Coordinate or clash?
How to make a mixture of patterns work and what design drawbacks to avoid
Planning to use more than one striking pattern in a room can call for a delicate balance. So what’s the difference between clashing and coordinating designs?
These are designs that are in a similar style. A good example of this is ikat, which is a dyeing technique that is used to pattern fabrics. You can employ plenty of different colours and scales of ikat motifs in a room and as long as they are all in similar styles, they will usually work well with each other. Another excellent example of a coordinating pattern is the use of stripes. using a thick, bold design on a sofa then pairing this with smaller and thinner-scaled stripes for cushions, curtains and rugs in the same room will work. For a fail-safe way to coordinate, try sticking to the same or very similar colours between the pieces that have the same pattern.
Designs that clash are a little more tricky to get right and there’s no real set of rules, so sometimes you just have to go with what feels right and what you love. clashing
Fabric houses have coordinating designs in perfectly matching colours to take the guesswork out of matching patterns
patterns that tend to work successfully together usually have a connecting theme – such as a colour or a design element. if you choose one focal pattern, you can then accessorise with fabrics and wallpapers in different designs, but in similar colours to clash with the original focal feature. using common colours are an important factor in tieing the whole look together.
clashing patterns can also be along the same design theme, so if you want lots of florals, choose one bigger, bold design for curtains and the rest of the patterns could be different colours and scales but the flowers are all pink or red. The flowers serve as the common link that makes the patterns work well together.
How to use a moodboard
moodboards are a great way to see if your scheme is going to work before you invest in anything. Search for images of rooms you like and patterns you want to use, print them out, then stick them together on an A2 piece of card. Add all the elements you want to include.
Take a step back and look at how they work together. Do they clash well or look a bit over the top? Thorough planning at this stage helps you to clarify your design.