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Decorating with pattern: a masterclass

Nothing delivers warmth and personality to a decorating or upholstery project like pattern

Decorating with pattern: a masterclass

Patterns inject fabrics with an opportunity to tell a story, play with colour and even alter the perceived shape of a room. Even a single metre of upholstery fabric can unlock entirely new possibilities for creating a unique and compelling space. Read on to discover how patterned fabric for home decor is the ideal design ingredient no aspiring decorator should be without.



Use pattern as a starting point for a scheme


Linwood | Velvet Wonderland | Double Dragon | Green


The pattern of a fabric can provide infinite inspiration for the rest of your room. Our extensive range offers suitable diverse and imaginative patterns for curtains, cushions and upholstery that can be used as the basis for a whole scheme. First, consider the mood you want to create and a select a colour that represents that for you (blues and greens calm, oranges and reds energise with drama, whites and creams feel airy and refined). Then see which fabric appeals. Once you have chosen your fabric, the colour palette used in that fabric can be the basis for the rest of your scheme. Trying to pull out highlight colours in accessories or use the background tone for paint or wallpaper.



Choose small prints for subtle interest


Linwood | Small Prints | Buttons | Pond


If your taste is minimal but you still want to add patterns, consider subtle patterns like this Buttons in Pond. This delicate pattern is ideal for upholstery fabric that adds a gentle ripple of details without overwhelming the rest of the project. As well as a using this fabric on a bedhead this material would also be suitable for a throw to coordinate the bedding creating a confident, pulled together look.



Pick contrasting colours for a maximalist look


Linwood | Small Prints


A relaxing scheme often uses fabrics from the same part of the colour wheel. If your preference is for a design that is more energising or playful contrasting colours work beautifully and have a naturally modern edge. Before committing our sample service can provide all our in-stock items that will help you identify the fabrics and patterns that play well together.



Start small

 Linwood | Velvet Cushion | Close Encounters | Grey Skies


Want the pattern look but without too much commitment? A cushion in a lovely printed velvet is an easy way to try out a new design direction. Turn the page on a plain design story with subtle pattern upgrades, and some indulgent, sensory trim. This muted brass colour adds some luxury to this look without jarring against this quiet, neutral palette.



Create a timeless look with stripes


Linwood | The English Garden | Hester | Pink Green


Stripes are the one design motif that never goes out of style. Whether country-core or minimal tone on tone they add a timeless feel that delivers old school elegance and a hint of fun. Combining them with other patterns can make both elements sing. Our Hester design in Pink Green gives upholstery an added punch using contrasting shades.



Don't be afraid to mix prints


Linwood | Small Prints


Mixing prints is the act of a truly confident designer. By working within a colour palette and simply varying the scale and type patterns, you can prevent the sensation of attempting to create a match but not quite achieving it. Stop the look becoming riotous by choosing a tight palette of only three or four tones and work within it. It will elevate the project, providing much needed structure.



Use pattern to bring an element of surprise


Linwood | Omega Prints | Japanese Garden | Blossom


Every design needs a little something to stop it being flat and predicable. This element of the unexpected can come from a vivid colour splash or unusual shape in a piece of furniture. Try using fabrics such as this Japanese Garden in Blossom to layer in some interest and lift a monochrome scheme.



Create calm with nature-inspired designs


Linwood | Small Prints | Maze | Ochre


There is a restful place between patterns and plains. Nature is the expert at producing rhythmic, calming patterns and forms that add interest subtly. Our Maze design in Ochre makes a soothing upholstery fabric and is also suitable for cushions and curtains. Take stock of the effect before adding in other tones or patterns that could break the quiet sensory experience. This is a look that is better under rather than overdone.



Make a statement with flamboyant florals


Linwood | Tango | Jungle Rumble | Leopard


Florals have a reputation for being either timid or refined. But a bold floral on a directional piece of furniture can feel give any room design direction a modern and decadent edge. The tropical shade of this Jungle Rumble in Leopard has added sumptuousness from the feel of rich, tactile velvet fabric. Pull out the bright tones of the pink petals by pairing with a bright accessory, like this silk lampshade or in a vase or candle.



Use pattern and colour simultaneously


Linwood | Wild Life | Wild | Midnight


Patterns or strong colour? It doesn’t have to be a choice. This Wild velvet fabric in Midnight plays host to a cacophony of wildlife with parrots and lions hiding amongst the strong tones. Use it richly draped curtains or to reinvigorate a simple sofa, as it adds instant vibrancy to jewel-coloured plains.



Incorporate patterned fabrics to start off


Linwood | Belleville | Miji | Tomato


Used in the right way, even bold patterns can seem restful. This linen Miji fabric in tomato delivers the overarching tonal theme to this room. This creates a very harmonious sensation. Even the green blanket here feels restful rather than popping too boldly against the coral theme despite being a contrasting colour, due to the greens and blues featuring in the primary pattern. It’s a great way to decorate with confidence when you’re looking for room scheme inspiration. A wonderful way to start practicing your pattern skills.


Looking for more ways to use patterns? Look at our guide to using it as a wallpaper