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Forget everything people told you about polka dots being juvenile and only worthy of a kitschy 1950s storyline. Yes, dots can look “whimsical” and childlike if done poorly, but who is going to tell Damien Hirst that his dot paintings that command millions belong in a nursery! This living room is done in a sophisticated and masculine color scheme which is only elevated with the inclusion of the subtle gray dot work of art. Designer dots are here to stay.
Here is another living room that has a fantastic Damien Hirst dot painting. Although this painting is colorful, the crisp, monochromatic colors of the room allow the artwork to pop and at the same time offers a neutral background on which to appear very grown-up.
Fretwork is another way to introduce dots into your home. Sometimes creating negative space makes something more interesting. This unique brass ceiling light not only introduces a dot pattern into this narrow hall, but when illuminated, casts a wild dot pattern on the walls. Two times the dots for the price of one light!
This blown glass table lamp is another artistic way to add color and interest into any room with lighting. It’s cheerful, but not insipid and has a fresh spring feel.
Like I said, polka dots can make you crazy unless done well. If your child insists on painting polka dots in their room, why not consider a more mellow and modern palette. This room does not go overboard because the dots don’t cover the entire four walls and are done in a more modern, copper color. So much easier on the eye.
Talk about modern! This wavy dot patterned sliding wall panel is amazing. It’s totally contemporary and sculptural. The pattern creates such movement that the materials feel almost organic.
This polka pocket door is created by placing a fretwork polka dot panel over a simply painted panel. It looks great and seems to be an easy DIY project. Not that I would attempt it...
I love this dot tile. Dot tiles come in a zillion shades and materials, from ceramic to marble. They look amazing in bathrooms as well as on a kitchen backsplash. You must agree that this tilework is designer, not diner, quality. An easy way to introduce dots to a bathroom if you have plain walls would be to buy polka dot replacement shades for your wall sconces.
Another easy way to add energetic dots without breaking the bank, would be to paint an old piece of furniture with the pattern or start super slow with polka dot linens or a game of twister!
Photos courtesy of Katiedid, Elle Decor, Casa Sugar, Savvyhomeblog
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.