Turning a home into a peaceful sanctuary is all about striking a balance between playful patterns and an overt color scheme. This was designer Dawn Cook’s challenge in 2017 when she set out to transform an expansive 1980s Moreland Hills house into a dynamic, warm and welcoming home for a busy family of six.
Her client wanted to provide a space in which her two teenage children could hang out with friends, she and her husband could entertain guests and their beloved goldendoodle could run free. But her client also had a wide-ranging appreciation for different styles that included a warm French country design, sleek, all-white Scandinavian rooms and assorted animal prints.
“The goal was to filter all of her design loves into one look that works throughout the house without overloading any one space with details,” says Cook.
Antique white is paired with warm, subdued shades of caramels, cream and rustic wood throughout the home to achieve a unified design aesthetic that is both clean and refreshing.
The expansive family room provides an abundance of warmth and natural light with floor-to-ceiling paned glass windows, skylights and French doors. A steel gray sectional and matching curtains provide a cooling effect alongside an area rug replete with navy, coral, caramel and cognac tones underneath a striking white and black zebra ottoman.
“The zebra ottoman has that wow factor,” says Cook. “Pick one wow item — just one — and let that be your guide.”
Another ottoman custom-made out of a hot pink cowhide provides just the right amount of explosive color beside a round, white cement table atop a faded, cool blue rug in the breakfast room. Pillows with an abstract patchwork pattern of green, coral and blue stripes provide intricate detail in an otherwise simple setting where the children do their homework.
“You have to balance the calm and quiet aspects of the design with eye-catching elements of excitement,” says Cook.
Even the chandeliers made with strings of white pearls pop against the ebony and charcoal color scheme of the dining room, which the family painted black. The saturated, dominant hue also provides the perfect backdrop for the client’s treasured artwork, including portraits of her husband’s great-great-grandparents.
“Find your one inspiration piece and have all of the other elements act in a supporting role,” says Cook. “When you feel passionate about one piece, you’ll know it, and the design will spring naturally from that.”
If you’re tired of the same drab setup, incorporating colorful patterns into your home design will give that added boost you’re missing. Here’s three reasons why patterns matter.
It sets the mood. Patterns can play on your emotions. The natural lines in wood can feel rigid and busy, while stonework can offer smooth, solid lines that are soothing. “Selecting the right pattern can create just the right feeling of energy and movement you want in your space,” says Cook.
It unifies your space. Utilize patterns in adjacent rooms. “When you stand in one room, look into another room and see a repeating pattern, you can feel a sense of rhythm,” she says.
It enhances coziness. A lack of patterns can leave a room feeling stark and cold. “When you incorporate a few patterns into a space, it’s a great way for it to feel cozy and welcoming,” she says.