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Patented Patterns

Patented patterns…

Despite the trend for plain fabrics, painted rather than papered walls and simple designs, there is still a lot to be said for the clever use of pattern in home design.  A far cry from the chintzy, heavy fabrics favoured by our grandparents, modern designs often create a unique look which adds interest, depth and warmth to any room.  A single item offers a focal point, while more than one pattern adds texture.  Use of pattern also means you can create a colour scheme from deep colours which you may not want to use in a block.

Deciding to use and then choosing your selection of pattern can be an intimidating prospect, but you can make it easier on yourself.  Take inspiration from magazines, catalogues and homes you like, and perhaps try a mood board – a board with choices of colour and pattern affixed to give you an idea of good contrasts and harmonious mixes.  Take it easy to start with, and remember that pattern can be made to work with the room.  Used together, large scale designs will harmonise and unite the features of a room, whereas smaller ones will focus the eye in a particular area.

Layering patterns which compliment each other can work well, but try not to over do it with too many conflicting patterns in one room scheme.  By the same token, try not to coordinate every pattern to match or your room will end up looking like a room set from a catalogue.  Small patterns mix well with larger prints, or florals with stripes in a colour scheme in which they pick up hints of each other will work, as will simple, very bold patterns in an otherwise quite minimalist room.
If you do choose to layer your prints and patterns, then pick a plain back drop, with painted walls and simple flooring; or perhaps a completely plain sofa in contrast to heavily patterned cushions.  This will provide depth and contrast to the whole, as well as toning down anything which feel may be too bold.
Remember though, that as with any decorating or design project, although guidelines are useful in giving you a starting point, you should remember that not all conventions matter, What does is that you enjoy your room, and that it reflects your personality and the use you need it for.  So look out for inspiration, don’t be afraid to experiment and make your own rules with your patterns.  If you start simply and expand upon the ideas, you will eventually evolve something you love with excitement and interest as well as simplicity or function.
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