A good pattern and color mix in a room is a great way to give it personality and style. This can be a challenge to most homeowners, and they tend to just stick with the basics. If not done carefully, the space can look busy and not well pulled together.
Before you give up on the idea of creating a room with a bold pattern mix, here are a few tips to keep in mind…
Start with your inspiration fabric
Fabrics are a great starting point for a room’s color and pattern mix. I recommend picking a pattern with several different colors from which you can build a color scheme for the rest of the fabrics in the room. Color will be the common element that unifies all the fabrics, so make sure it is a fabric that you love, with colors that you love. This fabric can be the main attention-grabber in the room, for example, on an accent chair, bedding or drapery panels, or it could just have a supporting role as pillows.
Pay attention to the scale of the patterns for each fabric
A good pattern mix will take the scale of the patterns into consideration. A large scale, medium scale, and small scale are more appealing to the eye and creates more cohesiveness. The room will not have the same visual appeal if all the fabrics are the same scale, or have the same background colors. Decide where you will use each fabric in the room being and be sure to repeat the patterns around the room for balance and harmony. A good rule of thumb is to bring in different patterns like a geometric with a tight pattern, a large scale geometric, a plaid or stripe, a floral, damask, paisley or medallion, and a small print like a diamond print.
Unify the palette with color
Color is the key ingredient for a unified pattern mix. Every fabric in the room should pull colors from the main inspiration fabric.
Contrast the backgrounds
Each fabric pattern will most likely have a dominant background color. It is important that there is some contrast in the room, and the dominant background color is the color you go by to add contrast. For example, you can use two different black and white zebra prints in the same room. One pattern can be mostly white with black stripes and a large repeat, and be used for a duvet cover. The second pattern could be a black background with white stripes and a smaller scale pattern, and be used for pillow shams. Because of the scale, and the contrasting backgrounds, these two similar patterns can help to unify a room.
Make the connection when adding more furnishings around the room
Pull different colors from the original main fabric and the secondary fabric when adding additional furnishings around the room. Accessories, rugs, case goods, wallpaper and even paint are great ways to spread color throughout the space and create harmony. For example, you may paint a dresser in one of the dominant colors from your inspiration fabric, or a wallpaper an accent wall.
Add various textures
Adding various textures makes for a more dynamic design. What the patterns do for the eye, textures do for the skin. Texture can also be visual, like wood grain, or a piece of art. Various textures add depth and contrast. Include something smooth, nubby, sleek, metallic, shaggy and soft.
Give your eye a place to rest in the room
With a lot of movement happening with the colors and patterns, your eye needs a place to rest and take it all in. Adding neutrals does that in a space. Neutrals can be added in through the main upholstery pieces, the wall color, and the flooring.
Keep the palette balanced
It is all about balance in a cohesive room. Choose the right amount of color pattern and texture, then disperse around the room. Having too much of one color or not enough of the other will create an uneasy feeling in the space. Your eye should be able to travel around the room and feel a sense of balance and cohesiveness.
Repetition goes a long way. By repeating the main fabrics two to three times around the room, helps to create balance.
It is important to note that when you lay out your fabric samples, they should look pleasing to the eye. If they don’t work together well from your samples, they will not work in the room. Fabrics are exciting and they are really what gives a room life and pizzazz! Choose carefully! Fortunately these days, a lot of fabric companies will do the coordinating for you, so if all else fails you have that option, but you know what you love – and that will always guide you to the right choices.
The most important lesson is to have fun playing with fabrics. Now go ahead and pick that inspiration fabric and get started with creating a bold pattern and color mix in your home!