SO ... we were teaching our Decorating 911 class last night and discussing the "how to's" of choosing fabrics for a room. Some of our class participants expressed fears about mixing patterns that I expect are fairly widespread ... everything from worrying that it will be too busy, to unsure how many and what criteria to use for selections. While everyone has different comfort levels with color and pattern, it is important that each room contains a variety of fabric textures and patterns to keep the space from being bland. Contrast in texture ... silky with a sheen, contrasted with matte, embroidered or embossed alongside velvety, can be enough to add interest even with a limited neutral palette. Patterns should vary in scale (size) as well as type mixing geometrics like plaids, checks, or stripes (stripes are especially friendly and play well with almost all others!) and more organic patterns like floral, paisley, leaf/vine or curvy, and plain textures such as linens, silks, velvets, and wovens. Don't forget that carpeting or area rugs and any wallcoverings need to factor into the pattern mix too! As an illustration of this idea, we are currently working on a bedroom project inspired by the winter palette of snowy white with taupes and grays.
The dust skirt and a pair of shams will be in this silky, embroidered stripe and the coverlet and a second pair of shams will be in a white on white textured paisley matelasse.
Euroshams and an accent pillow for the black painted wicker chaise will be in this taupe silk diamond texture.
The white linen with the silver, gray, and taupe embroidered leaf pattern shown below left, will grace the large front and two side windows, and the wing chair will be slipcovered in the taupe woven with the embroidered curved stripe shown below right.
So far, the textured taupe carpeting is in, the bronze headboard and mattress set have arrived, and the walls have been painted a warm taupe with white millwork that highlights the cathedral ceiling lines.
Furniture will include this black console table between the windows - this will serve the seating group as a side table, and these mirrored chests will flank the bed as glamorous nightstands.
The overall effect is calm, elegant, and sophisticated, but definitely not boring! A welcome update from the periwinkle, and jacobean floral scheme that it is replacing. We look forward to sharing the 'before' and 'after' photo's in the coming months when the finished space is ready!