We herald the arrival of Friday this week, with a frenzied fusion of fabric!
Now, using fabric on your walls is nothing new or unusual. It’s been done since the dark ages and is actually, a trend coming back in to vogue at the moment. But, please, if you’re going to put fabric on your walls, make it a stylish statement, not a confused and jumbled overdose of pattern and colour – which is exactly what we have here.
The same patterned fabric has been used everywhere, from total coverage of the walls, to the upholstered headboard and bedspread on the day bed (at least that’s what I think it is, it’s hard to tell), for the drapes and cushion and, if you look to the top right corner of the image – even the ceiling!
It’s hard to tell where the walls and ceiling end and the drapes and bed begin. I would actually feel very anxious and agitated after even a small amount of time spent in here and would definitely end up with a headache. So, if you’ve ever wondered what a migraine looks like – then this is it!
The only bit of relief in this scheme is the blue lamp and matching cushion, although even they do little to break up the overload of pattern, and …… are they actualy two ‘half’ violins on the wall – what’s that all about? The dark framed painting and print next to them, only serve to add an even more muddled, oppressive and overbearing look to the scheme, as does the dark floor area.
The only saving graces are the slight glimpse of a natural light source from the window and the style and fullness of the drapes. They are generous, sumptuous and beautifully dressed in to a tie-back (in the same fabric – of course!) with a classic, tailored, pinch pleat heading (although this is unfortunately lost in the busy pattern), so I have to give credit to those at least. I actually don’t dislike the fabric. It looks like a good quality and intricately detailed brocade. I don’t even object to its colours; there’s just too much of it, which detracts from the fabrics tactile appeal.
So, how do you use fabric fashionably?
I love fabric, all fabrics, be it plain or patterned, textured or smooth, busy or delicate and I am a huge advocate of using it as a major part of an interior design scheme, but not like this.
Most obviously, we can use it for drapes and furnishings and this is usually the way that most of us would choose to showcase the fabric of our choice. But there are other ways:
Sometimes a simple Roman blind rather than curtains, will show off a bold, large or textured pattern better than curtains, as the pattern is seen ’flat’ and doesn’t disappear into the folds in the fabric.
A bed runner, rather than an entire bedspread is a great way of adding colour, texture, contrast or detail to a room, without fear of the pattern overload mistake.
If you want to use it to cover a wall, keep it to a single wall and not the wall that the drapes will sit against, if they are to be in the same, or a similar fabric.
Fabric panels are effective and easily changeable without a total room re-vamp or excessive expense. You can use fabric within plaster or wooden mouldings on the wall, or beneath a dado or chair rail. This is a sympathetic look for more period interiors.
Even more simple than this though and far more contemporary and versatile, is wall art. Simple wooden frames with the fabric of your choice stretched and stapled around them, very much like an artist’s canvas, are simple to make and extremely versatile. For example, if you like a particular bold, busy or colourful fabric, but are hesitant to use it in any volume for fear of making a mistake, then make an extra large canvas in it to create a focal point or main feature of the room. Less bold, but just as effective if you’re unsure about pattern, is using plain fabrics and producing a series of smaller canvases to be used in a group. Choose a few coordinating shades to mix and match. This works particularly well if you mix different textures of fabric too.
So, to summarise: Less is more, and more and more and more of the same is – a possible migraine! So be a little frugal, if you have a passion for pattern.