Squaring Away Your Walls


When walls collide with geometric shapes, an uninspired space can suddenly have a strong point of view. Whether iterated as patterned wallpaper, mirrors, or artwork in shapely frames, the effect can be subtle or statement making. “Geometric shapes are very dynamic and carry a lot of visual weight,” says New Jersey-based Jennifer Matthews, co-founder and creative director at Tempaper, a line of removable wallpaper. “If they are small, they can add textural interest, whereas larger shapes create bold movement in a room.”

“When mixed with more traditional motifs, they lend a freshness to the designs,” says Los Angeles-based designer Stefani Stein. Meanwhile, the repetitive nature of geometrics lends an organization to a room, so there’s an automatic symmetry.

“Don’t be afraid to use geometric shapes, regardless of your overall style direction,” says Tulsa, Okla.-based designer Mel Bean. “An all-neutral space with limited layering of geometric shapes and patterns is an entirely different experience from a colorful, complex, extensive use of pattern and color.”


Combining different shapes creates an interesting tension, Matthews says, like pairing oval sconces or circled mirrors with scalloped wallpaper and a diamond rug or bold-tiled flooring. New York-based Barbara Karpf, founder and president of DecoratorsBest, an online retailer for high-end textiles and wallpapers, recommends mixing different geometric patterns together when they have varied scales. “A small, tight pattern works well with a large open geometric—one pattern could have a touch of a color that is prominent in the other pattern,” she says.


Marimekko Wallpaper | DecoratorsBest
Marimekko wallpaper, from DecoratorsBest in New York, adds a chic geometric look to a living room space.



The easiest way to apply pattern to walls is by using wallpaper. “Geometric wallpapers range in effect from youthful to sophisticated,” Bean says. “The iconic Hicks hexagon wall covering is an elegant classic. And for a bold, modern approach, I love Cole & Son’s Geometric II paper,” she says.

“A wallpapered statement wall can form foyers from simple hallways, home offices from cozy corners, and separate dining areas from living spaces,” Karpf says. Keep in mind, a small, repetitive pattern works everywhere, whereas a big, bold pattern will work best on an accent wall, she says.

And, when considering color, generally, the lighter the hue, the subtler the experience, says Newton, Mass.-based designer Liz Caan. “Geometric patterns with high-contrast colors will always veer into bold and graphic territory, so be mindful when choosing your palette.”

Using geometric prints has another benefit: They can hide a multitude of sins. For one project, Manhattan-based designer Timothy Brown used a multicolor tonal stripe to hide some millwork he didn’t want to remove but also didn’t want to highlight. They also “allow you to control the direction and flow of a space, whether you want to cast focus on an area or guide the eye away from a less savory spot,” he says.


Tempaper Wallpaper | Alison Pickart
A bathroom with Tempaper wallpaper, a bathroom designed by Alison Pickart with patterned walls.



Combining geometrics with other patterns adds interest and can balance out the look. “A stripe or geometric pattern on a printed grasscloth wallcovering can soften the crisp nature of a bold print,” Stein says. She suggests trying a variegated stripe, monochrome geometric, or tonal variation for a dramatic backdrop that won’t overpower the other elements of the space. Caan prefers to play with “opposites” when it comes to wallpapers, such as mixing a bold stripe or geometric with a floral. “When the colors are copacetic and the scales are varying—creating some relational value—the end result can have a dramatic effect, but one with a softer edge thanks to the floral balancing the sharp lines of the geometric,” she says.


Tempaper Wallpaper | Alison Pickart
A bathroom with Tempaper wallpaper, a bathroom designed by Alison Pickart with patterned walls.



There are other mediums in which to shape your walls, too. “Our favorite method, which introduces rich texture and architectural interest, is through applied moldings,” says Chicago-based designer Tom Stringer. “We’ve used a repeating geometric motif at various scales in applied moldings, and then again in other areas in carved screens to layer pattern and texture into a stark white interior.”

Stringer has also utilized painted designs, which he achieved by taping off patterns and then painting in contrasting colors to create geometric motifs on walls.

Geometric shapes, when applied to upholstery, help create depth, says Chicago- and San Francisco-based interior designer Alison Pickart. “I’ve used ceiling-mounted drapery in hallways that have utility and closet doors that needed to be concealed yet still be accessible,” she says. She also loves to use tiled geometric patterns, whether on kitchen walls or bathroom backsplashes to incorporate interest.


Geometric Tiles | Liz Caan
A kitchen designed by Liz Caan features geometric tiles.



“The biggest impact comes from either using them in excess or very thoughtfully in small, understated doses,” Caan says.

Brown considers every aspect of the room when working with geometric shapes to create an overall symmetry.

“Any room is a mix of geometric shapes—from added furniture to the decisive lines of windows and doors. Focus on the scale of any pattern or shape so that it all works together,” Brown says.

Originally posted by Sotheby's International Realty.

2021 Most Extraordinary Sales | DBSIR


2021 was a record-breaking year for Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty - with a bounty of extraordinary properties added to our SOLD list. Take a look at our top sales of the year.

Sanctuary On The Bayou - $2,500,000

924 Moss Street924 Moss Street | New Orleans, LA
Just 18 days on the market!
Neighborhood: Bayou St. John
Bedrooms: 5
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 4,898
Agent: Michael Bain
Our Favorite Part: Fairytale Courtyard

This 18th century Bayou St. John estate is the epitome of New Orleans living. Restoration was completed in 2012 to a high degree, with stunning details. Wraparound galleries overlook extensive park-like grounds. A 1,260 sq. ft. guest house and 355 sq. ft. guest suite attached to the main house (neither are included in the living area) are also in beautiful condition. It's no wonder this gem spent less than 20 days on the market! SOLD!



Magazine St. Marvel - $1,995,000

1469 Magazine Street1469 Magazine Street | New Orleans, LA
Neighborhood: Uptown
Bedrooms: 7
Baths: 7.5
Sq. Ft.: 5,600
Agent: Gino Loiacono
Our Favorite Part: Beautiful Grounds

A stunning and rare Magazine Street compound in the heart of the desirable Lower Garden District. The historic Italianate main house hosts 3 spacious apartments that could easily convert back to a single grand home. Bonus: the property includes an exceptional carriage house and beautifully landscaped lawn, complete with sanctuary. SOLD!


Gorgeous Greek Revival - $1,500,000

1 Bisland Road

1 Bisland Road | Natchez, MS
Bedrooms: 6
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 5,980
Agent: Ernesto Caldeira
Our Favorite Part: Spacious Bathrooms

This whimsical, historic southern home was built in 1824 and rests on over 9 acres of rolling landscaped grounds with huge live oaks and a beautiful guest house. The continued maintenance and modern improvements have kept the property in pristine living condition, while still maintaining the character of the original home. SOLD!


Patton St. Perfection - $1,350,000

6321 Patton Street

6321 Patton Street | New Orleans, LA
Just 14 days on the market!
Neighborhood: Uptown
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,712
Agent: Dorian Bennett
Our Favorite Part: White Chef's Kitchen

Absolutely gorgeous renovated eco-friendly Uptown home with private in-ground pool and hot tub. The house boasts three floors with spacious open floor plans and an abundance of natural light. Just steps away from the beautiful Audubon Park, Zoo and golf & tennis courts. SOLD!


Royal Marigny Manor - $1,169,000

2613 Royal Street

2613 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA
Neighborhood: Fauborg Marigny
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,000
Agent: Michael Bain
Our Favorite Part: Grand Living Room

Superb Victorian home in Faubourg Marigny on a double lot. High ceilings, beautiful heart pine floors, plaster moldings and medallions are just a few special things about this house. Top it off with a gorgeous salt water pool with plenty of privacy. SOLD!


Camp St. New Construction - $1,125,000

4733 Camp Street

4733 Camp Street | New Orleans, LA
Just 44 days on the market!
Neighborhood: Uptown
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,000
Agent: Rebecca Searcy
Our Favorite Part: Stunning Gold Finishes

Luxurious newly built Uptown masterpiece featuring high quality finishes and fixtures throughout, hardwood floors, 12-ft. ceilings and loads of natural light. Stunning high-end kitchen with marble counters and a custom hood. The primary suite is home to an expansive walk-in closet and luxe bath with a freestanding tub and walk-in shower. Absolutely flawless. SOLD!



Opulent Oxford Estate - $999,999

1001 Whispering Valley Cove

1001 Whispering Valley Cove | Oxford, MS
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 4,970
Agent: Ernesto Caldeira
Our Favorite Part: Wrap-around Porches

Enchanting 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath Woodland Hills Estates home on four acres of lushly planted gardens. A classic architectural salute to the double-galleried homes of early Louisiana, with a main floor primary suite, 10' ceilings, 4-car garage, outdoor shower, salt water pool, guest house, and over-the-top octagonal kitchen. SOLD!



Charming Marigny Multi-Unit - $995,000

2429 Chartres Street

2429 Chartres Street | New Orleans, LA
Neighborhood: Marigny
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 4,546
Agent: Michael Bain
Our Favorite Part: Beautiful Hardwood Floors

Perfectly-located Marigny triplex with major renovations to the owners’ 3-bedroom unit, highlighted by a must-see galley kitchen. Additional two units to rent. The charming courtyard has been transformed into a private oasis with the addition of a stunning new heated pool and hot tub. SOLD!



Elegant Oakland Estate - $975,000

9 Oakhurst Drive

9 Oakhurst Drive | Natchez, MS
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 5,165
Agent: Ernesto Caldeira
Our Favorite Part: 16-ft Ceilings

This gorgeous, grand planters-style home is situated on 3.5 landscaped private acres and filled with history dating back to the late 1700s. The spacious interior is pure elegance with spectacular millwork and silver plated hardware. The main house is complemented by lovely grounds and an outbuilding with two apartments. SOLD!



Captivating Camp St. Château - $973,000

1216 Camp Street

1216 Camp Street | New Orleans, LA
Lower Garden District
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 5,228
Agent: Dorian Bennett
Our Favorite Part: Master Suite

One of the grandest Greek Revival mansions of New Orleans. Spectacular original floors, grand rooms, original fireplaces, vast ceilings, special crown moldings and ceiling medallions. Includes an enchanting courtyard and ample parking. SOLD!



Magnificent Mississippi Mansion - $940,000

348 Greenwood Plantation Road

348 Greenwood Plantation Road | Woodville, MS
Just 11 days on the market!
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 4,357
Agent: Ernesto Caldeira
Our Favorite Part: Original Fireplaces

Beautifully restored 18th century home built on 136 acres with great fishing and terrific hunting grounds - needed only 11 DAYS to find a new family to call it home. The property includes double galleries, 4 bedrooms and a large family room with working fireplace, as well as several outbuildings. SOLD!



Sensational Selma Estate - $859,000

467 Selma Estates Road

467 Selma Estates Road | Natchez, MS
Baths: 4.5+
Sq. Ft.: 4,839
Agent: Ernesto Caldeira
Our Favorite Part: 65-ft Gallery

The warm simplicity and functional aspects of Federal architecture are at their best in this fine example of an elegant country homestead. Enjoy the views from the 65-ft. gallery running across the entire front façade overlooking acres of pastures and fields. One of the most charming architectural features of Selma house are the handsome twin staircases to the second floor. SOLD!



Exclusive Marigny Compound - $850,000

1527 Pauger Street

1527 Pauger Street | New Orleans, LA
Just 29 days on the market!
Neighborhood: Marigny
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,800
Agent: Michael Bain
Our Favorite Part: Saltwater Pool

Unique Marigny Triangle compound with two early brick cottages separated by a lovely secluded courtyard. An extra lot includes a beautiful 75' saltwater lap pool off of the great room with a waterfall feature. Rare gated off-street parking can accommodate two vehicles. SOLD!



Thank you to all of our clients and partners who have made 2021 such an amazing year! Ready to buy or sell in 2022? Contact us today at 504.944.3605