Tuesday 10 May 2016

10 Handy Tips For Decorating With Patterns!

Are you scared of decorating with patterns? Do you feel confused when shopping for patterns and prints? Do you often wonder how good and put together layered patterns look on the pages of a magazine but not so good in your home?

When I'm shopping for patterns, it always worries me that I'll mix patterns that might be the wrong scale or colour or texture or just seems trendy for the moment but soon it will be out of fashion.
I mean there are so many options like English florals, French toile, bold and eclectic geometric shapes, Ikat, tie and dye, stripes, chevrons, trellis, animal prints, Greek key, abstracts, playful tribal patterns and more. It's mind boggling! There are traditional, modern, contemporary, eclectic, provincial patterns available and in a variety of textures like paint, wallpaper, wood, ceramics, paper, textiles, metal, concrete etc. And to make it more complicated these beautiful textured patterns come in a myriad of vibrant colours, monochromes, high contrasts, sweet soft pastels...the list is endless! No wonder it is daunting for pattern newbies!
But remember high risk high return! There are some patterns or rather there are ways to use patterns so that the overall design and decor looks fresh, gorgeous and on trend all the time!
I've come up with a few handy tips to introduce patterns (that works for me!). Deep breaths, here we go.

TIP 1: Pick a room and start with ONE thing that looks tired and in desperate need for an update. Use a colour that is on the borderline of your comfort zone. Pare back the pattern with a solid darker or softer shade in another element.
Here the gorgeous watercolour fabric bedhead is clearly the hero but the bold magenta has been pared back with the softer pastel pink duvet cover. The paper ball with colourful tassels picks up the colours from the pretty colourful dots on the duvet. The bedside table is a sunny peach (a softer version of the orange in the tassels) with natural wooden legs which adds interest and continues on the pastel journey. An interesting print with lots of colours on the side, but look closely all the colours are either from the bedhead or the duvet dots. The cushion peeping out matches the magenta in the bedhead. The patterns have been layered to perfection which makes the room come alive! (Just remember - baby steps!)
TIP 2: If you are terrified that you might make a huge mistake with colours, you can still go neutral with patterns and textures. Use shiplap or planks on the wall to give the room some textured pattern and create a gorgeous and trendy nautical yet neutral look. The black accessories of various scales and designs add interest and you guessed it...PATTERNS without fear!
TIP 3: Do you love Toile but think it's too busy to be used in a contemporary setting? Well, here's an interesting option. Why not use monochromatic modern toile wallpaper sparingly as a feature wall to give any room a serious facelift! Pare back with wooden furniture, some greenery maybe even some white matt ceramics for contrast to keep the look fresh and inviting!
TIP 4: Herringbone is always in fashion...coats, jackets, linen, floors or tiles! 
Match the patterned tile with a geometric patterned window covering or other accessories in a similar colour palette and geometric shapes and you can confidently pull off a magazine worthy look! The use of brass cabinet pulls, light fittings, accessories adds to the luxe look in this kitchen. And the simple white cabinets lets the patterned tiles and the window shade pop!
TIP 5: Patterns in upholstery
Chairs or couches upholstered in unusual vintage serape bold and bright patterned Mexican blankets make a definite style statement! In an all white room these dining chairs are definitely the standout feature! The use of lots of wood helps balance out the bright and bold colours.
P.S. Those light fixtures...want...need...swoon!!!!
TIP 6: Add interest to your room with a patterned wall to wall carpet or a large rug. A carpet is a great way to introduce texture, pattern and colour. You can keep it neutral underfoot or be brave and go for a bold colour palette! In case you are having trouble committing to a carpet, a large area rug is a great way to have the same effect and you can really step out of your comfort zone with a rug!
TIP 7: Shibori is the new Ikat! 
I love Indonesian or Indian Ikat textiles, but it's safe to say Shibori has stolen my heart! 
An accent chair, bed linen, cushions on the couch or curtains in indigo shibori fabric is a beautiful way of introducing a timeless patterned look to your decor. Here the shibori upholstered white chair brings out the colours in the painting and the abstract patterns play off so well with the chair. The patterned rug and the solid navy door help to anchor the overall look.
TIP 8: Printed curtains are a great way to add patterns. Here a vibrant and colourful curtain adds top notch visual interest to a room which might have been just been a sea of aqua. The pattern helps to break down the solid colour. And the aqua butterflies help link the wall and curtain and helps it work harmoniously in this room. The wooden floor helps to pare back the patterns and the colours.
TIP 9: Edit Edit Edit! It is complex to mix and layer patterns, prints, textures and colours. The key is to use patterns in moderation and edit. Just remember BABY STEPS!

TIP 10: And it is important to have fun and experiment!

If you have other tips, would love for you to share with us!

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