Decorating with bold prints isn’t as hard as it seems. Brooklyn couple, Mauri Weakley and Ben Heemskerk, who own a home-furnishings boutique, bring some smart strategies to the table. Take a look at these ideas for inspiration—and follow her tips for decor shopping here.
A (Not So) Delicate Balance
Mauri and Ben (pictured on the right) have lived in this apartment for a year. She reupholstered the chairs (found at a flea market) with a red floral fabric to “make a big impact.”
In the photo above, Mauri shares a no-fail living room formula: Keep the furniture subtle and let one bold painting steal the show. Neutrals give you freedom to get a little wild with patterns and textures. “We blended chic silks and velvets with comfier cotton and woven fabrics, and a large graphic rug with small-scale prints [on pillows and chairs],” she says. “Go all in—a big mix looks more deliberate.”
“Ottomans are my must-have,” says Mauri. “They’re such functional little pieces—you can move them around for extra seating, then tuck them away. I chose two different ones for this room because I already had a pair of matching chairs. I found the wall lamp at workstead.com.” It’s easy to pick out accent pieces if you match pops of color from a painting. Just don’t go overboard, warns Mauri: “Think little touches that shine, like a solo pink pillow, or the room can veer topsy-turvy.”
Ombré the Ordinary
Basic Ikea bookshelves in an entryway or other open space look luxe when you push them together for a gradient display. “Put the lightest books up top for an airy look,” says Mauri. Group the rest by color, but resist the urge to go strictly lightest to darkest. “Mixing it up makes the effect more sophisticated,” she says. Fill out the spot with some greenery and pretty vessels.
Anyone Can Have a Gallery
When you’re not sure what to do with a big, blank wall space, an art display is an easy fix. Start with one piece you love and build out from there, with a mix of colorful and black-and-white prints in a variety of frames. “I like to space each about two to three inches apart, but I scoot some up so they’re not all in straight lines,” says Mauri. Add a table and chair in the corner so it doesn’t feel like the display is just floating there.
Interpret Serenity Any Way You Like
Not every bedroom needs to be quiet and calm. “We wanted ours to be this cozy, luxurious, really happy spot, so we gave it a maximalist treatment with tons of layers,” says Mauri. “I had the rug first, then I pulled in the block-print bedding because of the blues. You can make a crazy combo like this work if there’s one color that unifies everything.”
Plug-in wall lamps just need to be mounted to the wall—no rewiring required. They free up precious night-stand space and look just as chic as sconces. (Find them at shop.onefortythree.com.)