If you have been to any middle-eastern city, you will see how beautifully and aesthetically they mix and match patterns. The vibrant colours, intricate and basic patterns have so much to say. It is a mélange of geometric designs and detailed arabesques. The latest Disney movie, Aladdin, starring Will Smith, is something that comes to my mind in terms of lavish design which mixed patterns, bright colours and various shades of history. Inspired not only from the middle-east but also vintage designs from Europe and it is very tastefully done.
Patterns give a personality to anything. Patterned fabrics used for making cushion covers, rugs, sofas, footwear, tops, bags or patterns on jewellery, on the façade of buildings, breathes in a new vibe to the surface they are added on.
Have you tried mixing patterns at home, in your living room, or your bedroom or even your kitchen and bathrooms? Homemakers or even
interior designs often shy from mixing patterns in aesthetics as it is a bold move and requires a sense of courage and visualisation to implement it.
If you are a big fan of upholstered furniture and fabric accessories in your home, then you can experiment and go beyond just solids and neutrals and spread the vibrant charm of patterns and textures. However more than just visual appeal, it is a lot about strategy too to make it look cohesive and comfortable. Sometimes, if not rightly paired, it can look loud or haphazard.
Here is your mixing guide – five fabric pattern combinations that go well on upholstery. While these points only focus on fabrics, when combining patterns, give a thought to your walls and tiles and any other wooden furniture. Patterns look good by complimenting them with neutrals and solids.
- Plaids with Stripes
Plaids and stripes are basic patterns and come in a wide variety of colours and sizes. A busy plaid with pinstripes is a good combination. Be careful while choosing the colours of both. Remember one has to vibe well the other and not break the harmony.
- Bold geometric dobby designs with Prints
Weaving large dobby designs on fabrics makes it look extravagant and it makes an interesting pair with small and colourful prints. Ensure that you do not mix busy geometric designs with large prints as it will look too cluttered. Again here, the tones need to match well. A bold geometric woven rug with a solid sofa and printed throw cushions give a chic and urban vibe.
- Herringbone with Floral Prints
A neutral shade herringbone woven fabric with floral prints can make the setting very warm and homely. It is pleasing for the eyes and florals never go out of fashion. The floral prints can be inspired from history and architecture. Herringbone designs go well with plaids and stripes too. If you are not too sure of a herringbone, try out smaller surface accessories or pouffes or ottomans.
- Diamond Repeats with Bold Stripes
Stripes actually can be paired with anything and everything. It is one of the most versatile patterns. Make horizontal or vertical, it finds a space easily. Any dobby design in repeat diamonds can be a cool pair for bold stripes. Choose black, grey, dark repeats with a combination of black and neutral bold stripes. These can go well for bedroom upholstery too.
- Gingham with Complex Patterns
Very small gingham checks can seamlessly merge with complex patterns for some high level experimentation and abstract feel. The complex patterns may or may not be part of your fabric upholstery. It could be your accent wall or frames on the walls. Gingham will complement it well.
Hope this guide helps you choose your fabric upholstery with a lot more courage and less doubt. We are sure your interior designer or your creative side can add much more to this guide and help you choose best.
But don’t get too excited mixing and matching everything, particularly in a living room which hosts your guests, relatives, late night movies or conversations over tea/coffee and cookies with your near and dear ones. Patterns, whether on fabrics or on floor tiles or walls, need to be used in the right combination, colour, shape, and size. It is a daunting task but trust us, it is creatively quite rewarding.