Design Dilemma: Getting Crafty, Tastefully | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Getting Crafty, Tastefully

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Remember Aunt Jenny’s house? She was your favorite “crafty” aunt and she lived in a house filed with her knitted pillows and throws and little snowmen fashioned out of styrofoam balls. Maybe her home looked a little bit like this shot of an interior in the Roseanne Barr sitcom:

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Yep, there’s the afghan throw over the plaid couch, and the crochet doily on the coffee table. It was indeed a look… but maybe not the one you’re going for in your own home today. On the other hand, let’s say you adore knitting, crocheting and quilting. Is there any way to reconcile crafty impulses with modern design? We say, yes!

The key is simply to avoid the impulse to overload. Take a look:

eclectic quilts how to tips advice

In the two bedrooms pictured above, vibrant “crafty” quilts stand out as a centerpiece in otherwise minimal or very restrained rooms. The first bedroom features white walls and a beige rug — it doesn’t get more neutral than that. The second room is not minimalist, but is still restrained with gray walls, white floors and a white cowhide rug and an upholstered taupe headboard. There’s no mistaking what is star of the show here. See the same design principle applied below, where the entire palette is kept to a pale blue and white:

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Below, it’s the fact that one colorful afghan rug is allowed to steal the limelight:

eclectic living room how to tips advice

And below, it’s the unexpected addition of a couple of crochet pillows which add the extra punch:

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Here’s another tip: Try using crafts in less traditional ways.

For example, why not knit a pouf?

eclectic living room how to tips advice

Or better yet, two poufs? And if you chose a solid bright color, there’s even more impact!

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Finally, when you’re incorporating crafts and knits into your home, don’t forget about your underlying style and theme. You want your new addition to complement whatever else is going on in the room. In the room below, the knitted pillow works splendidly with the other textiles in the room. The patterns and colors feel deliberate and not haphazard because the designer has modified the scale and texture of each element.

eclectic living room how to tips advice

Same goes for the handmade bird pillows and the afghan rug below:

eclectic living room how to tips advice

So let’s sum up. Craft items like knitted throws, handmade pillows, and crochet blankets and poufs can be a wonderful addition to any home, lending a sense of personality and warmth. And just because you use them doesn’t mean your home has to feel like a Roseanne set.

  • The key is in moderation. You’re better off using just one crafty element as a centerpiece than overloading too much throughout your home.
  • Vary the scale of your prints. Use large scale patterns with smaller scale patterns.
  • Don’t be afraid of color. A bright color in a quilt or knit can often seem much more modern than muted tones.
  • Allow some colors to echo. In the last photo of this post, many of the bright colors of the rug are picked up in the hand-sewn pillows on the couch.
  • Choose your projects wisely. Sometimes, it’s really just a matter of the pattern you choose. Look for bold colors, and more graphic modern designs rather than the muted tones and more intricate patterns of the past.
  • Edit when you need to. Chances are you will build up a stock of blankets, pillows, throws, etc. Rotate your projects and don’t try to show it off all at once. When it gets to be too much, give some things away. Look at it this way: the more space you create in your home, the more space you have to indulge in new projects!
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