How To Achieve Cohesive Interior Design
The German language always seems to have the right word when English doesn’t. One example is gestalt: the whole of a sum of parts. In art and design, you can have disparate elements that are each appealing in and of themselves, but together, the gestalt is all wrong. It can happen in the home as well. Furniture, flooring, and wall color can be individually lovely but poor matches for one another. Likewise, a living room and dining room can both be well-designed but without a good flow between them. If you want a better sense of gestalt at home, take these tips for how to achieve cohesive interior design throughout your house.
Think More Deeply About Color
There’s an easy cop-out to cohesive color that we don’t recommend—namely, painting the whole interior of your house in white. That certainly ties everything together, but in the same sense that fishing line could tie a birthday gift together when you really want a ribbon and bow. What you want is a color palette with enough variation to please the eye but not so much as to clash. The key is to think about saturation, the depth of a color. If you favor a very faded pastel palette, you have room to work with complementary colors; what you shouldn’t do is vary in saturation. For instance, if you paint your family room in a pale yellow—one that’s much closer to white than to a true yellow—you can work with a similarly saturated beige, tan, or warm grey paint in other rooms rather than a contrasting shade of yellow.F
Match Furniture Fabrics
Deep discounts and hand-me-downs can make for comfortable and affordable seating in a room, but the visual effect may be that of a yard sale that moved indoors. Coordinating your furniture with the room goes a long way in creating cohesion. Try to achieve a similar style among pieces, refraining from mixing a classically upholstered chair with a modern pleather recliner. If you opt for a tastefully muted greyish blue in your living room, you’ll want similar restraint in the upholstery.
Fixtures and Accents: Stay Complementary
Staying true to the principle of complementary color is a key part of how to achieve cohesive interior design across the principal rooms of your house. If you fear a level of monochromaticity in your home, metal accents and fixtures are a perfect spot to add contrast. If your walls and furniture tend to be in warmer tones like beige and taupe, cool-colored silver accents will stand out and break up the warmth with just enough variation to be effective. Conversely, a cooler design calls for brass and copper. Remember, to be cohesive, apply this principle across the house.