Patterned furniture can add visual interest and character to a room. However, working with patterned pieces requires some special considerations. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to seamlessly incorporate patterned furniture into your home.
Choosing Patterned Furniture
When selecting patterned furniture, it’s important to consider the following:
Scale of the Pattern
- Opt for smaller scale patterns like florals and geometrics for compact spaces. Larger patterns can overwhelm a small room.
- Bold, oversized patterns work well in large, open spaces. Make sure there is enough blank space around the furniture to let the pattern breathe.
- For medium-sized spaces, mid-range patterns are ideal. Choose patterns with 4-6 inch motifs.
- Stick to 2-3 colors in the patterned piece to avoid a cluttered look. Monochromatic and tone-on-tone patterns are easier to work with.
- If using a multicolor pattern, pull one or two accent colors for other furnishings in the room. This ties everything together.
- Match the color scheme of the pattern with your room’s existing palette for a cohesive look.
- Upholstered furniture like sofas, headboards and ottomans are great canvases for bold pattern play.
- Limit patterns to one or two statement furniture pieces per room.
- For substantial pieces like sofas, opt for medium-scale patterns. Delicate patterns can diminish their visual weight.
Incorporating Patterned Furniture
When thoughtfully incorporated, patterned furniture can elevate a space. Here are some tips:
Anchor with Solid Foundations
Ground the room with solid, neutral furnishings like sofas, rugs and case goods before layering in patterned pieces. The solids offer a restful visual break.
Repeat Accent Colors
Pull out one or two colors from the patterned item and echo them throughout the room. Use throw pillows, drapery, artwork or accessories in accent colors.
Pair with Similar Color Palettes
If your patterned piece has a navy blue and white color scheme, bring in other furnishings like pillows, rugs and curtains in analogous blue and white hues to create a harmonious look.
Balance Colors and Textures
Mix up textures like wooden tables and cozy knit throws to provide contrast against vivid patterned upholstery.
Display Artwork Strategically
Hang artwork vertically above patterned furniture to direct the eye upward and make the space feel less busy. Avoid placing fine art too close to competing patterns.
Bright, natural light makes patterns pop. Dim lighting softens and mutes patterns. Use layered lighting effectively to achieve the desired ambiance.
Arrange Seating Mindfully
Face patterned seating away from boldly printed drapery or art. Positioning competing patterns across from each other can strain the eyes.
Living with Patterned Furniture
Patterned furniture is dramatic by nature. Here are some tips for happily coexisting with it:
Invest in Washable Fabrics
When picking patterned upholstery, opt for performance fabrics that can handle day-to-day wear and tear. Washable durable fabrics make maintenance easy.
Use Removable Covers
For expensive upholstery, get removable covers to protect the base fabric. Simply switch out covers periodically to refresh the look.
Vacuum patterned furniture weekly using attachments to get into crevices. Professionally clean upholstery every year to keep patterns looking crisp.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Fading is a top hazard for patterned fabric. Install blackout lining on nearby windows and avoid placing patterned furniture in direct sun.
Move around patterned accent chairs every few months to evenly distribute wear. Rotate heavily used cushions to prevent uneven fading.
Common Questions about Patterned Furniture
Working with patterned furniture comes with plenty of questions. Here are some common queries answered:
What size rug works best with patterned furniture?
Go for a solid, medium-scale rug that is big enough to fit at least the front legs of all furniture. The rug should visually anchor the seating arrangement.
Should wall decor match a patterned sofa?
Avoid matching the colors exactly. Echo one or two accent hues in the artwork instead for a cohesive look. Neutral artwork also works well.
Is it OK to mix patterns in the same room?
Yes, you can absolutely mix patterns if done thoughtfully. Limit yourself to 2-3 patterns in one space. Vary the scale and placement thoughtfully.
Should everything else be solid if using a patterned headboard?
Not necessarily. You can layer in more patterns via pillows and artwork as long as they share similar color palettes. Keep scales and placements varied.
How do I make a small room look bigger with patterned furniture?
Stick to smaller scale patterns. Visually balance out the patterned furniture by placing solid, lighter colored furnishings opposite. Mirrors also create the illusion of a larger space.
The key to working with patterned furniture is exercising restraint. Start by choosing one statement patterned piece per room. Then build up the surrounding space using solid neutral furnishings sparingly accented with colors pulled from the pattern. Place patterned furniture thoughtfully and augment with ample lighting. Don’t overcrowd the room and give your eye places to rest. With the right prep work, patterned furniture can take your room from boring to bold!