder to pull off because it does bring in so much personality and is so personal to the resident. In addition, a patterned piece of furniture, all over wall paper or bright carpet can start to feel outdated and are not always easy or cost effective to change out. But despite the risk of it all, it feels magical when all the elements come together in these rooms.

The simple compromise, and what I am leaning towards is keeping the main parts of my house neutral and then having bold rooms in the laundry room, closets and bedrooms. I think part of the internal conflict is that I am afraid of doing the bold room wrong. Spending money on things that could not end up adding up to what I want or in 5 years no longer liking expensive elements (furniture, wall paper etc) is just plain scary to me. But I’m trying to rally the courage to do it.

I’ve started to put together a mood board for my master closet and I’m learning toward doing a bold patterned floor, although the rest of the room is pretty neutral. It’s a baby step.

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