Using Patterned Fabric

Style Guide Home editor, Jennifer Kopf, shares her tips and ideas for decorating your home by using patterned fabric.


[BLANK_AUDIO] Hi, I'm Jennifer Cuff, Home Editor at Southern Living. Botanical's and florals, ecots and Damas, stripes and polka-dots, the choices of tempting patterns are endless and with a little know how they can be the answer to your decorating dream. If the pattern you love is really bold and bright, you don't need much to make an impact. Look for ways to use the fabric in a single pop, such as on an ottoman. It often takes less than a yard of fabric for a throw pillow. Choose solid neutrals for your upholstery and then splurge and have fun mixing and matching a few patterned pillows. The use of a singular graphic print adds a dramatic visual touch. When decorating kids' rooms, choose a fabric that can adapt to different scenarios. That way you don't have to buy new curtains as the child grows. They can remain the constant element as furniture and bedding changes. [MUSIC] A novelty print is a great way to add a whimsical touch to a room and is a sure conversation starter. [MUSIC] Using more then one pattern is a breeze when you keep in mind a few guidelines. Keep everything in a similar color pallet. It helps to have one overall design, that incorporates all of the colors in the scheme. Then, choose additional solids and patterns that carry out that pallet. When you want to layer multiple patterns, it's best to think in threes. Start with the large scale over all design such as an over sided [UNKNOWN] or [UNKNOWN]. Then bring in something more geometric like a stripe, plaid, or check. lastly, bring in a small pattern. Perhaps, a dot, small scale floral, or even a textured solid. Sometimes matching is a whole lot better than mixing. When done effectively, using a pattern repeatedly can have stunning results. Using the same fabric in multiple applications gives a room a cohesive look. Rather than being distracting the fabrics work together. Many fabrics have a matching or coordinating wallpaper. Use them in the same room to create a layered look. [MUSIC] Or use them separately in a joining room to tie the spaces together. You can have too much of a good thing. Using this much pattern works best in a larger room a because it allows the design to breathe. Keep other fabric use to a minimum or mix with solids to balance the strong visual impact of your primary fabric. Pattern doesn't have to involve color, sometimes the best pattern is no pattern at all. Textures provide great visual interest. There are patterns and fabrics for every room and style, the possibilities are limitless. For a distinctively southern guide to design, pick up Southern Living Magazine. and visit
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