One of our favorite things to do at Alice Lane is to create our own patterns. From the entryway to the powder bath, we just love to create something unique out of nothing. Patterns help evoke different kinds of feeling whether that be emotion or nostalgia. We love to help people to feel these things in their home, and this post can help you to figure out what types of patterns you should use in your own home.
Pattern is a really great space expanding trick. If you are limited in space but you still want to achieve a formal look and feeling, using a small and mesmerizing pattern will confuse the eye and distract from the size of the space.
One principle to remember when pairing patterns is to make sure they don’t match in scale. In the 80’s, when wallpaper was in its prime, designers had the advantage of using a simple material to create different environments in a room. They would pair a floral wallpaper with something more structured, like a stripe or a check. That still works today, pairing something organic with something structured. Pairing patterns according to scale has always been very important.
Sometimes rules can be broken, and you do find beautiful places where there are two structured patterns paired with each other. The trick is to still try and break it up using scale. A larger scale pattern floor and pair nicely with a smaller structured pattern on the wall.
When determining what kind of pattern you would like in your home, or how elaborate you are willing to go, take a look at your closet. What kind of clothes are you wearing? If you are comfortable in flashy and exciting clothing, go big on your pattern in your home. If you are more toned down and wear neutrals, play it safe because you want your home to reflect the kind of person you are and where you feel the most comfortable.
Patterns really come alive when talking about fabric. There are so many intricate and interesting patterns in rugs and accent pieces. The possibilities really are endless, but that doesn’t mean we should go crazy with it. There are many places that don’t call for pattern in fabric such as bedding or upholstery, but rather leave it to the accent pillows and rugs to use those lively patterns.
One fabric in a home that perhaps as a rule should stay relatively tame would be drapery. Drapes should usually match the walls in feeling, light tones with light tones, and darks with darks. However, this rule can also be broken if you find a piece that you just absolutely love, or the home needs some balance when it comes to the richness of style. For example, in the image below on the left, there was a grand piano in the room across from this grand room. We decided that a dramatic way of balancing out the elegance would be to have these dark drapes hand painted with a white, non-repeating pattern. We are just obsessed with how they turned out!
Be sure to look out for our new episode of Dear Alice coming out this Thursday all about pattern!