Working with Pattern

Working with Pattern

Working with pattern can be tricky, working with both colour and pattern even more so.

Pattern preferences are an incredibly personal thing, what one person loves another may find too busy and overwhelming. Despite this, eclectic interiors are hugely popular and on trend currently and are a way in which people can express their creativity and create a look that is unique and individual to them. It may take a bit of time to find the right fabric combinations but you will be rewarded with a room scheme that has both energy and interest.

Kit Kemp, a British Interior Designer, is the Queen of eclectic interiors and mixes some amazing and unusual combinations of both colour and pattern with fabulous results. She is incredibly brave with both her colour combinations and pattern choice and if you want to see her work up close book a stay in one of her Firmdale hotels in London or New York.

Whilst amazing to look at, many will find the full Kit Kemp style rather too extreme for their own interiors, so simply adding a few injections of pattern here and there will create a unique look that’s tailored to your individual style. Here are a few tips from us on how to begin working with pattern, but the most important thing to remember is to have fun and play around to see what creations you love the look of most!

1. Look at the combination of shape, colour and scale of the patterns. It’s advisable to use a variety of each:

· Shape: have a variety of both soft curved patterns as well as more angular designs.

· Colour: work with a tonal family of a colour scheme or theme.

· Scale: use a combination of large and small-scale patterns

2. Lots of different patterns can be overwhelming and busy.

If you are working on a more neutral scheme choose similar tones and add different textures with a mixture of large and small-scale designs. In contrast, if you are going for a bolder look, try and work with a specific colour scheme or theme. Choose the main fabric which has a variety of colours within it and then pull those colours out in different scale patterns.

3. Don’t try and mix too many patterns, instead look at blending just three or four (or even less to start with until you get more comfortable!).

4. Mix simple patterns with more complex ones.

5. Experiment with fabric samples and get a feel for what goes with what, if you are a bit unsure here are some combinations that work well together:

· Stripes work well with florals and ikat.

· Damask can be complemented by stripes and florals.

· Florals are very versatile and can be paired with stripes, check, ikat and damask fabrics.

· Paisley print works best with herringbone and stripes.

· Ikat is another easy print to combine with stripes, polka dot, florals, plaids and chevrons.

If you’re looking to take the first step into experimenting with pattern why not try re-upholstering an existing item of furniture to turn it into a statement piece? From this initial key element you can then shape the room around it and bring in complementary colour schemes and patterns.

If you would like any advice on how to bring more pattern into your life please send us an e-mail on or drop us a DM on Instagram (@idupholstery), where we will also be posting pattern inspo!