Celebrate-style

April 13, 2014

Put Style on Repeat


When designing a space that will sing to your family’s unique rhythm, pull the room together by turning up the layers and adding repetition


I absolutely love it when a room begins to come together. Two weeks ago you saw the challenges I faced with my clients’ dining room in Manoa, and how I overcame them with design and decor elements like a shimmery golden wallpaper, crystal chandelier, art on the wall and a dining table that grounded the space.

Those were the big elements. Once I had those in place, I was able to focus on the finishing touches that would bring the space together. It’s the layering and repetition that I’ve talked to you about time and again, and that I hope by now you’re beginning to understand so you can train your eye to do this yourself.

Here’s how I layered and repeated different elements to create a practical yet stylish dining room for this family of five.

First, some repetition. Notice how the golden color of the wallpaper ties in with the golden hue of the reclaimed-wood table? The chocolate brown dining chairs also coordinate with the chocolate color of the oversized mirror.

The shimmering crystals of the chandelier are repeated in the trio of glass vases on the table and the crystal wine goblets on the baker’s rack. And the shine of the chrome is reflected in the vessel on the ledge separating the dining room and kitchen.

Repetition of colors and elements is what makes a space feel pulled together, but it’s the layering of elements that makes it feel interesting and dynamic — the combinations of different materials like reclaimed wood, chrome and glass.

Now for another finishing touch that’s important to consider with open spaces, you want to bring colors and elements from one space into another.

The family wanted a warm, inviting dining room, but the color white dominated the nearby kitchen. To tie one to the other, I decided to bring some white into the dining room. We already had white shutters, but we didn’t stop there. Notice the white plates in the baker’s rack? How about the white vases and mats in the picture frames?

And I went vice versa with yellow, bringing some of that warmth from the dining room to the kitchen. As you peek into the kitchen, you’ll see splashes of yellow.

So find ways to repeat elements to make your space feel pulled together and refined. Choose elements that reflect the decorating styles you’re trying to follow. Finally, layer in different materials for a more interesting look.

And don’t forget to transition between rooms by bringing some of these elements into nearby spaces. It’s paying attention to details like this that will create that perfect setting.



Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit cathyleestyle.com.
One last round of fabulous style tips

September 10, 2017

One last round of fabulous style tips

Begin your design with a fun theme

August 13, 2017

Begin your design with a fun theme

Memories of NYC

July 23, 2017

Memories of NYC

Stress-free design tips for your party

July 9, 2017

Stress-free design tips for your party

Bringing together all forms of design

June 18, 2017

Bringing together all forms of design

Decorative plants are the ‘real deal

May 28, 2017

Decorative plants are the ‘real deal

Keep your air plants breathing

May 14, 2017

Keep your air plants breathing

Make your kitchen pop with accents

April 23, 2017

Make your kitchen pop with accents

Keys to a dreamy, spacious kitchen

April 16, 2017

Keys to a dreamy, spacious kitchen

Give your kitchen a personal touch

March 19, 2017

Give your kitchen a personal touch

To be free, begin with these three

March 5, 2017

To be free, begin with these three

Opening up to new possibilities

February 12, 2017

Opening up to new possibilities

Live in your space before remodeling

January 22, 2017

Live in your space before remodeling

Seeking potential in design projects

January 1, 2017

Seeking potential in design projects

Pay attention to all the little details

December 18, 2016

Pay attention to all the little details

A makeover that’s outside the box

December 4, 2016

A makeover that’s outside the box

Read all articles »

Loading...