The words "shabby chic" seem to contradict each other but despite the sound of them,…
When one thinks of interior decorating an image of matching colors and a mono-toned color scheme come to mind. This is the case whether you are thinking about love seats, sofas, area rugs, chairs, window shades, wood finishes and even paint. However contrasting colors have their place in a home and can actually be very becoming if they are combined with the appropriate textures in terms of both furniture and accessories.
Pair Dark Wood and White
To use an example of this, you might want to pair white, off-white or ivory colored and textured fabrics with a contrast that adds appeal such as the contrast of dark wood furniture. Texture has a way of toning down the effects that contrasts may bring to a room. To demonstrate this point, if you have a black lacquered chair then having white cushions made of polyester may seem a little extreme. What you might want to do instead is to soften the effect by having a rattan chair in the room that features a white herringbone tweed covered cushion.
Red As An Accessory
Many people steer clear of the color red for decorating because it is so vivid and bright. You do not need to avoid red anymore! Red is a perfectly fine color to decorate with as long as it is used in small quantities such as an accessory (think throw pillows). You can tone down the brightness and contrast of red in a room by purchasing textured patterns. Another option is to choose fabrics that have a nap which give rise to varying shades of a color and then become different shades depending on which direction they are brushed in. Examples of these include faux suede and chenille. Other examples of textures that work well in this manner include braiding, embroidery and quilting.
Bring Nature Inside
Another method of softening the effect that a contrast brings to a room is to introduce nature in order that a balance can be struck. Plants can bring green into a room in a way that nothing else can and they can give a room more of a relaxing and comforting feel to it. For example, black or ebony finished wood furniture is well suited to any piece that is made of natural finished wood because it has understated appeal. Real plants can provide a boost to a living room and so can dried plants. The feeling of having nature around you is harmonious and soothing to the senses.
Repetition and Rhythm – Harmony
Speaking of harmony, what makes a room harmonious is using repetition and rhythm throughout it. What this means is such things as placing nesting tables or perhaps three sizes of the same vase in a way that supports the concept of progression. This makes it easy for the eye to deftly move from looking at one item to another and is not drastic in any way. This is an effect that you are striving for in a room that is made up of contrasting colors, fabrics and /or patterns.
Another way to harmonize a room that has plenty of contrasting shades is to arrange your pictures and all of your wall décor in a diagonal manner. You also might want to have a selection of round or oval picture frames that are arranged in a small to large to small to large manner. Rounded frames work better than square because they are softer and provide a sense of tranquility and calm that is analogous to that of a flowing stream or river.