Fun With Fabrics

The right mix of fabrics can take a room from ordinary to extraordinary. sarahs-cottage-guestroom-west-image1

Sarah Richardson

When designing a room, I start by thinking about 3 things:

  1. the function of the room
  2. the feeling the room should convey – casual, elegant, sophisticated, relaxed, etc.
  3. the color scheme

Once these items are determined, I find my design inspiration through fabrics and let the room evolve from there.  I love to mix and match fabrics to create the perfect combination for the room.  Depending on the room, there can be anywhere from 3-4 fabrics, all the way up to 10-12 fabrics.

I recently helped my mom choose fabrics for their family room.

blue fabric combo

She knew she wanted to use shades of blue in the room to play off the blue and yellow color scheme she has in the adjoining kitchen.  We both fell in love with the beautiful floral embroidered fabric and used that as our starting point.  From there, we chose a polka dot, a stripe, and a French blue chenille.

blue fabric combo

We determined where to use each fabric based on their patterns and durability.

Chenille ~ settee & banding on window valances Stripe ~ window valances Floral ~ pillows Polka dot ~ side chair & pillows

The fabrics coordinate perfectly with their neutral couch and soft wall color.  By updating a few pieces in the room with beautiful fabrics, we were able to refresh the space and give them a room they love!

To put together a few more fabric combinations, I headed to the Designers Market (a wholesale showroom to the trade) for their wide selection of fabrics.

The first combination:

purple fabric combination

I always pick one fabric to be the starting point.  In this combination, the striped fabric caught my eye.  I (of course ;)! ) was drawn to the purple in the color palate, but the other colors, and the stripe pattern keep it from feeling too feminine.

After choosing the striped fabric, I wanted to find fabrics that would pull in the colors of the pattern.  The paisley fabric was the perfect, soft shade of yellow to coordinate with the stripes.  Next, I found the purple geometric pattern, and completing the combination is a solid purple glazed linen.

purple fabric combination

Now, you might be thinking: “These are pretty, but how would I use them?”

A perfect location for this combination would be a sunroom.

Stripes ~ pillows & banding on window treatments Yellow Paisley ~ window treatments Purple Geometric ~ 2 chairs Purple Glazed Linen ~ upholstered ottoman / coffee table

Add a neutral couch and a light aqua color on the walls, and voilà , a cheerful sunroom!

For the next combination, I wanted to create an elegant and neutral palate.

neutral fabric combo

I started with the taupe and cream damask print (bottom right).  The embroidery on this fabric was absolutely beautiful!  To complement the damask, I chose the cream and taupe scalloped design.  Next, I found a silk stripe to balance the two embroidered prints.  As an unexpected touch to round out the combination, I chose a shimmery cream fabric, with a subtle geometric texture.

neutral fabric combo

Although neutral, this combination of fabrics is anything but boring!  I envision this as an elegant and sophisticated dining room, yet one that is chic and timeless.

Damask ~ backs of host and hostess chairs, and framed as artwork Scallop ~ backs of side chairs Stripes ~ floor length window panels Geometric ~ fronts & seats of chairs, and a runner for a buffet

A neutral wall color and a lovely chandelier would complete this stylish dining room.

For the last combination, I wanted to choose fabrics that could be used in a child’s room.

Modern Colors colorful fabric combo

I first saw the striped fabric and liked the modern color palate.  The white and coral lattice work fabric brings in a bigger scale to the combination.  The lime green dotted ikat print is fun and playful.  Lastly, the blue and tan mini chevron pattern adds a touch of sophistication.

Modern Colors colorful fabric combo

This combination of fabrics could be used for a boy or a girl, and would grow with the child from infancy through the teenage years.

Stripes ~ bean bag chair & pillows Lattice ~ window treatments Ikat ~ upholstered headboard Chevron ~ seat for a desk chair & pillows

Painted furniture and a fun rug would make any child happy with this room!

When working with fabrics it is important to keep in mind the scale of the pattern, what the fabric is made of, and the texture of the fabric.  Creating a unique mix of fabrics will make your room beautiful and memorable.   Start with a pattern you love and grow your palate from there.

If you don’t know where to start, or get stuck in the process, call me to help you create a room that you will love!

(All fabrics are available to the trade from the Designers Market.)

º What is your favorite fabric combination from the 4 above? º Do you have a fabric in your home that you love & created a room around?

Cathy Green Interiors monogram