Mix bold with bold. The safe thing to do here would have been to let this collection of bold African masks and sculptures be the main attraction. The unexpectedly bold gesture of mixing them with a bright yellow fireplace and iconic modern furniture takes the room to a vibrant new level.
Add an ornamental backdrop. In this almost all-white space, the deep red folding screen is a strong backdrop that introduces color and ornamental detail. The effect is so powerful that no other art is necessary.
Introduce a subtle pattern. Note how the Moorish pattern on the window shades adds a subtle decorative layer to this minimally furnished modern loft. Imagine how much plainer the space would look with standard shades.
Keep it light. In this airy, high-ceilinged space, colorful Mexican folk textiles, artifacts and café chairs introduce culture and personality. Painting the walls in bold, bright colors was an option, but the lightness here allows for the decorative accessories, along with the modern furnishings and lighting, to shine.
Try an unexpected grouping. A large Asian armoire is flanked by two matching smaller Asian armoires to create an interesting and unexpected composition in this modern dining room. Notice how the fretwork on the larger armoire adds subtle pattern to the neutral palette.
Repeat shapes and colors. The round shape of the Moorish-style glass pendant light is repeated in the round Saarinen dining table, and its blue-green color is repeated in the striped rug, tying the room together.
Add a light touch. A Japanese floor lamp with a paper shade adds a glowing touch of warmth to this austere space. The bamboo stem contrasts with the tubular chrome on the modern Le Corbusier chaise, yet relates to the lush trees in the view and subtly links the indoors with the outdoors.