Natalia Miyar heralds a pattern resistance
Natalia Miyar, interior architect and designer, shows how bold colours, clashing prints, vibrant art and geometric patterns work together to create a refreshed concept of maximalism for contemporary living. Natalia Miyar Atelier does not have a house style, rather spaces are tailored to clients’ tastes and lifestyles yet an injection of pattern is a key thread throughout Natalia’s designs – from bright bold pop-art cinema rooms to relaxed sanctuary spaces that are filled with pattern in pared back palettes. Natalia advocates that maximalism needn’t be overpowering and reveals five ways to incorporate pattern and print to create one-of-a-kind jewel-box spaces that feel comfortable, carefully considered and calm despite being filled with colour, print and pattern.
Let art be your guide
Art can play a key role in choosing room scheme colours and helps anchor the palette. Natalia’s design in a snug cinema room is led by the vibrant art on the wall. The colours and textures on the sofas, cushions and wall covering take inspiration from the burnished orange tones, vibrant turquoise and earthy browns. The art features contrasting depth of tone which is reflected in the layering within the room. The patterns of the brightly coloured cushions tie in with the playful artworks and introduce a warm tone to the space. ”Let your art lead the room, art can be as personal and fun as you want it to be. Once you have the standout colours within a piece of art or print you can design the room around it by picking out key colours that work alongside it or go all out and choose bold clashing prints that will have an unexpected result.”
All the trimmings
Natalia uses embellishments to further enhance the effect of colour and pattern in a space. Tassels or fringing on cushions, chairs and rugs and colourful piping on headboards provide the finishing touch for a maximalist interior, pulling a palette together. Piping and trimmed edges on furniture and soft furnishings help to frame the chosen pattern, draw out a key colour and give it a lively edge. “The added interest and texture of tassels and trimmings alongside graphic prints and colourful schemes invokes a sense of colour and life. It’s a good way to introduce colour and style especially I find it elevates the attention to details and adds a sense of maximalist style to any space in the home.”
Muted patterns for calm spaces
Natalia finds it is possible to create a statement in rooms with a neutral palette by using a combination of geometric and more organic designs in pared back tones of pewter, slate and honey. For dark rooms, Natalia recommends painting the room all one colour, including the ceiling and punctuating the space with pattern and texture to create a cosy and welcoming retreat. A room in squid-ink black, aubergine or petrol blue allows the pale prints and soft furnishings to stand out.
“When I design a neutral room, I choose muted fabrics with texture and tonal pattern for added interest. You can combine many different small-scale patterns and textures in the same colour family for a room that is soft but interesting. I use mismatched throws, cushions and lampshades to liven up an otherwise neutral space. Bright colour doesn’t need to be used in every scheme, but remember to include great lighting to highlight the tonal changes within a neutral space.”
Traditional and contemporary contrast
Natalia uses unexpected combinations combining a classic style such as tweed, with a futuristic colourful fabric to update a vintage feel. By paring retro orange tones, burnished browns and rusty reds in a traditional print with bolder colours and modern designs it is possible to create a statement look that is grounded in references to history. “I love reviving classic furnishings such as bolster cushions and eiderdowns. People may think such items are passé which makes bringing them back with a modern twist all the more fun. Using an obvious clash of bright watercolour prints with the graphic print of geometric or zig zag lines also adds interest and creates a dynamic scheme.”
Animal print is experiencing a revival with a new desirability. It is declared a versatile ‘new neutral’ by fashion editors and its many variations continue to filter down from the catwalk to the high street. Natalia has long championed using animal prints in a bold yet tasteful way, whether this is featuring a pop of tiger print in a Refined villa, an entire leopard print chair in the Dimensional apartment or a zebra print rug in her Cosy barn project. “I have an obsession with animal prints – I think they can look eclectic yet very stylish. Leopard prints add a feeling of wild energy I find. If you are uncertain of including animal prints within your home, use a throw cushion as a starting point and see where it takes you!”