The use of contrast in interior design



Rationality and emotion, wood and stone, curves and sharp edges combine in a fascinating interplay of contrasts in the stylish Punto collection

The importance of contrast in décor

When it comes to interior design, contrast is all about placing things that seem completely diverse in such a way that they work together to create a cohesive overall effect. Interestingly, when seemingly competing elements are incorporated into a design scheme, they can actually help bring out the best in each other, whereas similar-looking items can tend to merge into one so that while they are aesthetically harmonious, they lose their individual identity.

The trick is to play with materials, forms, colours and styles by adhering to the principle of opposites attracting, without compromising on a sense of balance and oneness.

The Punto collection by Yabu Pushelberg is the perfect example of how to achieve this, bringing together stone and wood, curves and sharp lines, pale and dark tones in an eye-pleasing arrangement that instantly lifts the aesthetic of any bathroom.

In this article, we take a look at the way contrast can be used to create striking interiors.


How to use contrast in interior design

There are a number of ways to use contrast as a tool when decorating a space. The three main elements we can play with are:
- Colours
- Materials
- Forms

Colour is a consideration for walls, floors, furniture and accessories, and by using a combination of pale and dark tones you can highlight a wall and create a sense of movement in the room or focus attention on a particular piece, corner or arrangement.

For example, while the idea behind the new Spaghetti tapware collection was to offer the possibility for a “total look” bathroom by being able to match the colour of the dials to the colour of the walls, it can just as easily be used to add a contrasting accent so that the taps pop out and become a decorative element in their own right.

Materials are also a great way to introduce contrast. At Salvatori, we were known for our natural stone for many decades, but in recent years we have paired it with wood, glass and metal, and the results have proved that this can be a winning formula. For example, the wonderful coolness of stone is complemented by the warmth of wood, making for products and décors that are both sophisticated and inviting.

In terms of forms, the world is your oyster when it comes to mixing shapes, curves and lines. Keep things interesting by juxtaposing round shapes and angular details and by alternating soft curves with decisive lines.


The importance of your wall finish in setting the scene

The choice of wall covering is, unsurprisingly, the starting point for any décor scheme, and the choice of dark or light colours here is absolutely fundamental in shaping the entire look and feel. Pale colours obviously help make a space look lighter and feel airier, whether through cool tones such as the white of Bianco Carrara marble or warmer, creamier shades such as that of Crema d’Orcia limestone. On the other hand, darker colours tend to make a space seem smaller and cosier, but they can also transmit a sensation of luxury and elegance through the use of natural stones such as Pietra d’Avola and Gris du Marais®.

The idea is to introduce a sense of movement and depth and this can be done through different colour combinations or textures or with a feature wall or boiserie, as in this Salvatori-designed hallway in a stunning Greenwich Village home.


Use splashes of colour to draw the eye

Accessories are a key element in any interior designer’s repertoire, as they bring even the most neutral or sombre décor alive, injecting personality and style and often creating talking points for guests.

Our range of furniture and accessories are designed to exude understated luxury and add Made in Italy flair to any décor.

Vases, wall art, bathroom accessories, stone sculptures and tables to name just a few are crafted by skilled artisans in our workshops in Northern Tuscany. From bold colours such as Rosso Francia red, Giallo Siena yellow and Verde Guatemala green to more nuanced, neutral stones such as Silk Georgette® and Nero Marquinia, what they all have in common is their capacity to bring sophistication and style to any space.


The Punto collection and the power of contrast

An artful mix of rationality and emotion, the Punto bathroom collection exemplifies how the use of contrast can deliver stunning results. Its success is based on the perfectly-balanced use of colours, bold patterns and irregular forms.

The basin and backsplash feature decisive lines and angular shapes, making for an interesting contrast with the sinuous curves of the mirror. The basin, drawers and top intersect each other, simultaneously creating a visual interruption while bringing all the components together.


Natural stone, with its fluid, continuous veining works with the vivid grain of wood in what is an intriguing pairing of two natural materials. The warmth and inherent softness of the wood offsets the cool, unyielding stone which, however, brings history, timeless elegance and hardwearing properties to the table.

Punto is available as a vanity unity with basin and drawers or a basin mounted on a simple shelf, and can be supplied with or without a backsplash. Designed to be fully customisable, it comes in varying lengths and offers the end client the choice of where the basin will be positioned along the top. The crowning glory is a backlit mirror in an unconventional shape that softens the hard edges of the other elements and creates a sense of proportion and balance.

We have looked at why the use of contrast is important in internal design and how our products express this concept, resulting in a harmonious combination of different elements that offer scope for personalising any décor.

We invite you to browse our website for more inspiring ideas or get in touch with our team of design experts who will be delighted to help you bring your dream project to reality.

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