Boldly combined color and prints up the “wow’ factor in any space – When it comes to upholstered furniture, neutral palettes have been dominating furniture store floors across the country for the past few years. Like a basic black dress that can be dressed up or down, a plainer palette spells classic good looks and makes for a good bet in just about any decor. Even so, some suggest that all the beige has been a symptom of a lagging economy: When money is tight, people tend to play it safe in terms of color and pattern.
With consumer confidence on the upswing, it’s no surprise that bold patterns and pops of color are trending up now too, both in apparel fashion and on the home front. Suddenly from top of bed, to sofas and tabletop, “the mix” is all the rage. Since we haven’t had a lot of practice pairing patterns lately, we turned to upholstery merchandiser Amy Huff for a few pointers on how to add energy to a room with multi-patterned statements.
According to Huff, the key for the pattern-averse is to take inspiration from the clothes closet. Think blouses and scarves, shirts and ties. Just as you wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a few great accessories, decorating with sofas and pillows, window treatments and rugs is all about creating layers and levels of interest. Unlike shirts and ties, however, people tend to shy away from mixing patterns in a room simply because they fear making a costly error. Can a toile, an animal print and a stripe really coexist peacefully? Can you pair a polka dot with a paisley?
“Absolutely!” says Huff. Take pillows for instance, either on top of a bed or a sofa. Typically, mixing patterns works best when you work with odd numbers, say three different patterns, and when there’s a color or mix of colors consistent between the fabrics. In other words, don’t try to mix pastels with primary colors, or whites with off-whites. Just about any pattern will play well with others if they are made from dyes in the same hue. Also, it helps if the scale of each pattern varies, so the end result won’t appear too “matchy-matchy.”
Still a little perplexed? No worries. Many companies, Lexington Home Brands among them, have made the pattern-mixing process a virtual cinch with offerings of companion fabrics that have already been specifically chosen to coordinate with each other for an eclectic and practically effortless look.
Here are a few great-looking examples to inspire you to mix it up!