Inform can also understand text properties:
Test me with "x blue willow / get striped / look".
You can see a blue willow flowerpot and two striped flowerpots here.
> x blue willow
You see nothing special about the blue willow flowerpot.
> get striped
You can see a blue willow flowerpot and a striped flowerpot here.
This may not seem very much different from having the pattern be a kind of value – except that texts can, of course, hold almost anything. Further exploration of these possibilities may be found in the chapter on Advanced Text.