Tuesday 15 May 2012

Passionate about Patterns - Part 1

Whether you are looking at wallpapers, fabrics, wall tiles or flooring, there are an abundant amount of patterns to choose from.  But what do patterns say about you and which styles are best for each application? 

Let's start by looking at some of the more traditional patterns used in the past that are making a comeback in today's modern world.

Paisley - a twisted teardrop or a droplet-shaped vegetable motif of Persian and Indian origin (wikipedia).  The paisley pattern for me was always associated with my grandfathers' suit ties, but this funky little shape is working it's way into home decor once more.

Above -  the white and green paisley fabric on a pastel blue backdrop gives this headboard a fresh, clean and updated look. 

Damask is typically known as a more traditional and elegant pattern often used in wallpaper and for fabrics.  The motif design is generally raised against the background which is usually a different colour.  This isn't always the case, but as with any design it helps make the pattern pop more when the colour scheme is not a monochromatic one.

Because Damask is quite a busy pattern, it tends to work best on larger applications like bedding and drapery.  Wallpaper is also a great place to use damask patterns.  I always remember when I was younger one of my mom's friends had a raised velvety black damask pattern on top of a gold background. How I loved to touch that wallpaper!

Modernised Damask with pops of colour for today's trends.
Scroll Designs are great if you are looking to add some movement to a space.  This type of pattern is ideal for adding softness to cold and hard surfaces.  The picture below is a perfect example of this.


Geometric shapes are popular in today's contemporary design.  There are so many varieties and colours that there is no excuse for boring or uninspiring spaces anymore!  Here are some pictures of pattern styles seen in current home decor trends.


Black and White Moroccan styled pattern on a contemporary ottoman

Greek Key

My current favourite colour combination is featured here- Orange & Purple, very fun!
The area rug pictured above has a Greek Key pattern and the mirror on the wall behind the couch is Moroccan inspired.   I like how the decorator has repeated the same same purple and white hues for consistency but mixed up the pattern styles on the chairs and throw cushions.

Garden Gate

Classic contemporary setting - the side lamp repeats lines found in the 'Garden Gate' pattern.

When using patterned fabric for upholstering, be sure that the scale of the pattern is appropriate for the size of the furnishing.  A large scaled pattern will not work on a small stool for example. 

Also, if you are taking a piece to be re-upholsterered by a professional, they should know how best to place the patterned fabric on the piece of furniture so it complements it in the best possible way.  Discuss this with them first though to be sure.

Mixing patterns look fabulous when done right

There is such an array of patterns that I decided to have this be a Part 1 in my series of my 'Pattern Talk.'  Otherwise, this post would be never ending! 

Puzzled by all the possibilities of patterns?  Contact me and I will help you choose the best patterns in the best colours and for the best applications.  e-mail me:  claire@creatingcontrastdesigns.com

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