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Creating High Contrast Interiors by Amy Carman Design

Creating High Contrast Interiors by Amy Carman Design

High contrast interiors are timeless, create depth and interest as well as create balance. Using any of the elements of design, a skilled designer can create a dynamic composition through the use of contrast. As a principle of art, contrast refers to the arrangement of opposite elements and effects. For example, light and dark colors, smooth and rough textures, large and small shapes. Contrast can be used to create variety, visual interest, and drama in interior design.

High contrast decorating can be so dramatic and breath taking! Creating just the right balance of light and airy, with bold and moody is an easy way to add immediate impact and create a space that is memorable.

We asked the talented Amy Carman to offer her expert advice for creating a bold space that feels both inviting and dramatic.

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FROM AMY::

We love creating interiors that have a dramatic visual impact, and one of our favorite strategies to employ is the use of contrast. We often hear clients say they’d like their spaces to “pop”, and whether that is accomplished with the use of a bold color, or by working with the timeless drama of black and white, dialing up the contrast is what gives a room visual power.

High contrast interiors are timeless, create depth and interest as well as create balance. Using any of the elements of design, a skilled designer can create a dynamic composition through the use of contrast. As a principle of art, contrast refers to the arrangement of opposite elements and effects. For example, light and dark colors, smooth and rough textures, large and small shapes. Contrast can be used to create variety, visual interest, and drama in interior design.

High contrast decorating can be so dramatic and breath taking! Creating just the right balance of light and airy, with bold and moody is an easy way to add immediate impact and create a space that is memorable.

We asked the talented Amy Carman to offer her expert advice for creating a bold space that feels both inviting and dramatic.

__

FROM AMY::

We love creating interiors that have a dramatic visual impact, and one of our favorite strategies to employ is the use of contrast. We often hear clients say they’d like their spaces to “pop”, and whether that is accomplished with the use of a bold color, or by working with the timeless drama of black and white, dialing up the contrast is what gives a room visual power.
 
High Contrast Living Room Black Paint Color

1.CREATE BALANCE.

"Balance is essential to any well designed interior. Working with opposing colors and intensities allows one surface to show off the other. Light artwork jumps off a black wall surface, dark flooring sets off a shimmery silver area rug, and contrasting metallic hardware looks like jewelry against a navy blue cabinet. One choice wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t for the other."

Balance is essential to any well-designed interior, and inviting thoughtful contrast is just one way to create that sought-after balance. Color contrasts and reflections bring interest into a room-If done right, your high-contrast Interior will feel perfectly in harmony, and make your space look cohesive as a whole.

Dark interior colors almost disappear and push light elements toward a viewer. It stretches interior design and tricks an eye. Balance is achieved by distributing the visual weight of objects within a space to achieve the feeling of equilibrium.

As Amy explained , "Light artwork jumps off a black wall surface, dark flooring sets off a shimmery silver area rug, and contrasting metallic hardware looks like jewelry against a navy blue cabinet".

2.AMP UP THE STYLE.

"Dialing up the contrast creates instant drama. Pattern, materials and textures come alive when they are set against surfaces with opposing intensities. Contrast doesn’t only come in the form of dark and light. Contrasting styles – mixing traditional details with elements that are utterly modern can make a bold statement. Matching drapery and wallpaper for example, is a very traditional decorating technique, but when a gutsy black pattern is used the results are edgy, fun and unexpected."

To really drive your high-contrast décor home, try adding pieces that feel distinctly different from each other.You’d be surprised how well they can complement each other as long as they all fall under your overall design concept (Think soft vs. bold, masculine vs. feminine).

Putting two contrasting textures together adds visual weight to the space, meaning that the components of your design will be able to draw the eye more easily. This works best when two contrasting textures such as natural textiles and manmade materials are used in close proximity of each other.

Natural greenery, soft-touch textiles, and woven accents are also easy ways to take a bit of the edge off of too-harsh contrast.

So whether you go for contrast in the form of differing hues, or decor pieces, just make sure to vary your tones and textures for a look that feels complete.

3.create depth and interest.

"Playing it too safe with color choices can result in a space that feels bland. Even the most beautiful objects and furniture pieces can go unnoticed if they are set amongst a sea of similar colors. Adding contrast to your space ensure every item pops. "

Depth creates sophisticated complexity in interior design, it calms the environment and allows smaller spaces to feel larger than their actual square footage. Interior designers introduce high contrast colors and finishes to make areas of the home unique and draw the eye to special pieces or furniture in the home.

There’s nothing more underwhelming than an interior that feels too flat. Adding contrast to your space is a foolproof way to ensure that doesn’t happen. For example, a far wall design in an accent color brightens up the entire room and create depth for balancing the interior dimensions, but two colorful occasional chairs in a far corner create a similar effect. Glossy textures and large mirrors which reflect light inside the room create a pleasant optical illusion of welcoming spaciousness and depth.Vibrant accents are also an excellent, smart, and modern way for creating depth in any room.

4. Consider black & white

" High contrast interiors have staying power. Black and white is an especially timeless option that brings elegance, polish and sophistication to any room of your house. Black and white marble tile can set off furnishings like a modern chessboard. White wainscoting panels provide an elegant backdrop against an iron railing. These elements can look incredible whether your home is modern or traditional."

When trying to achieve this look, opposites truly do attract and make a room dramatic and appealing. Just because contrast is the goal, doesn’t mean each piece in your space has to be classified as solely light or dark. Start with picking a few pieces that embody a bit of both, with interesting patterns, globally inspired pieces, or contrasting accents to add even more personality to your space.

We love the use of brass accents mixed throughout high-contrast interiors.Choose finishes that such as a brass sconce against a dark wall or counter stools with brass accents to balance the contrast in your darker finish floors.Doors are also perfect opportunity to add contrast and visual interest using contrasting colors. I’ve become a huge fan of black doors against bright white trim.

If done right, your high-contrast Interior will feel perfectly in harmony, and make your space look cohesive and as a whole.

1.CREATE BALANCE.

"Balance is essential to any well designed interior. Working with opposing colors and intensities allows one surface to show off the other. Light artwork jumps off a black wall surface, dark flooring sets off a shimmery silver area rug, and contrasting metallic hardware looks like jewelry against a navy blue cabinet. One choice wouldn’t be successful if it weren’t for the other."

Balance is essential to any well-designed interior, and inviting thoughtful contrast is just one way to create that sought-after balance. Color contrasts and reflections bring interest into a room-if done right, your high-contrast Interior will feel perfectly in harmony, and make your space look cohesive as a whole.

Dark interior colors almost disappear and push light elements toward a viewer. It stretches interior design and tricks an eye. Balance is achieved by distributing the visual weight of objects within a space to achieve the feeling of equilibrium.

As Amy explained , "light artwork jumps off a black wall surface, dark flooring sets off a shimmery silver area rug, and contrasting metallic hardware looks like jewelry against a navy blue cabinet".

Mathcing wallpaper and drapery, high contrast interior
High Contrast Black Bathroom Vanity

2.AMP UP THE STYLE.

"Dialing up the contrast creates instant drama. Pattern, materials and textures come alive when they are set against surfaces with opposing intensities. Contrast doesn’t only come in the form of dark and light. Contrasting styles – mixing traditional details with elements that are utterly modern can make a bold statement. Matching drapery and wallpaper for example, is a very traditional decorating technique, but when a gutsy black pattern is used the results are edgy, fun and unexpected."

To really drive your high-contrast décor home, try adding pieces that feel distinctly different from each other. You’d be surprised how well they can complement each other as long as they all fall under your overall design concept (think soft vs. bold, masculine vs. feminine).

Putting two contrasting textures together adds visual weight to the space, meaning that the components of your design will be able to draw the eye more easily. This works best when two contrasting textures such as natural textiles and manmade materials are used in close proximity of each other.

Natural greenery, soft-touch textiles, and woven accents are also easy ways to take a bit of the edge off of too-harsh contrast.

So whether you go for contrast in the form of differing hues, or decor pieces, just make sure to vary your tones and textures for a look that feels complete.

3.create depth and interest.

"Playing it too safe with color choices can result in a space that feels bland. Even the most beautiful objects and furniture pieces can go unnoticed if they are set amongst a sea of similar colors. Adding contrast to your space ensure every item pops. "

Depth creates sophisticated complexity in interior design, it calms the environment and allows smaller spaces to feel larger than their actual square footage. Interior designers introduce high contrast colors and finishes to make areas of the home unique and draw the eye to special pieces or furniture in the home.

There’s nothing more underwhelming than an interior that feels too flat. Adding contrast to your space is a foolproof way to ensure that doesn’t happen. For example, a far wall design in an accent color brightens up the entire room and create depth for balancing the interior dimensions, but two colorful occasional chairs in a far corner create a similar effect. Glossy textures and large mirrors which reflect light inside the room create a pleasant optical illusion of welcoming spaciousness and depth.Vibrant accents are also an excellent, smart, and modern way for creating depth in any room.

4. Consider black & white

" High contrast interiors have staying power. Black and white is an especially timeless option that brings elegance, polish and sophistication to any room of your house. Black and white marble tile can set off furnishings like a modern chessboard. White wainscoting panels provide an elegant backdrop against an iron railing. These elements can look incredible whether your home is modern or traditional."

When trying to achieve this look, opposites truly do attract and make a room dramatic and appealing. Just because contrast is the goal, doesn’t mean each piece in your space has to be classified as solely light or dark. Start with picking a few pieces that embody a bit of both, with interesting patterns, globally inspired pieces, or contrasting accents to add even more personality to your space.

We love the use of brass accents mixed throughout high-contrast interiors. Choose finishes that such as a brass sconce against a dark wall or counter stools with brass accents to balance the contrast in your darker finish floors. Doors are also perfect opportunity to add contrast and visual interest using contrasting colors. I’ve become a huge fan of black doors against bright white trim.

If done right, your high-contrast Interior will feel perfectly in harmony, and make your space look cohesive and as a whole.

“working with the timeless drama of black and white, dialing up the contrast is what gives a room visual power.” -Amy Carman


High Contrast Formal Living Room
Black and white bedroom
High Contrast Open Concept

Amy Carman Design Furniture Favorites



Meet Amy Carman

As the firm’s founder and principal designer, Amy has built a reputation for taking a holistic approach to design rooted in interior architecture, technical skill and creativity.

Earning her degree in art and design from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Amy moved to Milwaukee to focus on her design career. After gaining experience in the residential design and construction industry, she ventured out on her own. Now, after ten years in business, what started as a one-woman enterprise has flourished into a respected young design firm. The firm’s award-winning work has been featured in Luxe Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, the Journal Sentinel, Houzz, and HGTV.com among others.

In addition to her love of art and architecture, Amy enjoys traveling and spending time with her daughter, Ava, and husband, Aaron. The family recently traversed the country in their renovated vintage airstream trailer.

Instagram - @amycarmandesign


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