Hi Steven & Chris, I spent 4 hours in the fabric store the other day trying to pick new fabrics for my living room. I like the idea of pattern, but can't seem to mix and match different ones. I am willing to pay to have some of my antique pieces re-upholstered, but can't quite get the fabrics right. Any ideas?
Mixing and matching patterns doesn't really have any hard and fast rules. You really do need to go with your gut and know that if the pattern doesn't look good together in the fabric store, then it won't look good in your home.
Looking for inspiration is key. Even designers agonize over fabric choices, so don't feel badly...it can be a very tough thing to do. Keeping to a monochromatic scheme is the easiest way to go. As long as your hues are the same, you should be alright, but when you get into multiple colours and patterns then it gets tough -here are some simple guidelines to help.
Some fabric companies even have sample books that have coordinating swatches already grouped together. This is essentially what we are going to do on our own.
A Quick Tip! Here is a simple rule that seems to work every time. You can pull this together in any order that you see fit (solid or pattern first), but for us this is a foolproof way to use pattern easily.
Loud Pattern - For us, a loud pattern is the boldest pattern with which you are comfortable. This pattern generally makes for the best jumping-off point.
Quiet Pattern - This pattern is more subdued than the 'loud' pattern. The colour, texture, and feeling should work with your other pieces. If it doesn't look good in sample form, then it most likely won't look good in your space
Solid - Find a solid that ties everything together.
There is no real science here, but if you follow these three steps, you should be well on your way. Keeping this rule in mind, look how these spaces exemplify it.