How To Add Just Enough Color without Going Too Crazy

How To Add Just Enough Color without Going Too Crazy

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Nancy Mitchell
Feb 21, 2016
(Image credit: Freunde von Freunden)

Lately I've been thinking a lot about balance, and how that relates to interiors. I love colorful things, and I love things with interesting textures and patterns, but when you're decorating it's necessary to balance out crazy, colorful elements with more minimal ones, lest your space veer too far towards the chaotic and become absolutely unbearable to live in. That's why I particularly admired this São Paulo apartment, which strikes just the right balance between extremes — just enough color and just enough clutter to keep things interesting without being overwhelming.

(Image credit: Freunde von Freunden)

This space is the home of Ana Strumpf, who besides being an illustrator, designer and trend forecaster, is also the mother of twins. She's created a home that feels cheerful, but not chaotic, by keeping different elements in balance. Pattern is definitely in play here, represented in the striped rug, the parquet floor, and the designs on both of the ottomans. There's also a bit of color in the form of the bright magenta chair. But this is all balanced out by other, more neutral elements. The walls are white, and quite a bit of the wall space is left unadorned. Although the pink chair and patterned ottoman are attention-grabbers, what's by far the biggest piece of furniture, the sofa, is much more subtle.

(Image credit: Freunde von Freunden)

On the other of the living room, color is much more prominent, but you'll notice that the color here is kept to a single hue — green — and all the other elements, for the most part, are in black and white (right down to the sandals artfully placed at the left side of the frame). So even in this quite colorful space there's a bit of restraint.

The takeaway here is that color and pattern are good, but too much of a good thing can be just plain overwhelming. So when you're planning a space, think critically about which pieces (or colors) you want to be the stars, and then surround them with other things that will help them shine.

You can see more of Ana's apartment on Freunde von Freunden.

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