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5 Ways to Bring the Opposites Attract Principle into Your Home

While it’s no secret that opposites attract in the dating world, did you know they can also just… attract? 

We often use the opposites attract principle to create enticing and engaging spaces for our clients. To share the secret, we’re diving into a few simple techniques that you can use in your own design projects and renovations.

1 | PILLOW TALK

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Opposites: Patterns

Why It Works: You may think opposing patterns will compete with each other, but their banter for attention can actually be a point of interest and enjoyment to the eye.

How To Do It Best: Pillows and rugs are the easiest to refresh. For example, swap out your “quieter” pillows — on your couch, chairs, or bed — for pillows with bold patterns and a bit more to say.

The best part? This maneuver is a low-cost investment that creates immediate impact. As long as the color scheme is harmonious, you can let the patterns chit-chat away.

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2 | TAKE A NOTE FROM ABROAD

Opposites: Colors

Why It Works: Complementary colors effortlessly enhance each other and can create beautiful spaces... but mastering the art does take a little study and practice. We love the way this Moroccan interior uses the interplay of earthy oranges and robin's egg blue (and uses opposing patterns, too!).

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How To Do It Best: If you look around your room and find that it consists of varying degrees of the same color, consider introducing a complement.

Blues, for example, can almost always benefit from hints of orange, coral, or light pink, while yellows brighten at touches of violet or navy.

Bottom line: Experiment until you find something you like. After all, color is all about how it makes you feel.

3 | ORGANIC MEETS ENGINEERED

Opposites: Materials

Why It Works: Whether you actively notice it or not, spaces that combine organic and inorganic materials are more interesting. Something about the combination of nature and machine is naturally compelling.

How To Do It Best: If you’re considering a large-scale renovation, you can go big. Mix elements like wood, granite, or stone with obviously manufactured materials, such as metal or stainless steel. We absolutely love these gorgeous stairs and railing.

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If you’re looking for a smaller and more affordable way to make an impact, add a few plants to your place and pair each with a contrasting pot. Already have some plants? Easy — just swap out the pots.

These man-made copper and cement pots are the perfect contrast to greenery. The plants look even more vibrant and alive.

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4 | SQUARE PEG, ROUND HOLE? GO FOR IT.

Opposites: Shapes

Why It Works: Having the same lines and shapes throughout an entire space can feel… stagnant, boring even. When you introduce a shape that defies the rest of the space, you add a touch of personality and interest.

How To Do It Best: If you have a room composed of straight lines, add some circular elements. For example, the round overhead lights and barstools are the perfect character addition to a very linear kitchen below, while the studio’s curved chairs and circular table tray help make a sterile space more relaxed and inviting.

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If you’re working with a smaller scale, try mixing shapes with your greenery. This spiky succulent is even spikier when combined with its very smooth, round pot. (You’ll notice the contrast of organic and inorganic materials at play here, too!)

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5 | ALL THE RIGHT FEELS

Opposites: Textures

Why It Works: Technically speaking, texture is the feel of an object’s surface, but it’s no less important to the look of your space — our eyes can see that it’s there. Putting different textures together will draw attention to them, compelling you (and your guests) to inch a little closer.

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How To Do It Best: Everything has texture. The most obvious textures come from pillows, blankets, and rugs, but drapery, lamp shades, and furniture all contribute, too. 

Look at the pieces already working in your space and see where you have room to diversify. The easiest tactic is to pair smooth surfaces with fuzzy, ridged, or tufted ones, like we see in this mix of pillows, wicker plant pots, and several blankets that beg to be touched. 

In general, pieces made from wicker or rattan, or textiles made from knit or cashmere, are also quick statement-makers. Or, you can go big with a textured rug that your toes will be delighted to sink into.

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There you have it — 5 techniques to enhance your design repertoire. Use any of these strategies, or combine a few, to liven up boring or outdated spaces.

As always, if you need a little help along the way, don’t hesitate to let us know. Our mission is to design spaces unique to your character, your interests, and your life. At the end of the day, what’s most important is what attracts you.

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