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Design Talk

Page 3

This picture to the right is a perfect example of how several fabric patterns can be coordinated into one room. In fact, there are a total of four fabric prints. Additional pattern is added through the use of the needlework pillows. It's not as hard as it looks to accomplish, in fact - let's examine this room and discuss the elements that make it the cozy abode of comfort and warmth that it exudes.

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"Mixing Patterns with Style"

(Picture from magazine.)

The owners of this beautiful lakeside cottage used an interesting color pallette in their home. They combined a dark, warm deep green with a softer, cooler pastel. Ordinary, this palette would look weighted by the green, and the softer color would have simply floated amid the room without nothing to anchor it down. But, by using a busy, floral fabric that tied these two colors together - the homeowner was able to create an interesting balance of both color and scale.

Also, note how the four patterns are intermixed within the room. Great care has been given to the detail of scale. Balance plays a key role, as well. As stated, the darker floral, or the "curvy" pattern, plays the dominant role in the room because this is the pattern used most adundantly. If this homeowner had tried to introduce yet another "curvy" pattern into the room, the eye would have been overwhelmed and chances are, all interest in the room would have been lost. But, the addition of the "straight" pattern is what allows this room to prevail. A total of three "straight" patterns are used to compliment the floral: a large pink and white gingham; a pink and white stripe, and a pink, madras plaid. But, notice how each of these three "straight" patterns have one thing in common: the scale of each of these are relatively close, and neither of them are larger than the dominating floral. In other words, they do not compete, the straight patterns compliment.

Note again how one of the "straight" patterns, the pink and white stripe, is used as a complimentary piping around the floral furniture. This subtle design feature enhances the pairing of the fabrics even further.

Additional Design Details:
1) To prevent the spectacular view from being obstructed, basic panels of large pick and white gingham are hung on crisp-painted white rods. The rods themself make a design statement. Tiebacks are placed high to draw the eye up and out. More elaborate window treatments would have infringed on the view beyond.

2) Crisp, white woodwork and bookcases add a simplistic, yet clean charm that epitomizes the Cottage Style.

3) Additional woodwork, such as the end table and plant shelf on the wall are either light in tone or painted the same color as the wall. Darker wood tones would impose on the light and airy feel of the room. This allows the white woodwork and trim to be a source of architectural interest.

4) Pretty, needlework pillows, again reflecting the Cottage Style, echo the colors of the floral fabric. Their handmade charm makes a simple statement that love and care went into the design of the room.

The picture above is proof positive of that.

To read more about "Coordinating Fabrics" and understanding how "straight" and "curvy" patterns work together, click here.

To read more about Cottage Style Decorating, click here.