Get friendly with fabrics in your home

When it comes to fashion, patterns are mixed together all the time. Don’t be fearful of combining patterns in a room to make it come to life. The trick is to do it tastefully, without creating a decor disaster.

Here are some tips for combining patterns the right way:

Begin bold

Start with one strong pattern – strong could mean thick lines, a particularly busy pattern, or very saturated colours – and build upon it.

Balance of scale

The goal is for your patterns to complement one another, not work against one other. Try to have an even mix of busy and subtle.

Soften prints with solids

A fabric without pattern acts as a staple to all schemes. It’s sort of like the bread to a sandwich – it won’t look (or taste) good without it.

fabrics in your home

One colour, different shades

A more simplified way of mixing patterns is to keep it monochromatic. Select patterns of one colour but choose varied shades (for example, light blue with medium and dark blue).

Don’t over-coordinate

You want to avoid having your fabrics too “matchy-matchy.” If you’re using the same or a similar pattern in more than one area, limit it to two places and have them spread far enough apart.

My favourite patterns

Gingham: This printed or dyed fabric, which dates back to the 17th century, is known for its checked patterns of white and a single bold colour (you’ll often catch me wearing this pattern). The size of the checks can vary in size, and the checks can appear in horizontal rows and vertical columns, or sometimes diagonally.

Pinstripe: It’s a classic pattern consisting of very thin stripes running in parallel. It is most recognized in men’s suits and is very striking in home decor.

Chevron: This repetitive pattern is comprised of sharp ledges that look like the letter ‘V’ (sometimes called herringbone or zigzag).

Textile tips

1. Choose soft furnishings that will work in any room of your home, so that when you’re ready to change up your decor you can swap pillows, throws and drapery from room to room.

2. If you’re just starting to redecorate a room, a textile that you love is a great way to draw inspiration for the entire scheme. Pull the colours, lines, shapes and feel from the pattern on the fabric.

3. When selecting a fabric, keep its application in mind and consider these two important details:

Durability: Look at the rub count – if the textile you’re considering is for upholstery on a piece that will be used often, the higher the rub count, the better. If it’s for drapery, a lesser rub count is suitable. Also, fabric with a higher thread count means a tighter weave, which is key to having fabric maintain its shape over time.

Clean-ability: Fabrics made of natural fibres will absorb stains much quicker than man-made fabrics, but they will clean better. Fabrics made with man-made fibres are typically soil-resistant but don’t clean as well.


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