Go on, live a little. Brighten up your home with glorious pattern. 

A few weeks ago, I was preparing for a photo shoot. It was to photograph a whole range of fabric patterns in varying colours, each one belonging to a different collection. I had a cushion mountain, a huge pile of gorgeously stitched, feathery plumpness in a rainbow of colours and pattern. It had crept out of the studio and found it’s way into our ‘grown up lounge’. (Our grown-up lounge/sanctuary is meant to be child free where we can hide from the children/toys/noise. The reality is they don’t really buy into this and it’s particularly popular for hide and seek and dancing. Sigh…)  Anyway, after the shoot, the cushions remained. Not so much in a pile now but arranged on the two sofas. They were never in the master plan for the room, and every cushion is a different pattern and colour but they belong. A happy accident. The colours are tonally right, they bring extra life and energy and so they are staying put. It got me thinking: Can you have too much pattern in your home?

The use of pattern in our homes is a journey that changes throughout our lives, much like our wardrobes. Maybe you like your decorating to be simple, capsule and plain or something to turn heads; just like the clothes you wear. The difference is your home décor isn’t something you can tuck in the back of the wardrobe very easily if it’s not quite right. 

Does pattern scare you a bit and you’re unsure whether to mix your geometrics with your florals? The truth of it is that working and decorating with patterns takes more time, needs more care, but the rewards and possibilities are endless. 

As we get more confident, experienced and adventurous pattern can really enhance our lives and our homes. You can play with colour, with stripes, florals, spots, real life, abstract, classic, crazy, it’s endless.  

Here’s some good advice for mixing patterns in one room. Using patterns isn’t about matching for matching sake. Colour, is the linking factor: the pattern is the mix of instruments that make the orchestra come alive. Colour is the conductor that makes the mix harmonious and pulls it together as one scheme. Pick a hue that works for you, say the perfect blue, and make that the thread that flows throughout your spots, florals and stripes.

So even if you’re pattern cautious (just a little on a cushion), crave uniformity (same pattern throughout) or a pattern flamboyant (mix it up and have it everywhere) it doesn’t matter. But play, enjoy it, mix it up, don’t just stick with the plain. A blank canvas is just too blank. Patterns create depth, texture, warmth, interest and bring life to a room. 

My passion for pattern and colour led me to set up my own fabric and wallpaper design business last year. I’d had a great ‘first career’ but I needed a fresh challenge doing something I really loved. And so, pattern isn’t just something I have on my cushions, it’s now my work, my business, my new and wonderful world.  

Abigail and Chris Willis set up Willis Bloom in 2018 with colour and pattern at the heart of they do. Glorious fabrics and wallpaper for real, beautiful and elegant homes. 

Find out more about Willis Bloom here.

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