Photo courtesy of Amy Butler Design
Patterns can add serious style to your living spaces. But selecting the right pattern(s) to use in a room can be daunting—especially when images of gaudy, overdone living rooms upholstered and papered in every floral print imaginable spring to mind. To take the guesswork out of artfully incorporating patterns into your decorating scheme, here are a few pointers:
• Find inspiration. Your favorite fabric or color can be a great starting point for picking the first patterns for your room.
• Start small. If you’re new to decorating with patterns, there’s no need to go big and bold right away (and risk overwhelming your spaces). Pick a playful pattern or two for throw pillows first. A bonus: You can change them as often as you like because they’re not as pricey as, say, reupholstering an entire loveseat. Playing with patterns can be addictive, so in no time you’ll be ready to add pattern elsewhere in the room.
• Spread it out. Keep patterns from looking too cluttered by sprinkling them throughout the room rather than concentrating them in one spot.
• Pick a range of sizes. When decorating with patterns, stay away from an entire room full of large, bold prints (or a slew of tiny, busy ones). Incorporate a variety of small and large patterns for balance instead. For instance, the folks at HGTV recommend mixing floral patterns in a variety of sizes and background colors. (That way you end up with a space as lovely as a garden in bloom, rather than one that makes you feel like you’re drowning in monstrous flowers.)
• Think beyond traditional patterns. Who says you’re limited to florals and toiles? In contemporary spaces, polka dots and stripes can look pretty cool.
• Be brave. Bold combos can work out as long as there’s a unifying element. Take this space, where stripes and toile mix beautifully in close quarters thanks to the black-and-white color scheme.
If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for pattern-picking help. Here are three more strategies for mixing patterns successfully.
Once it’s time to shop, head to these fabric sites to get the pattern ideas flowing.
What fabric manufacturers do you love? Any great posts you’ve read recently about decorating with patterns? What are your own pattern pointers or questions? Share away!
The Home Know-It-All