Decorating Tips

Using prints and patterns: the more, the merrier!

Well, almost! In years past, using more than one print in a room was considered taboo:but not anymore! In today's free wheeling world of decorating, mixing prints and patterns is more the rule than the exception. In many traditional rooms, a single print is still used lavishly, for upholstery, drapery and even as a wall cover. But today's fashion conscious homeowners want to mix and scramble both patterns and colors with a truly uninhibited hand.

If this approach is a new one for you, start with a very simple pattern:perhaps in a single color, with a white or ecru background. It's easy to add additional patterns by keeping to the same color scheme. Try combining a large scale floral print with a plaid, stripe or check! An instantaneous decorator look will appear. Or how about adding a paisley pattern, which are perennially popular, with a simple geometric pattern.

The thing to remember is that there must be some relationship in color, pattern or theme between your desired prints. Naturally the color relationship is the easiest to establish! A general rule of thumb is to follow the 60-30-10 rule. Your main pattern will be used the most (60); your secondary pattern half as much (30); and your third (10), or splash pattern is used sparingly.

We suggest that if you find a print you absolutely love, you should consider using it on the flattest surface possible. Perhaps as a bedspread, or sofa upholstery. If this print if gather in a window treatment, you'll tend to diffuse the design that attracted you in the first place! By all means, have fun when you play with prints and patterns. Look in magazines:read books:collect swatches. Your new room will be much easier to design than you think!