Abstract Art Blasts Color and Pattern into Accessories

Janet Ramin - Are you one of those who want to break the rules, color outside the box, and do the opposite of whatever everyone else does? Then abstract patterns might be up your alley.  

Abstract prints are the complete opposite of geometrics. Geometrics are based on basic shapes of circles, squares, and rectangles - whereas with abstracts anything goes. Abstract patterns play well with contemporary and modern style interiors. They’re usually fresh, wild, and won’t remind your friends of your grandmother’s taste. 

Pictured above is a smattering of abstract print pillows. Starting at the top right, clockwise, the orange pillow is from Bliss Living called Humanity for All – Freedom. The next is Ecco Blue Leaf from Koko Company, Bamboo Leaves by Josey Miller, Humanity for All – Dream from Bliss Living, and Metsan Kuningas by Marimekko, available at Crate and Barrel.

Abstract prints can be created in two ways: you can take something real, i.e. a leaf or a flower, and take out the details or “abstract it”. Above are examples of an abstraction of a flower, the Metallik pillow was a sunflower, the Aquamarine in Pool fabric from Duralee was a rose, and Orange Fusion pillow came from a daisy. There’s still some detail left to recognize what it once was, but now the emphasis is on lines and shape – the design – rather than the flower. 

Abstract prints can also come out purely from the imagination. Designer Amy Helfand who creates beautiful modern rugs from her studio in Red Hook, New York, credits her inspiration to the landscapes around her. She first captures her surroundings through photography and from there transforms it to abstract patterns for her colorful rugs. Below are Blue Ridge Voyage and Ragged Wandering.

(Blue Ridge Voyage, courtesy of Amy Helfand)

(Ragged Wandering, courtesy of Amy Helfand)
Once again, you'll use these abstracts to freshen up an interior and add shockingly fresh accents to any room. We'd love to see Clinton Stewart's exciting Holey-Poley conceptual daybed, a student design project from this Aussie studying in Copenhagen, in full production one day - and we'd put some abstract pillows as pops of pure pattern against the stark black of his playful, interchangeable modular design. Watch how the daybed works in this stop-action video from Designboom.

This post was reprinted with permission from the Sheffield SchoolNew York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded their course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planningand Jewelry DesignWith thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.