The Pro Designer Trick That Makes Homes Feel Cozy & Cohesive

published Jul 24, 2015
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

When you’re feeling like the rooms of your home are design islands — lovely spaces by themselves but not necessarily connected to the architecture of your home or the entire home itself — you might want to try out this trick in the designer’s toolbox.

→ Echoing design elements from one room to the next

This idea of echoing elements is NOT putting two of the same pieces of something in two different rooms. It’s not having carbon copies of the same art adorning walls in all your rooms. It’s not making sure all the furniture in your home matches. It’s not just following a “theme” or a specific design style throughout your entire space.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

What echoed elements are, are quite literally design echoes — they are focal points, features or design details in a room that show up in different but reminiscent ways in another room. Physically pulling re-imagined ideas into another room.

For example, let’s say you have a bold, large-scale paint pattern in a living room, like a graphic angle that starts from one corner of a wall and spreads bright color to the next. You could copy that same element, and do the exact same thing in another room. Or you could take the spirit of that element’s main idea and translate it in a new way in another room, like say, using bold tiles in a bathroom that feature a prominent angled pattern.

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

Maybe you have a texture on a sofa that you love, that you steal for a DIY wall paint treatment. Perhaps there’s a graphic in a favorite art print that mirrors a larger scale pattern in a wallpaper. Maybe fabrics you choose for your dining room feature shapes that are mimicked (or very similar) to fabrics you use in your bedding (see photos above).

In comedy, a callback is when you make a joke that references something you said earlier in your set. An echoed design element is like a visual callback. That rad feeling you get when you’re “in” on an inside joke? You can create that same kind of feeling in your home with echoed elements, making your whole space feel like it’s “in” on the same wavelength of style.