How to Use Repetition to Your Advantage in Interior Design

As a homeowner, it’s easy to end up with interior design schemes that are pulled together through the use of multiple elements with various styles, materials and colors. Unless you’re planning your rooms based on very specific designs or buying everything from the same place, you’re going to have a mish mash of furniture and accent pieces. But how can you make sure that the overall plan is cohesive rather than disjointed?

One of the best ways to suggest order and visual rhythm in a room is to use repetition. By using several of the same colors, shapes, objects, textures or patterns throughout a space, you can ensure that the end effect is pleasing to the eye. Here’s how to use repetition to your advantage.

Layer the repeated effect
If you’re choosing to use circles as the repetition focal point, you don’t want to have a bunch of circles that are exactly the same size, color or material dominating the space. The goal is to subtly incorporate the circular patterns into the design scheme, which means layering several different circular elements together. For example, choose a circular area rug mixed with curtains with circular patterns, then add a circle window and a mirror with plenty of rounded details.

Mix it up a bit
If you’re using a color like purple to unify two different rooms, you don’t have to rely on the exact same shade throughout the space. That can get boring, but if you pick various shades of purple (lilac, eggplant, fuchsia) you’ll be giving a nod to the hue without overpowering the space. It’ll be obvious that you’re going for a purple theme, but multiple variations will make sure the end result isn’t static.

Repeat more than one thing
For a dynamic effect, consider repeating more than one aspect of the room. For example, you could choose to repeat both stripes and florals throughout a living room. Vertically striped walls paired with horizontally striped window treatments could look great with a floral sofa and a flowery art print. It might be best to pick two totally different elements to repeat for plenty of contrast.

Use architecture as inspiration
If you’re short on ideas, it might help to look to the architecture of the space for inspiration. For example, you might have a room that’s got plenty of angular lines in the form of a fireplace, ceiling beams or windows. You’ll need to decide if it would look good with other angular elements, like boxy furniture or long panel curtains, or with softer accents like an oval coffee table or a back splash with rounded tiles.