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Expert Advice: how to create contrasts in your interior

Interior designer Ester Bruzhus shares her tips on how to create dramatic interiors

Green, Room, Ceiling, Furniture, Interior design, Floor, Building, Turquoise, Property, Wall,
Photographer: Jens Boesenberg

Mix shades. Combining cool and warm tones in just the right way is very important. For example, green (above) and pink, yellow and grey, turquoise and orange.

Room, Interior design, Furniture, Ceiling, Property, Floor, House, Building, Wall, Pink,
Ester Brukus Berlin home
Photography: Jens Bosenberg

Play with contrasts – soft and hard; dark and light; thick and thin; bold and subtle – in colours, materials and details (concrete ceilings with velvet upholstery above). We like to make designs that use objects of varying sizes and in different materials. Sometimes the relationships are harmonious, sometimes they jar; it’s this dialogue between the two that gives a project its identity.

Blue, Architecture, Arch, Room, Building, Ceiling, House, Interior design, Furniture, Floor,
LA Poke Restaurant
Photographer: Jens Boesenberg

Create surprises. For example, the exterior can have a contradictory style to what’s on the inside – in colour, material or texture (smooth curves with rough tiles above). When you expect everything to be one way, it should absolutely be another.

Yellow, Floor, Room, Interior design, Property, Furniture, Architecture, Curtain, Hardwood, Flooring,
One of the colour coded booths at the Futurice office, Berlin
Ester Bruzkus

Use colour. Alternatively, work with just one colour for emphasis. We did this at the Futurice office (above) in Berlin where each team space had a distinct colour, wall paint, carpet, furniture, lighting and fabrics all in one hue. esterbruzkus.com

This article appeared in the March 2020 issue of ELLE Decoration.

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