For the last several years, there’s been a steady decorating trend–and one that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon: chic patterns. If you’ve never used many patterns in your home before, or more importantly, never mixed patterns before, you can be left wondering what exactly to do. Before we offer tips that can help get you started, let’s address why you should use patterns in the first place.
Why Use Patterns?
Patterns are an important decorating tool, and whether you prefer quiet patterns or bold patterns, every room should include a few. Here are 6 reasons why you should seriously consider working them into your design.
- They allow you to express your personality. Patterns can speak volumes about you, your style, and your home, so have fun with them!
- They let you change your decor with the seasons. Patterns are a versatile way to let you use florals in the summer, plaids in the fall, or whatever else you’d like to do.
- They help hide stains. Patterns can be extremely useful in the busy rooms of your house in that they can help camouflage occasional stains that happen.
- They draw attention. Focal points are very important in a space and patterns are an easy way to create one that truly catches the eye.
- They perk up neutrals. Whether you have an entire neutral base or simply a few elements scattered about, patterns make it easy to perk them up.
- They can anchor a room. Something like a large piece of furniture, a rug, or some drapes covered in a beautiful pattern can ground the room and can serve as a jumping off point for everything else in your space.
The Art of Using Patterns
When it comes to patterns, you can either use a single pattern by itself or you can use multiple patterns to create an interesting mix. Since the first method is pretty self explanatory, we’re going to solely focus on how to mix patterns.
It’s easy to feel intimidated when it comes to mixing patterns, but there’s really no reason to be. With some proper planning and a little creativity, you can blend pretty much mix any patterns you want (yes, really) together.
The key is following 4 simple rules:
- Scale. Be sure to keep scale in check, sticking with one large, one medium and one small-scale pattern. This not only keeps the balance, it sets the limitation of how many fabrics to use. If you wish to add a fourth fabric, go for a solid to ground it all. If you prefer only three, use the solid in place of a third pattern.
- Color. Colors don’t need to match, but they should complement each other. As long as you have colors that work together, then you can mix patterns in a way that is actually harmonious and beautiful.
- Style. Just because your colors work well together doesn’t mean they make sense within the space. Stick with patterns that complement your design style and reflect your interior’s mood.
- Rest. Too many patterns centered in one place can keep your eyes from being able to focus. Scatter those patterns around so you give the eye a chance to rest.
What to Avoid
While there are many things you can do, there are, of course, certain things that should be avoided. Some things to consider:
- Don’t use more than one large floral in the same space. You can, however, repeat it on more than one item. Any secondary floral patterns should be smaller scale prints.
- If you want your colors to be correct, avoid purchasing fabrics at different times. Instead, get them all at once, or take swatches with you when you do need to shop at different places or times.
- Don’t forget your solid. Patterns are great, and mixed patterns are even better, but they lose impact when they’re muddled together. Keep solids within the mix to separate the patterns and maximize their impact.
- Don’t leave out the texture. A room that looks too smooth or too plush just doesn’t look right. A little contrast in texture can make a huge difference and finish off the space nicely.
Where Patterns Work Best
An obvious place to start using patterns is on pieces of furniture. Sometimes, however, the thought of upholstering something of large scale, such as a sofa, can be intimidating. Instead, start smaller with a piece such as a chair or even just a cushion.
But furniture isn’t the only place where patterns work. Some other places patterns look great are on walls, accent pillows, window treatments, lampshades and bedroom items like bedding and headboards.
The ultimate goal is to have fun rather than stress. Think about where you want to make the most impact and then go for it.
Be sure to stop by one of our showrooms or visit us online or at our Houston showroom for great deals on discount designer fabrics. You will find something for every home interior project from gorgeous drapery fabrics to lightweight cottons and luxurious Dupioni Silks in a variety of colors and patterns.