The One Home Décor Rule You Should Ignore

by Montague - 3rd September 2021
All woods must have the same finish. The living room furniture must match. Don’t mix metals. Everything must match! Ignore all of that.

When adding décor or soft furnishings to a space, we want something that "goes" with the rest of the room. This applies equally whether we're looking for a crochet pattern to turn into something for our home, or if we're browsing a shop or online store for something to purchase.

Although we should really be thinking "complement," or "mix and match," many times we end up trying to match everything up instead. Which is not always a good thing. Often this means that we try to find colours, textures and patterns which resemble a piece of furniture they'll be placed on or near to. The premise being that the closer they match, the better they go together.

While this can sometimes be true, it's a hard look to pull off successfully. More often than not we end up with a situation where everything looks flat, blending together into a single amorphous patch. To make matters worse, if we try to pair a specific shade of colour but it's not quite the same[Rabbit hole #1], everything will look slightly off and weird.

Thankfully there are some easy ways to avoid being too matchy-matchy with your décor. In this post I cover 5 tips to help you add depth and dimension to your rooms like a pro! (...what, too cheesy?)

Tip #1 - Be bold

If you have a room with a neutral colour palette, use bold colours to inject a little depth into the space.

I recommend you choose one or two dominant colours, perhaps with one complementary shade. Use them sparingly as accents or highlights, but don't be afraid to include them. The more neutral your room is, the stronger your chosen colours can be.

The neutral greys come to life with the vibrant greens of that young Monstera and the Fiddle Leaf Figs. Doesn't the yellow just pop against that sofa? Coincidentally yellow and grey are 2021's (joint) Pantone colour of the year!

Tip #2 - It's not just about colours

Contrast is a popular décor technique which typically brings to mind dark and light colours; black-and-white being the epitome of that. So it's easy to overlook contrast with shapes and textures. If you have a colour scheme that you love and that's working for you, there's no need to introduce new colours into the mix.

Adding clean horizontal or vertical lines to a soft-textured space can go a long way in spicing up an otherwise flat design. Something with zig-zags, such as our Chevron Cushion crochet pattern, will work even better to break up solid colour blocks.

Contrast is normally attributed to colours but it can also be created by straight lines against solid colours, just like this cushion's diamond pattern offsets the sofa's soft texture.

Tip #3 - Mixing the old with the new

Applicable to both furniture and furnishings, a mix of contemporary pieces and older ones can create a more well-rounded space which doesn't go out of style with the changing trends. Crochet, in particular, has a unique way of bringing the old and the new together. When done tastefully, it can fit any style of décor through the clever use of colours and pattern design.

If you're looking for inspiration for a new project to make that the whole household (or a lucky friend) can enjoy, take a look at our library of home décor crochet projects.

Tip #4 - Co-ordinate with existing décor on the opposite side of the room

When considering colours and patterns which are similar to other items in the room, think about using them somewhere in a different part of the room. That way, not only will they fit within the room's style by matching (the good kind) its existing décor, but will actually help bring the room together and make it look elegant and well-designed.

The calculated use of dark and vibrant blues bring together these three otherwise-separate areas. Consider how the colour is sparsely and deliberately spread between the hallway, living space and dining room.

Tip #5 – Go eclectic

This typically refers to deriving ideas, style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. Within the context of interior design, I think it requires one more qualifier: to paraphrase the inimitable Frasier (am I showing my age here?), "If you've got really fine pieces of furniture [and décor], it doesn't matter if they match - they will go together!"

Discounting for Frasier's lovable pomposity (if you get that reference, let me know!), that qualifier is important: what brings otherwise mismatching items together is their quality. This does not mean expensive. It just means that there's a fine line between eclectic and clutter. So choose your decorative pieces carefully, have confidence in your choice, and if they're made well and look really good, they will go together!

Trust your instincts, and remember that you can always switch things around; nothing's cast in stone. I’m sure you don’t need me to give you more reasons to start a new crochet project, but if you want to try something different in your home, you should definitely take a look at our Keep It Fresh projects! (...shameless, I know!)


Rabbit hole #1: It's practically impossible to match colours perfectly, not that you'd necessarily want to. Even when using the same materials and manufacturing processes[Rabbit hole #2], let alone between two completely different items. If through some stroke of luck you manage to perfectly match two shades of colour, the way light interacts with different materials will make that colour be perceived differently depending on the time of day, where the viewer is standing in relation to the light source, etc…

Rabbit hole #2: This is the reason the dye lot number is included with yarn balls or skeins. Colour can vary in very subtle ways from batch to batch. By purchasing skeins of yarn which have been processed together (i.e. same lot/batch number), you are eliminating these subtle variations from your piece. This is why most patterns include estimated yardage, so that makers can buy all of the yarn at once (plus a bit extra, just in case) and check for the same lot number. We do this with all our patterns.

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