Interiors

Ideas for Decorating With Patterns

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when selecting and combining patterns. When something is well designed, you see the pattern as a whole, a cohesive design.  If a pattern is not well balanced, certain areas will pop out at you, disturbing the harmony.  Different patterns can coordinate with each other if they repeat colors.   When using a large scale pattern, select small to go with it so that the eye can focus on the dominant design. When mixing patterns, one method is to select more simplified versions of your primary fabric. If you love florals, make your primary fabric one that combines several different types of flower, then use secondary patterns with only one or two similar flowers.

When something is well designed, you see the pattern as a whole, a cohesive design.

Tips For Decorating With Patterns

Several simple and complex patterns and details combined create a whole design built up from the simple to the complex form.  Simple checks, plaids, pinstripes, and small geometric designs can be used with large floral designs as well as with Chinese patterns containing figures, as long as the colors coordinate closely and there is breathing space around each different fabric.

The more shades and tints of a color in a room, the softer the effect.

How many different fabric patterns do you have in your living room? How many solid colors do you have? Is there pattern in the weave of your fabric?  Usually, a room has five or more colors besides the color of the wood.  The more shades and tints of a color in a room, the softer the effect.  Prints with a large number of colors create a richer, softer appearance than one with fewer, bolder colors.

You can have up to three or four patterns without disrupting the harmony. The trick here is to base all the other patterns on the large-scale pattern that is usually on the wall or the larger pieces of furniture.

Whether wanting an airy white palette or a punch of color that makes an impact, staying within the same range of color intensity is a good rule of thumb when selecting patterns. Mixing pastels with vibrant tones can be confusing when patterns are involved. Stripes, checks and large florals work if their hues are aligned.

Using one color in the different patterns helps unify the design and helps to not overwhelm.

If your room is monochromatic, you can use several small-scaled patterns in the space because the colors are all harmonious. A blue-and-white room can have plaids, checks, florals, and solids and not appear too busy as long as the patterns are in shades of blue with white.

Staying within the same range of color intensity is a good rule of thumb when selecting patterns.

When you place pattern on pattern, the colors and designs should echo each other. A linear print on a sofa that sits on an Oriental rug should have similar hues as well as flowing lines that are compatible. If you are using a printed material for curtains and have a patterned rug, the colors should be repeated in both the curtain material and the rug. If one fabric pattern dominates a room, the other designs should be considerably smaller in scale and repeat at least one color of the main fabric.

When you place pattern on pattern, the colors and designs should echo each other.

If you’re still feeling hesitant about mixing pattern in your home, contact an interior designer for help.

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