Comments (41)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would recommend Betty Edwards book "Color". It is written for painters but would apply I would think to decorating as well. She basically encoded in a simple system how great colorists throughout the history of painting used color. I'm not normally in favor of systems, but I had to admit that it works and that when I beat my way to a color combination that works for me, I basically arrive at what she describes. The book at the very least helps me to get there quicker, and to get there more consistently.
The great modern landscape painter and colorist Wolf Kahn, wrote as I recall (I'm thinking it was in his book on pastels), that he wishes he could find out how he does color but he can't intellectually come up with a system. I went through the images in a bunch of his books and I found that he is pretty much, from what I can tell, doing what Betty Edwards describes.
I'm sure with fabric this would be tougher to pull off....One of her three parts to the system involves coming up with a bit of complimentary color to the main color which is of the same value and same intensity as that main color.
Regardless I think what she describes in her book is good knowledge to have to use at ones own discretion, either to get it totally right or maybe when working with fabrics, to get as close as possible.
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Charlotte Tompkins
Extremely informative and helpful for a first-time homeowner. It's been so fun to personalize our home and I love how you walked the reader through each phase of the process. Excellent article!!
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
My simple method for mixing patterns: if the colors match, the fabrics can be used in the same space.
In the photo below, I have an oriental rug with berry, blue, cream, and green colors which are repeated in the fabric-covered ottoman's traditional print. The blue-and-white ikat pillow on the chair repeats the (blue) color in the other fabrics, as does the soft green throw.
When I am looking for new fabrics, I take along swatches of the fabrics I want to them coordinate with.
1 Like    

Related Stories

Accessories Here's How to Master the Throw-Pillow Mix
9 design formulas for piling on the pillows with panache
Full Story
SH Area Rugs Last Week’s Bestselling Rugs
By Houzz
Stylish rugs with patterns and textures for any space and palette
See Products
Decorating Styles How to Bring Balance to an Eclectic Look
Can you pull off design harmony with pieces of different eras and styles? You can with these tips
Full Story
Pattern Pattern Play: Mix Prints for a Traditional-Modern Look
See how to layer florals, stripes and geometrics for a contemporary bedroom or living room
Full Story
Decorating 101 How to Get Your Accent Pillows Right
Weekend Project: Pull your living room together with the perfect combination of decorative pillows
Full Story
Accessories The Secret Formula for Perfect Pillow Arrangements
For a polished look on sofas and beds every time, keep this simple ratio for pillow arranging in mind
Full Story
Accessories Mix Pillow Patterns Like a Pro: 17 Foolproof Themes
Toss together one of these helpful pattern mixes for a sofa, chair or bed bursting with liveliness
Full Story
SH Sale Up to 60% Off Presidents Day Bestsellers: Sofas and Sectionals
By Houzz
Enjoy deep discounts on our most popular seating styles
See Products
Pattern Pattern Primer: How to Pair Different Prints
From demure florals to fearless camouflage, learn to mix patterns without making a mishmash
Full Story