How to Mix and Match Fabrics

mix and match fabricA room that has been decorated with a combination of several fabric patterns and colors offers a casual and relaxed look.  However, it can be difficult to know just which patterns work together.  While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing fabrics there are some guidelines that may make it easier to achieve this look.

  • Choose a unifying color.  This may be a color found in all the fabrics you have chosen or it may be a strong neutral such as black, brown or green.  For example, a floral fabric that combines all the colors of the garden will work beautifully with a green and white stripe and a small multi-colored check.  Or you may choose a multi-colored stripe and a single color check.
  • Vary the scale.  A large stripe may be overwhelmed by a large floral pattern.  A good rule of thumb is to choose one large pattern, one medium pattern and one small scale pattern.
  • Balance.  Using your pattern more than once in the room is important.  You may choose a small check pattern for a side chair, a striped fabric for your window treatments and a floral for your accent pillows.  To properly “balance” your mix, add a floral valance over your striped window treatment, a ruffle on your accent pillows made from your small check pattern and cover a small footstool in the stripe.

Many fabric manufacturers provide collections that have already been coordinated for you, offering a mix of patterns in the same color family.  Or you can follow the easy guidelines above to create a space that meets your family’s needs and reflects your individual tastes.