Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mixing Patterns Like a Pro

The world of home design doesn’t necessarily have “rules”-it is, after all, your house and you’re free to make it as ugly as you’d like…if that’s really your goal.  That being said, there are certain “guidelines” that, if followed, will point you in the right direction towards an exquisite space.  When it comes to Mixing Patterns, these guidelines definitely come into play.  There are a few things to take into consideration when selecting coordinating patterns - here are a few basic strategies for success.  

Start with Color

If you need help selecting a color palate, check out our previous post Understanding the Language of Color.  If you’re already set, than choose one or two colors from your palate that you’d like to see present in the majority of the patterns you choose.  While these colors don’t necessarily have to be the focal point of each pattern, there should be some sense of consistency to keep the room from looking disjointed.  If you’re in love with two patterns that don’t share any common colors, they may still work provided they have a similar color intensity (amount of black or white).  Intensity is the great unifier of color…which explains why pastels look great together but typically terrible when combined with primary colors.  Guidelines have a sense of leniency built in, so it’s up to you to use your best judgment when it comes to color- you can do it!

Think about Scale

Try to avoid choosing competing patterns.  Take your favorite item and work around it…is it a large scale pattern?  Than you’re looking for some small and medium patterns to coordinate with it, and vice versa.  When it comes to scale, contrast is key.

Limit your Selections

There’s no real limit to the number of patterns you can combine in a room, but some experts say you should be wary after four or five.  Think about the size of the room and how many patterns it can support when making this decision, and don’t forget to incorporate solids with interesting textures.  


Make sure you don’t make one side of the room pattern-heavy and leave the others looking blank.  There’s no need for total symmetry, but try and space out the placement of patterns so you don’t risk one area coming off as too severe.  

Consider Companion Fabrics 

If you’re having custom items made, cut your work in half by asking your designer or seamstress about companion fabrics.  We do a lot of work with Casa Fiora and Carole Fabrics, in fact all the fabric swatches you see in today’s post are samples from their most recent collections.  Companion fabrics are designed to coordinate with each other, so you get color and style matches and correct contrast in scale.  For more information on how you can get custom items made for your home, or to view more fabric choices,click here


Post a Comment