Thursday, March 15, 2012

How to Mix Fabric Patterns

I am a textile freak thru and thru.  Growing up with a seamstress mom, there were always tons of fabric remnants laying around and I spent many an afternoon as a little girl fashioning new outfits for my dolls (and by "fashioning" I mean tying strips of unraveling fabric around their waists and calling them skirts.)  Fabric is always the first place I look to for inspiration in creating a room.  But if you are anything like me, the sheer number of pretty fabric options out there can get overwhelming very quickly!  Yet mixing different patterns together is really key to creating a beautiful space. 

So today I'm sharing my very down and dirty, quick formula for how to confidently mix fabric patterns to achieve that cohesive look.  There are certainly much more complicated (and professional) ways of doing this but this is a great starting point if you're feeling confused and stuck. 

Your goal is to nail down three patterns.  Start by selecting a large scale pattern.  "Large" is really subjective and doesn't matter so much as the next pattern you select is 1/2 the size.  It helps to keep the colors between pattern A and B somewhat related as well.  For your third selection, add in a solid color pulled from either A or B.  That's it!  If you can get this far, you can move on to more advanced combinations that involve stripes vs. geometrics vs. florals like Jenny from Little Green Notebook posted about here.

Here's the formula in action with some of my favorite patterns right now.  You'll notice what also works well is if you keep one of the patterns more organic looking and one more graphic but still adhering to the large pattern + 1/2 size pattern rule above. 





What do you think of this formula?  Simple enough right?  Do you have some favorite fabric combinations?  Do share!  My fabric stash is never big enough.