Bold Colors vs. Layered Neutrals

I am always struggling with two sides of my aesthetic: I love clean, layered monochromatic neutrals but I also love rich, deep colors and bold patterns. Sometimes you have to explore both and see what feels right for the space.

For this little sitting area I am working with the existing West Elm love seat and the artwork (by Three Fish Studio) but exploring two really different looks by playing with the accessories and color palette. It's amazing how you can completely change a room by adding and changing accessories.

The first look is an eclectic mix of patterns and bold color. Even though it's all over the place, it really works (in my opinion). 


This CB2 rug is the driving force in this space. The bold colors compliments the artwork rather perfectly and the large gradient stripes work great with the smaller, busier patterns of the pillows and throw. I am all for mixing patterns; one way I keep it from looking cluttered is choosing patterns of varying sizes. Few go-to mixes that I use and love:

- A graphic pattern with a linear pattern (example: mud cloth pillow with vintage indigo stripe on the love seat)

- Stripes and florals (large stripe with a small floral or large floral with a fine stripe)

- Multiple patterns in the same hue

The second look has more of a surf bungalow vibe. Same love seat, same art work, different accessories. 

A fabulous  coffee table book  always looks great on a soft  ottoman .

A fabulous coffee table book always looks great on a soft ottoman.

I used a vintage Turkish rug to get that washed-out beachy feel. Layers of tans and browns in varying textures keep the look interesting but laid back. Suede and leather add some depth and a cactus because it always looks cool (amIright?!). The mud cloth pillow seems to work most places so I threw that in to add some pattern to break it up. 

I pulled these items as stand ins and need to finalized the design once we choose a direction... what's your vote?