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Decorating With Fabrics

Decorate like the Designers with colorful fabrics

Decorating with fabrics can turn a boring room into a work of art. Colorful fabrics brighten a room and give it character.

Do you wish you knew how to combine fabrics just like the professional designers do? Did your last attempt at decorating lend up looking like it was done by a color-blind, half-asleep orangutan?

Here are ten simple and effective secrets to combining fabric patterns that will make your room look great:

  1. Select one basic fabric that you really like and build the room around it! Whether it is floral, plaid, striped, or solid, make it the foundation fabric for the entire room.
  2. Unless the fabric patterns are subtle and muted, try to limit the number of patterns in one room to three or less. You want the effect to be one of balance instead of chaos.
  3. Vary the style of the fabric patterns. Instead of using three plaids, try a floral, a plaid, and stripe. Or you could add checks or a geometric pattern.
  4. Vary the scale of the pattern. If you have a large plaid fabric, select a small scale floral and a medium scale stripe.
  5. Donít cluster the fabrics in one area of the room. Spread
    them out to give visual balance to the room. And remember, the fabrics should compliment each other, not clash.
  6. Unite the patterns with a common color in the fabrics. If your main fabric is red, all of the patterns should be have the same shade of red as the prominent color.
  7. Use small scale fabric patterns in a smaller room. In larger rooms, where they're viewed from a distance, these tend to be read as a texture or solid.
  8. Medium scale patterns make the most versatile fabrics. They can retain their distinctive pattern at a distance, yet they donít overpower in a smaller space.
  9. Use care when selecting large scale patterns. They can overpower a small space, but add vibrancy to a larger room. The fabric patterns will appear bolder when used to cover large furniture, but appear fragmented on smaller pieces.
  10. Stripes can be used to add height or width to a piece of furniture or the entire room.
As they say, variety may be the spice of life, but it's also the key to successfully combining patterns in fabrics. Varying the patterns that you use from large scale and open to small scale and dense is essential to a harmonious design.

About the author: Pamela Cole Harris is an editor and writer with 35 years of experience. Visit her at www.homeandgardenmakeover.com.

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