Choosing Patterns

Choosing Patterns

Choosing Patterns : Like color, pattern can serve many functions. Patterned wall coverings can be a focal point or a backdrop, or they can alter the apparent dimensions of a room. In addition, patterns are more effective than plain surfaces in disguising an odd-shaped room or covering uneven walls. Patterned fabrics can give a new lease of life to old upholstery, and patterned rugs and curtains can be stylish and sophisticated. When choosing, you need to consider how effectively a large area of pattern will complement or contrast with your existing color schemes.

Patterns influence the mood of a room, much like colors do, so start by considering the function of the room. Large, bold patterns like deep, rich colors are intense and active, and work best as focal points in large living areas. Small, subtle patterns like pale, neutral colors offer a less challenging backdrop.

You will also need to consider the basic color scheme with which the pattern will contrast or harmonize. If the pattern is fairly small, it will take on the appearance of a single tone when seen from a distance. You can then use the principles of color matching to decide if it works with the rest of the decor.

A common mistake is to choose a pattern that is either too dark or too fussy. Be sure to consider both the lighting and the size of the area you are decorating. If you are not certain what pattern to choose, opt for one with an off-white background and colors subtly contrasting or complementing the colors in the room.

A common mistake is to choose a pattern that is either too dark or too fussy. Be sure to consider both the lighting and the size of the area you are decorating. If you are not certain what pattern to choose, opt for one with an off-white background and colors subtly contrasting or complementing the colors in the room.

Balance is all important. Too little variety of color, tone, pattern, or texture can make the room seem life less. Too much, and it can look chaotic. If you already have a neutral color scheme, then you have the scope to balance it with a variety of rich patterns. But if you have heavily patterned, richly colored curtains, consider a plain wall covering in a muted tone of the predominant color in the pattern.

Right A limned range of colon predominantly blue and red prevent the pattern in this room from becoming overpowering. The stark plainness of the upper walls and ceiling is an effective balance.

Collecting Ideas:

To collect ideas for color and pattern combinations, keep a file of samples from magazines and swatches of color and pattern of your existing and proposed decor. Pay attention to any bold colored items that need to match, and take all the samples with you when shopping for fabrics and wallpaper.

Remember that the predominant colors in a pattern influence mood. Reds have a warm, welcoming quality blues are restful and calming browns and oranges are warm yellows are bright and reflective greens have a natural, cool, and spacious feel. Patterns in pale, neutral tones of these colors act like texture to add depth and interest rather than explicit mood.

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