Fun and Fab Pattern Play
Have I mentioned lately how much I love patterned fabrics and wallpapers? Because I do. And what I really love to do is mix pattern on pattern. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, but there are a few tips and tricks that can make pattern mixing a little easier to understand. Even with a few simple rules to follow, there is a little designer magic involved - if I find two or three fabrics that I truly love, I will find a way to make them work together, no matter what!
For my coastal retreat above, in one guest suite I used several patterns in the bedding and the art, but kept things cohesive by sticking to a blue and white color palette. It’s also important to use different sized patterns when layering - I used large scale for the art, and smaller for the textiles. In a different guest suite in the same home below, I did the exact opposite (literally) by using orange stripes on the curtains and then an equally bold blue print on the bed pillows. It shouldn’t work, but it does because blue and orange are complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel). While the stripe and the pillow pattern are equally bold in scale, they are complete opposites - one is hard-edged geometric and the other is an abstracted organic shape. I love how opposites attract!
I mentioned in the first example that scale is important when mixing patterns, so here is a masterful use of scale by my friend Brian Patrick Flynn. He used plaid on plaid in the living room below, and it totally works because the buffalo plaid curtains read as a bold scale print, and the tartan plaid pillows read as much more intricate. It also helps that there are plenty of deep neutrals to rest your eyes on!
Here’s another example of tying a multitude of different prints together by keeping to a monochrome palette (in this case Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid), and varying the scale of the prints being used. The wallpaper is a lacy, but very large scale print, which contrasts with the tight but bold geometric of the eurosham pillows, and the loose blooming organic print of the elongated pillow. Again, a nice solid textile for the headboard gives the eye a spot to rest amidst the pattern play!
For more “Pattern Play” inspiration, please visit my Pinterest page - there is something for everyone!