Pattern – equally a designers dream as it can be a disaster. Use sparingly and it can look boring but use too much and your interior can look tacky and distasteful.
When decorating with pattern, it is important to build on one bold pattern. Decide on a primary fabric as well as a dominant colour such as blue and floral and search for a pattern that incorporates them. Make the dominant colour in the pattern the dominant colour in the room by painting the walls a similar colour and use the primary pattern on something that will be noticed as soon as you walk through the door – such as the sofa or curtains.
Next, build up secondary patterns and colours. Find patterns that pull together the dominant colour and a couple of other colours from the primary fabric. Use these fabrics on secondary pieces in the room, such as rugs, cushions and lamps. Continue to build the scheme until you have represented all of the colours from the dominant fabric. Your patterns needs to compliment one another so if one is bold, then the other shouldn’t be too busy.
When mixing patterns, it is important to keep it simple by selecting 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 furnishing, choose complimentary finishes that coordinate with the colours in the room. For instance, if the room is furnished in cool colours, use washed-out or light finishes.
If all else fails, remember the 60/30/10 approach. Stick to 60 percent of a favourite pattern, 30 percent of a second pattern, and 10 percent of a third as an accent. Try three patterns in a range of scales, such as a narrow stripe, a midsize geometric, and a bold floral and you won’t go wrong. Pillows are a great low-cost way to explore your pattern personality.
It is also vital to remember that pattern doesn’t have to mean colour. Mix and match neutral patterns for sophisticated chic and accessorise with vibrant brights. Patterns shine brighter in a room where the eye has a place to rest, such as on a neutral wall, plain cushion or a solid sofa so don’t go crazy with patterned pieces.
A popular pattern is animal prints but few know how to use them. Use animal prints the way they appear in the wild - surrounded by natural colours and work in lots of texture for cosiness.
Combining prints brings excitement to a room and overall, remember to set small patterns against large ones, limit your palette, and include one big solid in the scene. Go ahead - try this at home.