Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tips for Mixing Patterns and Color

One thing I do the most for clients is assist in coordinating fabrics. I thought I would share a few tips I share with clients that make the process less intimidating.  

Below is a pattern that has what I call "movement."   Patterns with movement have a free flowing effect...
a floral is a good example. 
 Here is another example of a pattern with movement.   I would use these two patterns in the same room.   When mixing more than one pattern that has movement, it is important that they contrast in pattern and scale.   Then they look good together. You use color to connect the patterns...both of these patterns have blue and gold.   

 The next type of pattern I like to add is a pattern that feels geometric.   This could be a herring bone pattern, stripes, polka dots....

 Some patterns are "tone on tone" like the one below.  This one looks solid blue from a  distance...that is a good way to know if you are looking at a tone on tone pattern.  
 Then there are ones that incorporate both a geometric and movement.  This one I would consider to be more geometric because of it's symmetry...but patterns like these can work for either effect sometimes. 
So my general rule is to mix:
patterns with movement
patterns that are geometric
patterns that are solid or tone on tone

It always feel more balanced with adding all 3 types into your decor.  These patterns can show up on window treatments, rugs, throw pillows, artwork,and in your accessories.

One rule to remember that when mixing more than one pattern type...add a contrast through color and scale. Also remember to connect the color story by repeating the colors in your fabrics. 

Hopefully these tips will help when mixing patterns and colors....
This is one of my favorite things to do!