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It's All in the Mix: Layering Prints and Patterns

It's All in the Mix: Layering Prints and Patterns

Matouk loves prints; we like mixing different prints together,mixing them with other patterns and textures, and certainly love what they do to enliven and bring interest to classic solids. We offer consistent color palettes in many of our prints and solids, which makes bringing them together seamless and easy. By sticking to a specific color scheme, you can easily create a curated bed by then choosing your favorite pieces, be they floral, geometric, abstract or solid. Here, Lulu DK for Matouk’s best-selling floral print, “Charlotte,” is paired with “Delilah,” her signature geometric print featuring an all over pattern of diamonds. Now who wouldn't want to spend the night covered in diamonds and alliums? To bring in even more of the beautiful lavender colorway, “Liana,” with it’s gorgeous embroidery, and “Gemma,” the quintessential quilt, will play nicely with your diamonds and flowers.

Today we talk to four women, interior designer Tobi Fairley, Miggy Mason and Roisin Giese of home furnishings boutique Twelve Chairs, and designer blogger Emily Hart of Recently, to learn the secrets of incorporating a multitude of color and pattern in a single space. And be sure to click over to our Pinterest board “Patterns Aplenty” for more ideas on mixing prints in your decor.

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Little Rock-based designer and blogger Tobi Fairley counsels, “Don’t stunt your room designs by limiting yourself to one fabric pattern!” Thankfully, she also sent along these tips for combining them.

Create a Pattern Palette.
For a bold result, start with a large-scale floral or geometric print, and then build out your fabric scheme, using that fabric as your inspiration. If you’re going for a mix of color in the room, three to five key colors typically work best for a single space. Use your key fabric to set the palette—it’s a fool-proof strategy.

Vary Your Patterns and Textures.
I love the look of a single floral paired with multiple geometrics and solids in a mix of materials.

Keep an Eye on Scale.
Combining two or more fabrics in the same scale can be disastrous, because they will be competing for attention. Begin with your largest-scaled pattern and then layer down through medium and small-scale prints, all the way to solids.

Consider Wrapping Your Room.
If you are in love with a very detailed fabric, like a floral or toile pattern, you can use it as a “neutral” by applying it to most of the major surfaces in the room. In this way, the fabric is less distracting than if it is used in contrast to other fabrics.

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Photos by Sarah M. Young

Miggy Mason and Roisin Giese of Twelve Chairs, a design firm and home furnishings boutique in Boston, recently redecorated a floor-through living and dining room for a young family in Boston’s South End neighborhood. The duo expertly combined rigid graphics and curvy florals in unexpected colors.

On the floor, a Madeline Weinrib rug in a simple trellis pattern sets the stage in a pretty lavender. On the left, an old chair is reupholstered in a geometric teal fabric, “Bleecker” in Peacock by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher. Note the patterns go from large to small from the rug to the chair to the herringbone rug; then a fanciful floral of the pillow breaks up all the straight lines. For the cane-back settee on the right, which the clients had purchased from Ballard, they chose “Peony” in Poppy by Katie Ridder, which the wife sewed herself as part of a re-upholstery class she was taking.

As for how they put it all together, Mason says, “We don’t really have a formula; for this one we just tried different things. It was about injecting youthfulness and being welcoming.”

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Design blogger Emily Hart of Recently, is also a master of the mix. We spotted these two perfect, pretty vignettes, which happen to be in her own home.

About the vignette on the left, Hart says, “Oh, how I love this mix! This is one of my absolute favorite spots in my home, and I'm ever thankful that my husband doesn't hate pink!” Hart used the colors in the rug as a starting point, choosing pillows that pulled from its palette of deep blues and pinks. The print on the Suzani pillow brings in the large element, while the indigo dot pillow is the small element, in a color that echoes the dark blue also in the rug. The medium pink print pillow adds a geometric element that keeps the look from being too feminine (even though they're pink!). Finally, the natural woven baskets adds texture and an earthiness that keeps the whole thing grounded.

The main attraction on the right is the black ikat pillow she won in a giveaway from Furbish Studio. For more color, she draped the sofa cushion with a Kantha throw, which ties in with the pink in the ticking stripe pillows. Note that none of the prints compete with each other. The two dark prints are opposite in scale (large and small), but are pulled together by their simple color palette. The print on the blanket has a medium scale, so it works with all the pillows and provides a colorful backdrop for the black and white cushions. The paint splatter design’s punk vibe keeps things from being overly girly, and adds an unexpected element. Hart says, “Even after many months with this look, I haven't tired of it, which equals major adoration in my book!”