November 30, 2012
By Yanic Simard
When it comes to fashion, patterns are mixed together all of the time. So, you shouldn’t be fearful of combining patterns in a room to make it come to life. The trick is to do it tastefully – without creating a décor disaster.
Here, I share my tips for combining patterns the right way:
Begin Bold Start with one strong pattern – strong could mean thick lines, a particularly busy pattern, or very saturated colours – and build upon it.
Balance of Scale The goal is for your patterns to complement one another, not work against one other; try to have an even mix of busy and subtle.
Soften Prints with Solids A fabric without a pattern acts as a staple to all schemes. It’s sort of like the bread to a sandwich – things won’t look (or taste) good without it.
One Colour, Different Shades A more simplified way of mixing patterns is to keep it monochromatic. Select patterns of one colour but choose varied shades (for example, light blue mixed with medium and dark blue).
Don’t over-coordinate You want to avoid having your fabrics too “matchy-matchy.” If you’re using the same or similar pattern in more than one area, limit it to two places and have them spread far enough apart.
My favourite patterns:
Gingham This printed or dyed fabric, which dates back to the 17th century, is known for its checked patterns of white and a single
bold colour (you’ll often catch me wearing this pattern). The size of the checks can vary in size, and the checks can appear in horizontal rows and vertical columns, or sometimes diagonally.
Pinstripe A classic pattern consisting of very thin stripes running in parallel. It is most recognized in men’s suits and is very striking in home décor.
Chevron A repetitive pattern comprised of sharp edges that look like the letter “V” (sometimes called herringbone or zigzag). This is on trend right now.
1 Choose soft furnishings that will work in any room of your home, so that when you’re ready to change up your décor you can swap pillows, throws, drapery, etc. from room to room.
2 If you’re just starting to re-decorate a room, a textile that you love is a great way to draw inspiration for the entire scheme. Pull the colours, lines, shapes and feel from the pattern on the fabric.
3 When selecting a fabric, keep its application in mind and consider these two important details:
›› Durability Look at the rub count – if the textile you’re considering is for upholstery and a piece that will be used often, the higher rub count the better. If it’s for drapery, a lesser rub count is suitable. Also, fabric with a higher thread count means a tighter weave, which is key to having fabric maintain its shape over time.
›› Clean-ability Fabrics made of natural fibres will absorb stains much quicker than man-made fabrics, and they will clean up better. Fabrics made with man-made fibres are typically soil-resistant but don’t clean up as well.
Filed under: FROM THE EXPERTS