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Follow The Leading Pattern

living room patterns | Jordan's Furniture Life&Style Blog | Pattern Pastiche


Pattern Pastiche || Discover the history behind favorites like stripes, chevron, Greek key & more

What’s in a pattern? Much more than meets the eye. From classics like stripes and paisleys to exotics like ikats and batiks, the history of many patterns dates back centuries. Many ancient cultures from Persia and Greece to Iran and Indonesia have influenced textile design, and their patterns have evolved and been adapted to the modern world. Whether they’re used on clothing, upholstered furniture, rugs or walls, patterns bring beauty, order, and intriguing symbolism into our homes, and can appear in subtle ways or in bold displays. It’s easy to incorporate pattern into any design scheme, just follow your instincts and go with something you love that will add visual pizzazz to your living space.

Add visual pizzazz to your living space with your favorite patterns.

bed patterns | Jordan's Furniture Life&Style blog | Pattern Pastiche

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Popular Motifs || In general, when you think of patterns, you imagine geometrics. Whether it’s stripes, polka-dots, gingham checks or chevron zig-zags, most patterns are based upon geometry. Stripes are one of the most widely used, especially for shirts, but also for the home. During the Middle Ages, officials ordered prisoners to be clothed in stripes. In more recent times, both vertical and horizontal stripes have been worn as signs of social rebellion, with narrower stripes used in brighter colors for preppy interpretations. In a room, contrasting stripes can help create a crisp nautical look or ticking stripes can be so fine they read as a solid color.

Chevron and herringbone are classic menswear fashion patterns frequently used for upholstery. Herringbone, named for its resemblance to the skeleton of a herring fish, has Celtic roots dating back to 600 BC, while chevron, resembling building rafters, was referenced as early as the 14th century. Intricate ikat and batik patterns are frequently used in bohemian-style interiors, often in vibrant hues on rugs and throw pillows. Ikats are appropriate symbols of our global age, and first developed centuries ago in places like Indonesia, Japan, and Pre-Columbian Peru. Batiks involve a complex, wax-resist dyeing technique, which originated in Indonesia.

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Scale & Color || In addition to specific patterns, you should consider the size of your pattern, as well as the colors. For example, a large-scale green and pink paisley on an upholstered chair will make a bold statement, whereas a small-scale grey and blue paisley will appear much tamer. You should also think about what other patterns and colors are in the room, and which pieces you want to be focal points, and which should be accents. Too much pattern can be overwhelming, but used judiciously, it delights the eye, and helps create a richly layered room.

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Mixing Patterns || Pattern mixing is a sophisticated way of decorating, which requires skill as well as healthy experimentation. Again, scale and color are important in determining which patterns work well together. For example, try a large-scale leafy green print mixed with a smaller-scale floral motif with at least some green in it, and it can look really fun and intriguing. Keeping patterns in the same color family simplifies pattern mixing. Small-scale animal prints often read as neutrals, and tend to look chic when mixed with more colorful prints and patterns. Also, on upholstery, draperies, and pillows, using a pattern with a contrasting border creates a professionally designed look. For example, frame a toile patterned pillow with a Greek key border for a couture finishing touch. Add braided chevron tassels to the corners and you have a look that’s fit for royalty.

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