Courtney Lake and I met years ago via the internet over a trellis wall and we’ve been friends and cohorts in decorating ever since. We both live in the Bay Area, him to the east, me to the north, and we’ve met up over the years at various events.
Courtney and I both agree with the “not everything should match” philosophy of interior design, in fact, efforts should be made to not match, but instead to complement. Spaces should feel collected over time and the phrase “it doesn’t match” is a welcome one in our world. Please welcome back Courtney as he explains his rules for mixing pattern in interior design.
“I often hear this phrase uttered when working with clients “I would have never thought to put those two things together…” I like to think this is because I am a design savant that has impeccable style and taste. Truth is, it is because I adhere to some basic rules for mixing patterns and fabrics to create interesting combinations which Kate asked me to share with you so let’s dive right in with the first rule…
1) Build On Your Existing Canvas Unless you are starting a room from scratch, then look to your walls for inspiration when selecting fabric. If your walls are beige, then at last two of your fabrics should have an element of beige in them. Typically a room’s walls are the largest expanse of color (yes beige is a color) in a space and by tying in the room’s largest element to your fabrics, you instantly are creating a sense of harmony and balance in the space.
2) Pattern Is Everywhere. Take a moment and look around your surroundings. From wallpaper and wainscoting on the walls to the floorboards and carpets, pattern is everywhere so uses it to your advantage. Take cues from the room to help determine which patterns may work. Have a stained glass window in your living room? Why not use damask on a chair? If your you fireplace has mosaic tile, then you may want to avoid putting a busy pattern next to it. Your room will give you visual notes on how to decorate it, so pay attention.