How To Reflect The Seasons But Avoid The Cliché In Interior Design

August 27, 2013 General, Interior Design 0 Comments

Reflect Seasons In Interior DesignCaught up in the spirit of the season?

Whether you love a specific season or are celebrating a holiday, you can find inspiration for interior design in the traditional color schemes and seasonal décor. Especially if you are working with a client in the middle of a season like autumn or Christmas, you might feel drawn to those colors without even being conscious of it.

As a student, consider the impact you want a specific season to have on a room – and decide how extreme that impact should be. Start practicing today by reflecting the seasons in your designs while avoiding the clichés:

Color Choice

One of the easiest ways to incorporate seasonal inspiration into your design is to focus on a specific color.

In one article from the Los Altos Town Crier,  designers suggest finding inspiration in the flora and fauna of your own region, which can tie a client’s house with their landscaping. Making these kinds of associations allows a spring-inspired room to transition with the seasons, through summer and into fall. In winter, a spring-inspired room can provide a warm contrast to the longer, darker days.

Color palettes for a specific room should transition well into surrounding rooms and maintain a theme that is present throughout the house. If you are using bold colors to reflect spring blooms in one room, make sure there are similar elements throughout the house.

Be Subtle

Especially if you are drawing inspiration from a holiday, such as Christmas, you want to be subtle. Décor for these holiday seasons can easily become overdone – for example, using a bold red and green color palette.

Try using a mood board to focus your inspiration. Create your board and take some time away from it – returning to it with a clear head. With all your pictures and sketches mapped out in front of you, you can assess whether or not a design is too overwhelming and not subtle enough.

You can also try to vary the seasonal inspiration by choosing colors that are loosely associated with a season, such as dark blues and whites in a Christmas-inspired room. Just using lighter hues of the clichéd colors can be a more subtle nod toward your inspiration.

Make sure the decorations aren’t too kitschy either. If you are designing a room with summer in mind, you can incorporate flower or tree patterns using throw pillows, carpets or curtains rather than wallpaper, which could overwhelm the room.

Consider a Neutral Base

One of the best options might be to start with a neutral base.

Interior Designer and contributing editor to Victoria Magazine Mary Baltz is an advocate of white. In an interview with About, Baltz says “My personal palette has always been whites and neutrals because when you add color of any kind, even a bright bouquet of flowers, the change is dramatic.”

A neutral backdrop to a seasonally-inspired room can allow you to add décor elements that are not-so-subtle but not cliché either. With this approach, you may find it easier to balance your inspiration with a design that functions on a day-to-day, season-to-season basis.

The Denver-based Interior Design organization Rebuilding Together recommends using statement pieces to evoke a season. For autumn, they suggest:

  • Orange blankets
  • Animal prints
  • Fruit Bowls

If you start with a neutral base, you can focus on adding elements like these during every season. This way you can show clients how different colors, prints and decorations can be altered throughout the year to customize a space.

Seasonal changes can be incredibly inspiring – and you shouldn’t have to suppress that inspiration. Try these techniques in your projects to find a happy medium for seasonal inspiration. Remember to be creative with established color palettes, seasonal décor options and prints.


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