Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mix and Match Pattern Fun

Texture is often overlooked. Pattern is not so much overlooked, as feared! Many people are afraid to use pattern. They don't know how to mix and match patterns, so they avoid them all together.

This can often result in a very bland, and uninspiring room. This is a shame, because as a general rule it doesn't cost any more to buy a fabric with pattern than a solid color. With pattern you get a lot more impact for your money.

The frugal decorator is conservative with pattern only in the large pieces, such as overstuffed furniture. Pattern does become dated faster than solid colors. It is best to use it on items like pillows, throws, and even area rugs, which can be moved, and wear out sooner.

There are a few basic rules to follow when mixing and matching pattern. Keep these I mind, and you shouldn't have any trouble. Skilled decorators are able to violate these rules and get away with it, but for most of us we need to keep within these parameters.

All the patterns in the room should be easily distinguished from each other. None of them should be similar to the point they look alike. For instance, you do not want to use two large floral prints of similar color near each other.

Use a variety of prints, including floral prints, stripes, and geometric shapes.

Contrast the size of the design in the patterns. If you are using a LARGE floral, add a fabric with a SMALL stripe or geometric print.

Have a similar color in each piece of fabric. If one of the main colors in your room is sage green and you want to bring out this color, make sure this color is in each fabric piece that you add.

Be aware that your eye CANNOT retain color. This is why decorators ALWAYS work with swatches of color. Do what you can to have samples with you of patterns and colors in your room when you go to buy coordinating items.

Pattern makes a room more exciting, and gives it more character.via About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! Article first published at

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