home about me our home

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Because You Can, Should You?

Just because you can put all the trendy fabrics available in one room should you? I was blog  hopping the other day and I saw several mood boards with chevron or zebra rug, trellis, Suzani, and Ikat patterns all in one room. I wish I could show you the mood board, but I would not want to offend anyone.

We all know that these patterns have been in vogue for awhile, but should they all be used in the same room at the same time?

Here are some examples of the patterns I am referring too. This will help you formulate a better visual of what I am talking about.




After looking at the mood board with all of these patterns used in one room, it made me stop and take pause. It looked to me as if this particular person was  trying to hard to do what she thought was the current look. It was not a particularly  good design, but one of a mix of all the things she felt were current, and unfortunately it felt very contrived.

HomesRooms-KathrynIreland-0909-3-lgn Kathryn Ireland

I have seen rooms done beautifully with some of the above mentioned patterns so I know it can be done. Kathryn Ireland is known for her over the top mix of patterns. How does she do it? Why is her look considered good design? Maybe instead of using just one of all of the patterns I have mentioned we need to take it a step further and go over the top? Maybe one pattern needs to be the star and the other patterns need to be supporting roles.

Cote de texas (800x609)
Kathryn Ireland via Cote de Texas

image_thumb[37] (554x404)
Kathryn Ireland via Cote de Texas

All of the patterns I have mentioned are not new patterns, in fact they are revisiting from the past and have a wonderful history in design.

So when does it look contrived or trendy instead of good design and classic?

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Mixing patterns beautifully rather than a contrived manner.



cotedetexas said...

love the ireland rooms but the others, hmmm. too much trendy fabrics????


Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

Great question as always! When you put it like that, my instinctive answer would be no, don't cram all the patterns together in one room. But at the same time, I love a great mixture of pattern. I think it all boils down to how you use it and in what dose..

PS. despite the (beautiful) pattern overload, I love the first pic, do you know who designed this?

xoxx Linda

The enchanted home said...

To me it looks contrived and reeks of "trend alert" when its an overkill. I personally don't think there should be more than one element of a trendy fabric, if you have chevron, keep it on the one chair or the rug, but not both, if you have ikat, a pair of pillows, or a small settee, allow it to be a focal point on its own to blend cohesively with the rest of the room. There should not be any competition, it show flow harmoniously. If your eye doesnt' know where to look first upon entering a room, and is darting all over the place, chances are you have done too much and need to start deconstructing the space. Less is more in this case!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Buyer beware... nothing dates a space as fast as pattern. We know when it's in and when it's out. I would do a few things easy to change.

Lee said...

I am waiting to hear what everyone has to say on this one, as it's a challenge to work with patterns period and then to use patterns that seem to be catching the eye of multiple decorators in an effective, personable way is also challenging. I love me some Ikat and Suzani but maybe not in the same room but in ajoining rooms, why not? as long as I link the color scheme and create layered textures in accessories. Geometrics really do pose a challenge for me so I use them but also try to balance the busyness in a room. I like serene spaces.

Karen said...

I think those of us who aren't in the trade are heavily influenced by what we see on the blogs. Learning to edit takes experience, but I completely agree with your assessment that picking one trendy pattern to star in the room is the way to go.

La Dolfina said...

Good question!
I for one did the busy look when I was younger and crave calmer more edited spaces now.
Kathryn Ireland seems to get away with it because it's the English in her and that's how they do it. She's being authentic.
One thing I don't like about the "American" way of decorating is that it's always about trends instead of being authentic to who you are and what makes you happy.
Sometimes it feels like we are all copy cats which is why things look dated after a while.
You always make us think Kathysue... I love your posts!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

I love mixing patterns together, some of these would make me dizzy if I had to look at them each day.. I would say edit, edit, edit..this is only my opinion, I certainly don't want to offend anyone else and what they like. hugs ~lynne~

Anonymous said...

I do like the look of mixing patterns but I think it's just a matter of mixing the right patterns. Some are just too bold and do not contrast well. I tend to go more for a floral w/ a gingham. xo

Amanda said...

Great post!! Its hard not to want "it all" -but its all about having just the right combination and "pop" of color/pattern. You want your home to reflect you and feel welcoming-but not look like some display in a boutique shop.

Jessie said...

Mixing patterns are great but not many people are talented in that department, unfortunately! :) Throwing every trendy patterns in one room, like you said look too contrived and unimaginative! In my opinion, a good way to incorporate trendy items is to ground them with classic furnishings.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

I love pattern and color, but this is all a little much even for me. Hugs, Marty

Stacy CUrran said...

You didn't really answer you're own question, but I'm guessing you'd say "NO!" And I'd agree with you :)

Taylor Greenwalt said...

I love Katherine Ireland. I think you have to be careful of the scale of the patterns and the color. Ireland also uses a lot of white. She does have a gift! I do think you have to be careful of trends.


There is a lot of talent in someone who can mix it seamlessly....without it looking like someone who has worn all of their jewelry at one time!!! We love trends [why they are trendy!] but of course as with anything a little goes a long way. You can't eat the whole gallon of ice cream :)

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Far too much...and I am someone that loves embellishment and mixing patterns. It gives the 'eye' no place to rest.

Splendid Sass said...

The only answer I can come up with is try it. Sometimes it works, but I know what you are referring to.
I love mixing patterns in some rooms, but love a chic look in others. Confused? Yes I am.
Have a great day.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I'm just not in to trendy fabrics. I love the Ireland rooms because they don't look like a trend...probably not, just doing what she loves. I'm not a fan of the chevron fabric at all.

for the love of a house said...

I was going to write a comment, but then the very pretty Mona already said it!! so ditto to Mona's comment!
I found that first photo to be a bit painful;)


quintessence said...

I agree with Therese and Mona - Ireland's rooms are successful because it is not a trend for her - it is her authentic self, not trying too hard and not attempting a "look". There are so many self proclaimed designers who have no sense of history or knowledge of the past, proportions or scale to inform them!

laxsupermom said...

Great question! I love mixing patterns and color and love seeing how others handle it. I think one of the ways to keep so many on trend patterns from feeling cliche in a space is to make sure that there is some history in the room. Maybe the suzani print is an actual suzani laid on the back of a chair or the greek key pattern is on a hollywood regency table. You always find terrific images for illustration! Thanks for sharing.