Why you should avoid matching and use colours and patterns to bring a living room to life

A welcoming sitting-room scheme which uses colour and mis-matched styled to create a cosy, inviting environment.

Creative use of colour and pattern is the hallmark of interior designer Rosie Bossom and her own sitting room in her London flat. When she bought the Victorian property in Notting Hill, W11, she transformed the spartan, minimalist interiors using a mix of both. ‘I wanted a much warmer, comfortable feel,’ she says. ‘I like inviting rooms that seem as if they’ve evolved through time, with a collection of things gathered over the years.’

‘It adds instant impact and colour and everyone comments on it’

Painting the walls in Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball instantly adds gentle warmth. The effect is enhanced by the soft neutrals chosen for the plain linen curtains and bespoke sofa. Rosie restored the 1950s Italian armchairs, plating their stainless-steel legs in brass and covering them in Temple by Veere Grenney.

‘When everything matches, it looks forced and uninviting’

The focal point of the room is a large, octagonal ottoman, designed by Rosie and upholstered in a silk found at a market in Istanbul: ‘It adds instant impact and colour and everyone comments on it.’

More joyous pattern comes from the mix of scatter cushions in fabrics from John Robshaw and Soane Britain. The effect is offset by a bold flatweave rug from Ikea.

Rosie laid out her collection of prints and sketches on the floor, rearranging them until she was satisfied, before hanging the group on the wall: ‘I still change them around occasionally.’

‘There’s interest in the patterns, but not so much that they take over the room.’

‘When everything matches, it looks forced and uninviting,’ she continues, adding that it’s still carefully considered. ‘The neutrals create a subtle backdrop, the pinks of the ottoman are seen in the cushions and lampshades and there’s interest in the patterns, but not so much that they take over the room.’