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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mixing Patterns Has A Method!!


Choosing the Star fabric for your room!”

Sometimes decorating can be like casting actors in a play. 

After all aren’t we setting a stage, so to speak.

Today I am going to take you through one of the final processes in the coordination of fabrics for a room.

Once you have all of your swatches in hand it is time to start mixing and matching.

The first step is to decide on the STAR!!!

In playing with swatches for my Spring pillows for my family room I tried, and tried to make the addition of yellow the star.

I was considering this fabric by Schumacher…….

Schumacher yellow pillow

Since this was a standout pattern it was a natural for the role as the star.

So why did it not work?

As much as I tried different combinations of coordinates in supporting roles, this one particular fabric was just not strong enough to take on the role of, The Star!

When one star player does not work start looking in your stack of swatches for a new star……

Ribbet collage The contenders spring pillows family room

What makes a fabric a star?

Boldness of color
Scale of design
A Pattern standout.

At a glance I could see several possibilities, but for my particular design aesthetics the blue with white patterns felt like they could be the star.

So I began with my star possibilities…….

Ribbet collage Spring pillow Stars
(Samples are on their way!)

With one of these in mind, I began to play with lining up some supporting actors.

I knew that I wanted a blue, green, yellow and black and white combination so now I just needed to narrow it down.

I started with my next most important color to add to the room….

With the blue fabrics  scale, and design I knew it needed to be a very  easy on the eye, non-committal fabric, you know a pattern that could mix with just about anything.

For me, that would be a smallish sized geometric pattern.


The other thing I needed to keep in mind was the value of the yellow, not too light, and not too bright because that is what my room requires.

The next fabric choice  almost as important as the yellow was finding the right green. It needed to be fresh and crisp in order to elevate these two patterns to a Spring look.

I had three good options to work with….

Option #1
Ribbet collage spring leaf green
A larger scale pattern that both the blue, and yellow would work with. It is a good idea to vary patterns scale when mixing patterns. A general guideline is small, medium and larger scaled patterns will make a good mix.

Option #2

Ribbet collage Spring Green opt. 2
This is a very large scale pattern so this is also a possibility.

Option #3

Ribbet collage spring pillow opt. 3

This pattern is a bit more of an all over pattern in a med-large scale, but what is attracting me to this particular pattern more than the other two, so far, is it’s vibrancy and freshness.

You see, you need to take all things  into consideration when choosing fabrics for your room…….
What pleases your own personal eye.

The last but not least color option is the black and white. I have a black and white striped rug in my room so I only need a touch of black and white to add to the mix.

Again I have a few options, so lets see how they pan out.
Option #1

Ribbet collage Spring pillow Greek key in black
The Greek key pattern has always been a favorite of mine and I think it mixes nicely when used with a Chinoiserie pattern as in the blue fabric.

Option #2

Ribbet collage Spring pillow black trellis
The black and white trellis pattern is also very nice, but it might be shouting too loudly with the other fabrics, in this scenario. Of course all of these opinions are subjective based on my own taste.

Option #3

Ribbet collage Spring pillow Quadrille fabric
This is another trellis pattern but a bit larger scale and the white is more dominant in this pattern, which is a good thing since I am creating a brighter, more cheerful combination for a Spring look.

The next step is to mix, what you think might be your final choices with the other permanent elements in your room as far as patterns and colors.

My last collage………

Ribbet Edit Spring family room almost final
At this point in the decision making I am leaning more towards this combination. I will only make my final decision, once I have all samples in hand. It takes time and planning to get things right, but once it is done I know I will be happy with my final decision.

I have learned if something feels a bit off, or when in doubt, don’t. 

Remember doubt is always there for a reason.

 You might not see it right off the bat, but if you wait it out, it will reveal itself to you as you let some time pass before jumping in with both feet. 

This is actually a rule I try to apply to my life in general, not just design decisions.

I am in hopes that following along with me in this little exercise will possibly help you out in your next project where you have to mix patterns and/or elements in your room.