Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mixing Patterns & Prints

Check, paisley, polka dot, stripe, hound stooth, toile, floral, damask, or plaid; I love to mix them all, not at the same time, but I think the secret to a great room is interesting fabrics. French design demands it . . . maybe that is why I love french style. I am like a kid in a candy store when I enter a fabric store. I start imagining what I could put with certain fabrics, what would be pretty with this or that. At the furniture market, my salesman is always so anxious to show me the newest sofa frames . . . and I am immediately asking “ where are the new fabrics?” My greatest joy in a design project is choosing the perfect fabric, I often squeal with excitement when I find just the right look.

Many of you are afraid of mixing prints, it scares you to put two prints together, although you love the look when you enter our showroom. You long for the look, but are too insecure to try
it for yourself. You are stuck in the “solid” safe rut. I will try to help you overcome your fear
with knowledge of which prints mix well and ones that don’t.

DO MIX PRINTS AND PATTERNS! I LOVE IT! You can mix any fabric that is a different scale from another and with a common color to tie the two together. For example, a large floral print of pink, red, yellow, green, etc. can
mix well with a mini print of pink and green floral. Also
a check or stripe with any of these colors works too. The
key is scale and common color. Study the pictures and
see how the common color allows these patterns to
work together.

Be sure to repeat the fabrics in a room, like taking leftover drapery fabric on the bed with an accent pillow, or on a dust ruffle. Think of ways you can incorporate many fabrics, like using multiple fabrics upholstering a chair
or sofa. Maybe you could use a little check on the chair back or on the cording? Check is a cute choice for cording because it turns into a diamond pattern when on the
“true bias”
giving you another interesting pattern.

Things to avoid when mixing patterns are avoid using two patterns of the same scale. For example, you would not want to use a floral with a toile of the same size pattern.
These would fight each other. You could use a small scale mini floral print with the toile though and this would compliment the toile well. A check, stripe, hound stooth, or any other geometric pattern should be used only once in a decorating scheme. Too many of these definitely start to make the room feel messy.

Mixing prints is the key to a decorator look. Keep in mind as a rule of thumb, one large scale pattern, one small scale pattern, and one geometric. This is a good starting point, but many
more patterns could be incorporated if desired.

Happy Decorating!


Paula said...

I've learned so much about fabrics from First Fruit Collection - I've also received excellent suggestions on what to pick when I'm not sure. Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous fabric knowledge with all your customers!

Lisa said...

My favorite place to 'roam' when I'm in Collierville. The store is filled with things I love and I can picture just how a certain piece would look in my home. I've bought many things as gifts, too. Love it!

Lori said...

Thank your for your ideas that you are sharing! I recently moved to Arlington and won't be able to stop by the store as often so it's nice to get ideas from you in the convenience of my home!!!

Post a Comment