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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mixing Patterns & Colors For Decorative PIllows


I have been in the land of pillows the last couple of weeks. First there was the PINK pillows....

I spent many hours sourcing and making just the right combinations.


The unthinkable happened. I received my sample swatches of the pinks and they were all wrong. Not clear, but a muddy almost make-up looking blush pink. It was just terrible in my room.


With all design projects we have to be flexible so I went back to the drawing board. 


This time it was all about yellow.

Luckily I already had two swatches that I knew were the perfect yellows so I ordered those pillows, and they are already on there way here!!

 Duralee Kilburn yellow found here

Schumacher's Chenonceau in buttercup found HERE!

Since my sofa is blue ticking I knew I wanted blue to go with these two yellow fabrics so out came my swatches....

Luckily I keep all my swatches past and present that I love, so I had a really good starting point.

I narrowed them down....

The darker check won over the brighter blue. I liked the contrast with the yellow better.

Next came time to make a collage and actually place the pillows on the furniture.

Here is where planning is so important!!

To my surprise I did not like the blue check with all the other fabrics I planned on using. 

I tried several different combinations, and it just was not going to work.

When you have to keep changing things over and over to make something work, chances are it is the problem child and  it needs to be eliminated. In this case the problem child turned out to be the navy check.


With that in mind I went to my pillow cover stash and got out these covers....

Thibaut's south sea fabric found here.

I immediately loved it with the yellow, however there was still something not quite right so I went back to my stash and pulled out some of the green swatches.


I made a collage and all of sudden I KNEW this was it!!...

Now my room felt like Spring to me!

When trying to combine your own fabrics for a project there are some good guidelines to follow, but never be afraid to do your own thing.

However I think it is important to know a few things before buying, or having pillows made for an upcoming design project.
  • How many pillows can a homeowner tolerate?
  • Do they like varied sizes and shapes?
  • Should there be a mix of coordinating fabrics?
  • How many different fabric choices will be pleasing to their eye?
  • Do they like symmetry or do they like a more casual look?
  • Should the pillows be tightly stuffed or more loose with a down filling?
  • How about embellishments, ruffles, welting, braid?

As you can see there is a lot to think about when designing the type of pillows, and the placement of pillows on a piece of furniture.
 It is obvious that I can take more than a few patterns in my rooms and I realize not all people can do this, so it is important to keep that in mind when trying to formulate your own pattern mix.
Before making your purchases or figuring out what size you want, decide which pillow will go on which pieces of furniture in the room. Will the pillow be behind another pillow so it will need to be a bit larger or will it be in front?
Here is a size guide for pillows before they are stuffed with an insert and after that I found on Classic Casual Home blog.....

Isn't is surprising how much smaller they get when a down insert is placed inside the pillow?

Mixing patterns can be very daunting for most home decorators so where do you begin. I will use some of the patterns I am using in my room, but will keep it simple by only using 3 patterns for you to understand the concept

1. Choose the main player for your room.
I say choose one star fabric, a fabric that will make a statement in your room. It can be a mix of several colors or just a fantastic looking large scaled  print.

2. Choose an accent color
Add one of the colors pulled from the larger scaled pattern in a solid or geometric pattern in a medium scale. You can also use one of your accent colors in this pillow. In my case it is blue.....

3. Use a smaller scaled pattern

 Add a geometric in a smaller scale pattern. Stripes, check, and dotted fabrics are a good choice for this category.

This 3 step formula is probably the easiest to follow and remember you can always throw in one solid into this mix.

In design it is good to use odd numbers so keep that in mind when placing your pillows on your furniture.

All of these suggestions are only guidelines, nothing is ever in cement in design, and if you are brave enough, and confident enough of your own design aesthetic please break the rules, and be true to yourself. 

If it makes you smile then you have done a good job.

Now if you are designing for a client you must ALWAYS keep your clients desires in mind at all times, and guide them with your expertise.

Have fun playing with different fabric selections, and remember a good plan will always save you costly mistakes later!!