Fabric is an integral part of interior design. From window treatments to upholstery and more, coordinating various patterns and colors can pull together the look and feel of a room. When decorating with fabrics, there are so many choices, it can seem a little overwhelming. Following some of these simple interior design tips can not only make decorating with fabric fun, but they can also help you mix and match patterns and colors to create a room you’ll love.
Let’s Start with Color
When decorating with fabric, it’s best to first pick the colors you want to use. You should choose two colors that complement each other and then add a neutral color to the mix. You’re probably wondering how you determine which colors are complementary. Don’t worry, there are some decorating rules that will help you with that.
Color selection should start with the color wheel. Complementary colors are found directly opposite of each other on the color wheel and just naturally look good together. Examples of complementary colors are red and green, orange and blue, purple and yellow, red-orange and blue-green, yellow-orange and blue-green and finally red-purple and yellow-green. If the color combinations don’t initially excite you, remember there are numerous shades of each color.
Different shades of your chosen colors will create a different look. Adding the neutral you chose will also change the look of your color palette. Shades of white, beige, and gray are the most commonly used neutrals. However, black and even brown can be used as a neutral. Once you’ve decided on your colors, try them with different neutrals to see which complements your colors the best.
It’s Time to Pick Patterns
Now that you’ve decided on a color palette, it’s time to start shopping for fabric. This is where your style starts to shine and the fun really begins. You should pick at least three patterns in each of your two colors. Pick patterns you love without really worrying about how they will coordinate.
Once you’ve made your choices, begin pairing them together. It will quickly become evident which patterns will work together and which ones won’t. Don’t like any of them? There’s no rule that says you only get one try! Pick some more patterns or maybe try a solid. As long as you stay within your color palette when decorating with fabric, you will find patterns that coordinate well with each other.
What About Your Neutral?
The neutral color you choose is often the background color in one or more of your patterns or you may decide to add it in a solid. A good rule of thumb when decorating with fabric is for one of your fabrics to include both of your colors and your neutral. That fabric will help pull together all the other fabrics you use.
Scale and Intensity
Your mix of patterns will be more cohesive if the intensity of the colors is equal. Whether you prefer subdued shades or favor bold, vibrant hues, you can’t go wrong if they are all of equal intensity. You want to do just the opposite with the size of your patterns. You want to mix large and small scale patterns together and your patterns should vary. Don’t choose all stripes or all florals. Mixing patterns will create more visual interest.
Rules Were Meant to be Broken
Found a combination of colors and patterns you love but you’re breaking a few of the rules? Maybe your colors vary in intensity or your patterns are all a smaller scale. It happens – sometimes things work even when they don’t follow the rules. Use the rules as a guide or a jumping-off point. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Decorating with Fabric
This is one of the things the At Home Custom Interiors does best. My team and I love helping our clients find the perfect combination of colors and patterns to create a look that is uniquely theirs. We offer custom made window treatments, upholstery, and more using top quality designer fabrics. We find subtle ways to tie to all the design aspects of your room together. We can reupholster an existing sofa, chair, or ottoman in one of your coordinated fabrics. A couple of your pillows may be made out of the same fabric used for your window treatments. There are so many possibilities when decorating with fabrics. Ready to get started? Let’s talk!