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Decorating your home with Prints and Patterns

Robert Allen fabrics are Extra Mile in Aquamarine, Royal Beauty in Cobalt and Bidford Bay in Azalea
Robert Allen fabrics are Extra Mile in Aquamarine, Royal Beauty in Cobalt and Bidford Bay in Azalea
April Elizabeth, Salt Lake Interior Design Examiner

At the announcement of any new trend we designers always wonder how they will be received in our various demographic areas. Sometimes we see our community already embracing these trends or we see patterns of resistance…a few years ago we did an article on how what is old is now new again. We were trying to prepare the Utah market for what was to come.

Fabric Pattern Vintage Birds in Colbalt blue by Azure Elizabeth Design
April Elizabeth, Salt Lake Interior Design Examiner

The trend of placing elements or echoes of the past into the present hasn’t changed and it continues forward in full force triggered by many changes. Inspiration from popular TV series such as Downton Abby and Mad Men still influence us.

The appeal of looking back has rekindled our taste to the more traditional styles of the past. We also see a trend moving away from processed products, to those of handmade, handcrafted items or the re-purposing of old antiques that take us back to simpler times and giving us connections to our past heritages.

There is much in the media to influence us with curiosity boosted by shows such as Pawn Stars and American Pickers. Along with this interest in antiques and our history comes a taste for old artwork, prints and patterns.

A few years ago when we attended the Summer Vegas Market, one of the design trends from the forecast was that of bold pattern, including mixed patterns. Very Anthropologie.

This doesn’t just mean one pattern in a room as a focal point--which is already going out on a limb for some folks. It means boldly mixing various patterns to make extremely eclectic statements in one’s home.

We have watched as the predicted trends now shift this way quite heavily…starting with fashion which is typically the driver of trends, now booming into the home decorating market.

This driving patterned trend mainly promotes patterns that are a blast from the past…remakes of traditional prints from the 1800’s to everything in between up to the bold prints of the 1980’s.

The difference from these past eras is that most prints are over-sized and the color palettes are typically less delicate, edgier and bolder. The trend is a grasp of the more romantic traditional patterns of our ancestors that either honor simpler bygone eras or morph into dramatic contemporary show stopping extremes.

Lace has made a huge comeback especially in the world of fashion in ornate, textural and show stopping patterns and while it still holds on to its touch of romance it by no means is a dainty wallflower, but it is out on the dance floor and out in the spotlight.

If you are looking for stunning artistic ways to express your personality on the home there are now many options. Unlike past decades, style seems to run the gamut and it is more of a question of: which decade speaks to you?

The truth is that in our exposure to the local retail market we see that over 75% of consumers still want their home products plain and neutral. We meet people who have aversions to even the slightest textural difference in a fabric on their sofa, to a fabric on their drapery, let alone adding another color.

What can be somewhat elusive to many of these folks is the fact that it is these textures and even patterns that keep rooms looking inviting and interesting, instead of being stale and bland. We do understand the intimidation though. It takes skill to know how to use pattern and often requires the experts touch.

It can be quite the balancing act as well; just because you want a little color doesn’t mean you want it to be blazing! We want to relax when we come home, and depending on our lifestyles we don’t always want to be constantly stimulated by color and patterns.

As you all know, the web is a wealth of ideas. That being said, we think it is important to note that glossy, off-the-page ads are made to grab your attention. You would never even look at them if their content didn’t grab you as either out of your comfort zone or a precise reflection of you.

Also, just because you look doesn’t mean you have to buy. Looking at the colorful pages of an ad is akin to walking by a brightly colored candy store when you have no desire to go in and spend your money.

So what is our favorite way to add prints and patterns for our clients? Well the truth is it depends on the client. Most clients are drawn to a neutral base. Artwork, curtains and bedding can be changed out easily every few years.

If you like decorating seasonally, table settings for parties are a great temporary way to add pattern on pattern. Another fun way is adding wallpaper accent walls which aren’t as expensive as a whole room and can be changed easily as well. We have become so fond of this trend we have even started our own line of fabrics and wallpapers to fall in line with some of the color-ways our clients are demanding. There are so many options but what is most important is to find a style to reflect your fun loving happier side.

We have compiled some of the boldest print and pattern combinations typically presented in an artistic form and we have found online for you to view. Pinterest is always a great place to collect such ideas. We also put together some pattern combinations from a few samples of wallpaper and fabrics we had lying around. This demonstrates the way designers layer materials to evaluate at the relationships between them. when you are mixing bold patterns the unifier is typically color.

So don’t take it too seriously, click on our links to see and just have fun with it!

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