design made simple

Design Made Simple

A few months ago I was asked to speak at a Holiday Open House by one of my favorite stores, Chrysalis Fabrics.  I really needed to step out of my comfort zone, so I agreed.  I was the only interior designer on the agenda and I spoke about how to bring color into your room using fabrics.  I was super nervous, but was told I did a great job.  I definitely prefer the one-on-one presentations best, but this was a fun experience I'll always remember.

I'm sure I was talking about something really important here...
This was my look for a family room where I discussed how to layer fabrics, rugs, trims, wallpaper and accessories to bring in color.
This was my master bedroom look.  I loved that embroidered fabric and had to use it for my inspiration piece.  Sorry for the bad photo, but because I did this look last, I didn't have time to create a vignette.  This was my practice shot from the day before.

Here is the "script" I followed for my talk and I also handed this out to the audience.  It's just some simple tips you can use to bring color and design into your space!

Tips for Mixing Fabrics and Patterns
TIP #1
Start with an inspiration piece!  For me, that's a fabric, but it can be a rug or a piece of art.  If it's a fabric, select one with a pattern using the colors you want to bring in the space.  You don't have to use this particular fabric on anything large, even just a pillow is enough of a statement.
TIP #2
Then, start looking at coordinating fabrics.  Don't think about where a particular fabric will go, just get as many choices as you can.  Stripes, textured solids, small scale patterns, etc.  I'd find six or seven options, as you can easily edit once you are home.

TIP #3
Finally, when thinking about what fabrics will go where consider two things; the scale of the fabric and how durable it is.  Woven fabrics, with texture, are great for upholstered pieces that get a lot of use.  Linens, silks and embroidered fabrics work best for window treatments and pillows.  Color AND texture are important when mixing fabrics.  You not only want the fabrics to look good, but feel good.


TIP #4
Trims are your friend!  You can put them on pillows or use them as bands for simple drapery panels.  These are the details that will give your room its personality.
TIP #5
Keep trends for the smaller, inexpensive items in your space like pillows and accent chairs.  Bigger items (like your sofa) should be upholstered in a neutral fabric so you will love it for years to come!
TIP #6
Follow your gut.  9 times out of 10, you will go with the first fabric you liked.  Don't wait thinking something better might be out there.  Once you make that first commitment, then all the others will fall into place much easier.

If you have any questions about this post, or anything else.  Please leave me a comment.  I love to know that someone is actually reading my blog and will do my best to respond quickly.

Now, go bring some good design into your space!