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Geometry lesson
Take any room from drab to fab with the use of geometrics



Rubin’s Furniture’s striking Macintosh chair covered in Sparta Contrast fabric is part of a smart collection of upholstered pieces including sofas, sectionals and dining chairs. Prices range from $929 to $1,349. Rubin’s, Milwaukee.

Continuing to dominate the 2010 design landscape, geometrics make a bold statement in any living space. Global influences play out with the use of strong, repetitious patterns and shapes on everything from upholstery to picture frames.

"The look we are seeing is not just geometric, but also very graphic," says Gregory Bonk, owner of the Brookfield Calico Corners. "It’s a modern, confident, youthful look that seems to be driven by our younger customers. Florals and other traditional fabrics are still being requested, but as we see more geometrics in the marketplace our customers are becoming increasingly comfortable with them."

While geometrics have long been a staple of contemporary design, they’re now being mixed with traditional accessories and furnishings. Adding patterns and shapes can liven up just about any room. But no matter what your style, remember to use restraint when incorporating geometrics into a space.

Here are some tips to keep in mind from Patty Virnig of Ivy Interiors, Brookfield:

•If you plan to use a bold geometric fabric, keep it to one or two pieces in the room. A little goes a long way.

•You can mix geometrically adorned accessories or furnishings with other geometrics, but vary the size of the different patterns and keep colors in the same family.

•If you decide to mix a geometric with other patterned fabrics, make sure accompanying patterns are equally as strong or they could be overwhelmed by the geometric. Consider muted colors to avoid a psychedelic look.

•Coordinate geometrics with textured, tone-on-tone or solid fabrics.

•If you have geometrics on furniture, ground the room with a more simple rug and drapes.

•Conversely, if you use geometric wallpaper, rugs or drapes, keep fabric on furniture simple.

•If you want just a touch of geometrics, add a throw, sheets, placemats or decorative pillows to your space.