Right angles: 10 ways to embrace this season’s geometric trend
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You’d better shape up if you want stylish rooms this autumn, says Gabrielle Fagan.
Geometrics are figuring on designs for everything from wallpaper to carpets right now, and they're set to be the most fashionable way of bringing pattern into rooms this season.
Even if you hated maths at school (the sight of a geometry set still makes me queasy), working this style in your home is, thankfully, easy-peasy (and no calculator required).
You can be playful and introduce bold and stimulating colourful shapes - take your pick from triangles to octagons - or keep it elegant, with just a few touches sporting the barest hint of the pattern.
"Geometric pattern came to prominence in the 1920s and became synonymous with the Art Deco movement," explains Tom White, design director at Parker Knoll. "In a decade renowned for its opulent and sophisticated style, geometrics challenged traditional design, with sleek and elegant motifs which came to symbolise wealth and status."
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Now they're back, thanks to our renewed passion for pattern and more decoration in our homes. "Geometrics boast a breadth of choice in shape, colour and scale, so can be adapted to suit a vast range of tastes and styles," promises White.
Here are 10 ways to do your decor sums and ensure your home measures up in the style stakes...
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1. Check out all the angles
"For me, geometric shapes will always have a universal and timeless appeal," enthuses Martha Coates, surface and pattern designer for Habitat.
"I don't think they've ever really gone out of fashion, as many pattern stories tend to do," she points out. "I love that the geometric designs created and popularised over 100 years ago by the iconic Bauhaus movement still feel relevant in our modern interiors. They sit seamlessly alongside the contemporary and colourful designs in our ranges."
Coates pays tribute to the versatility of geometric pattern. "Minimalist, contemporary and familiar in their structure, they'll complement existing lines and shapes within the architecture of practically any room," she says. "Their structured balance will allow you the freedom to be braver with colour and texture."
2. Divide and rule on the wall
Get creative and paint your own geometric shapes on a wall. Simply stick strips of masking tape to the surface to create triangle, trapezoid and rhombus shapes (look them up if that's already confused you!).
The more tape you crisscross, the more shapes you'll create. If you paint the entire wall with the tape in place, you'll have stripes between the shapes when you remove the tape.
If that feels too brain-bending, Wallsauce has a brilliant selection of made-to-measure geometric-style wall murals, ranging from in-your-face colourful to the more subtle, starting from £32 per square metre.
3. Make a party point
Join the geometrics party by investing in an Art Deco-style drinks trolley or drinks cabinet. Both items have enjoyed a revival in homeware, as they add a sense of occasion to entertaining. A sound style move.
4. Statement equals style
You don't have to overdose on this look - just estimate how much you need to add to make an impact and burnish your style credentials. Give one punchy piece some space and a plain backdrop and it will undoubtedly become a star talking point.
5. Measure up with metallics
Pair a classic geometric design with metallics (gold and copper are hot choices) to play the glamour card. This combo won't just add a winning touch of opulence, but a repeating angular pattern is easy on the eye and helps create a visual sense of order. The effect is particularly good for spaces where we want to rest and relax, like a bedroom or chill-out lounge.
One word of advice: Make sure the size of the pattern you choose works with the size of the room. Generally, large-scale patterns are more suited to big expanses of wall, so you have the room to stand back and appreciate their impact. Smaller repeating patterns suit smaller walls.
The only exception is if you opt for a statement wall of pattern, where you could be bolder and size up. For inspiration, take a look the super range of geometric papers, including Prism Geometric Wallpaper, £15.99 a roll, at Cult Furniture.
6. Break the rules
Sometimes, you can throw caution to the wind, ignore the 'less is more rule' and indulge in a pattern-fest. Just make sure you balance more decorative geometric repeating patterns with other simpler designs. This will prevent the whole effect from being overpowering, and punchy injections of colour (we're big fans of pink and green right now) are all that's needed to make a scheme sing.
Another way of approaching this look is sticking to a colour palette of no more than two shades, which will allow the detail to shine.
7. Step up to the style
Style alert: Back away from the bland! A striking geometric carpet runner can transform a staircase into an eye-catching feature. Playing up the angles with an above-the-skirting stripe in a complementary shade is a master stroke in this hallway.
8. Pattern to the power of two
"Boasting timeless allure and contemporary flair, geometric designs work well in period and modern homes alike," says Parker Knoll's Tom White. "For those looking to emulate the exciting and influential 1920s - the inspiration for the look - pair geometric patterns with luxurious gold accents, rich tones and spherical accessories."
9. Make it monochrome
"Typically considered an intimidating option, a bold geometric floor can add an element of design to a space and is a surprisingly versatile option," says Anna Del-Molino, buyer, Carpetright.
"Before selecting your style, take into consideration the size of your space, alongside the colours and scales that will work within it. A larger print, in muted shades, is often better suited to smaller rooms, as intricate patterns can feel too busy in compact areas.
"Larger spaces allow for more experimentation and for a truly daring look, consider a style with multiple colours. Geometric patterns don't need to be solely linear shapes," she adds. "Look for florals and patterns which repeat without being too overbearing."
10. Arty calculation
Make those shapes work on the wall with colourful geometric artwork that will show you know a right-angle from a rhombus.