Décor Inspiration: Layering Pattern on Pattern

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Pink sofa inverse pattern

Although Coco Chanel famously advised chic women to edit, sometimes – in fashion as in interiors – more is simply better. So when you have a glorious pattern like a Toile de Jouy, damask or a pretty Chinoiserie in a delectable shade that you love, why not use it on walls and in furnishings alike?

Take your cue from these elegant and well executed examples of how to make it work. It’s generally best to stick to a pattern with just two or three colours so the effect doesn’t end up feeling too busy. You can also use the inverse of a pattern on the furnishings to vary the effect.

Keep the rest of the scheme simple and light to give the pattern ‘room to breathe’. As you will see, the fabric can be used to dress windows and beds, to upholster furniture or in cushions and bed linen.

Although using the same pattern on walls and in furnishings is quite a traditional look often seen in grand country houses, you can also see it used with great panache by modern style setters like Aerin Lauder and Carolina Herrera Báez in their very stylish homes.

Just the gentlest word of caution: Because you love a particular pattern doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. But then just because you love it means that it just might . . .


Harlequin pink Toile via French Elle Deco


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