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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Selecting Coordinating Fabrics

"I would never have out those together like that. I love it!"

I have heard that countless times from my clients. They are speaking about fabrics. How does one put patterned fabric together? There are some simple guidelines to follow. I'll help illustrate by using pillows from Kuk-May distributed by Christian Mosso & Associates and Robert Allen fabrics. I selected Kuk-May as they hale from Chile, my mom's country and I just adore Robert Allen products.

1) First, is there a theme that one would like in the room? If so, it would be prudent to find a fabric or two that reflect that and/or one's color palette. Use this fabric as a starting point to select other fabrics for the space.

2) You can absolutely bring patterns together ~ that is what usually sparks the above statement. To bring together patterns, think first of the principles harmony, balance, scale and proportion. In harmony, there needs to be unity and variety. Unity in color palette, variety in scale of motif and in texture. Place both large and small scale patterns together ~ not all of the motifs large or small but varied. I also like placing plain textured fabrics with the patterned ones. Your eye will tell you the correct proportions.

3) The patterns also need to be varied. Recall I recommended a specific fabric be found that illustrates theme and/or color palette. The remaining fabrics will be in a supportive role to that one. Think of the elements shape and line. The shapes must vary and support each other ~ stripes against curves, floral against diamond.

4) If one is going for a particular period look, research what is authentic for that time. Sometimes the guidelines don't always apply and the particular patterns will be important.

Ultimately, you will know what you like when you put it together. You can have a field day at the remnants table in your local fabric store. Put fabrics or pillows together in the store before you take them home. If you can't decide, take everything home and try it there; it may be clearer (just make sure you can make returns before you cart half the store away!).

Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun!

Here are some additional posts where I coordinate fabrics and other furnishings. And then there was Outdoor Wonderland in Detail. I love fabric!

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