Layering patterns involves four main elements: color, scale, shape and texture. If you’re like me and you fall in love with four times the amount of fabric you need at a showroom, you’ll need to go through some major editing. First up is color. Lay all your possible choices out on the floor and if certain ones look a hot mess and just don’t play well with others, remove them from the mix right away. It’s kinda like kicking an obnoxious reality cast member off the island after an elimination challenge but with fibers and weaves versus emotions and bad behavior.
Here’s an example of a great color edit. Notice how each of the fabrics sports different shades of a common color, blue? This is what you ultimately want; the varying intensities lead to an evolved, effortless look. Something else that’s happening here is a great mix of shapes going in different directions.
I borrowed this picture below from Ballard Designs.
A traditional rug doesn’t have to define your space. Add in updated prints and colors pulled from the rug for a wonderful eclectic look.
1.) Carlson Rug
2.) Claire Gray
3.) Felicity Spa
4.) Lorenzo Charcoal
5.) Bark Twill
6.) Danish Linen Oatmeal
7.) Natural Microfiber, Bark Twill, Indochine Stone
8.) Kravet Indochine Ikat Stone
Keep a monochromatic color scheme interesting with great patterns that play well together and fabrics with tonal texture, like Kravet’s Scandicci Gray.
1.)Kravet Indochine Ikat Stone
2.) Kravet Toscana Ikat Slate
3.) Lorenzo Charcoal
4.) Asha Pewter
5.) Danish Linen Tea
6.) Scandicci Gray (Kravet)
7.) Panthea Rug (Gray)
Add contrast. Once you have your main color selection down, in this case its Grey, add a bit of contrast. See the Suzanni fabric #4 with the gold and pewter.
Vary the scale. While color and shape are easier to get a grasp on, scale is a bit more complicated. There are three different sizes of scale: small, medium and large. When mixing prints, try not to choose more than one of the same scale size; multiple patterns of the same scale often result in a heap of Hodgepodge. The person who does this best is Betsy Burnham, if we were all as talented as this women the world would be pattern of loveliness!
The perfect mix. We’ve got a large-scale pattern sporting an orange suzanni pattern, a medium-scale blue plaid which is traditional, and the small scale cheater global animal print. The trio is also different directionally; the rug runs horizontally, in this ethnic/global zigzag like pattern. But all of these prints work well together!! Hopefully you can use some of these tips when putting together patterns in your home…
As Always stayed tuned for more Adventures in Styleland….