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How to Match Fabrics with Furniture in Homes

“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.”

– Brian Reed

Creating a harmonious and visually appealing home involves careful consideration of the fabrics used in furniture upholstery and decor. Matching fabrics with furniture is a nuanced endeavour, requiring an understanding colour palettes, textures, and overall design cohesion. This guide will explore the essential principles to help you achieve a well-balanced and stylish interior.

From choosing complementary colours to balancing different textures, we will delve into the intricacies of fabric selection for sofas, chairs, curtains, and other furnishings. Whether you aim for a cohesive monochromatic look or a dynamic mix of patterns, mastering the interplay between fabrics and furniture will elevate your home’s aesthetic, creating a comfortable space that reflects your style. Join us on this textile and design exploration journey to transform your living spaces into inviting and visually stunning retreats.

Fabrics in Furniture

Matching fabrics with home furniture can be a fun and creative process that can help tie a room together and create a cohesive look. Here are some tips for matching fabrics with furnishings:

Consider the Colour Scheme

Look at the colour of your furniture and choose fabrics that complement or contrast with it. Remember that if there are a lot of patterns and colours within your space, incorporating some soft, muted materials will help not to overwhelm the space. On the other hand, if there is a lot of neutral furniture within the room, having a pop of colour, such as bright pillows on a neutral sofa, can help to add interest and dimension.

Enhance your furniture selection process by incorporating a furniture selection service. Their expertise can guide you in choosing fabrics that complement or contrast with your furniture, achieving a balanced and visually appealing space that suits your preferences and style.

Utilizing certain fabrics that complement or contrast with your furniture can be achieved by considering the following examples:

  • On the colour wheel, complementary colours are positioned opposite each other. When placed side by side, they create a striking, visually appealing contrast. Specific examples of complementary colour pairs include red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple.
  • To create a cohesive and balanced aesthetic, use a monochromatic colour scheme which utilizes varying shades, tints, and tones of a single hue. This approach can produce a subtle and less exciting effect while promoting a harmonious and unified appearance. Examples of monochromatic colour schemes include navy blue and light blue, lime green and sage green cabinets, scarlet and burgundy.
  • Using three or more adjacent colours on the colour wheel is the basis for analogous colour schemes. This approach can create a sense of unity and harmony while offering a more visually engaging and dynamic look than a monochromatic colour scheme. Similar colour schemes can be found in various settings, such as blue and green and orange and yellow.

The effect you desire will determine the colour scheme you choose. Bold and attention-grabbing looks can be achieved with complementary colours, while monochromatic and analogous colour schemes can create a more cohesive and harmonious appearance.

If you want to achieve a more conventional style, opting for fabrics that boast traditional colours can be an excellent way to do this. On the other hand, if you have a more contemporary taste, selecting textiles with vibrant hues may suit you.

Interior design with selective furnishings

Consider Fabrics with Similar Textures

Mixing and matching textures can create a visually appealing look, but ensuring that the textures complement each other rather than clash is crucial.

When selecting complementary textures, several factors must be considered:

  • Colour: Choose materials that have complementary or similar hues. For example, pair a beige linen armchair with white silk drapes or a light grey wool sofa with dark grey velvet throw pillows.
  • Texture: Choose materials with a similar texture to create a cohesive look. For example, if you have a leather sofa, you might choose a wool or tweed fabric for the accent pillows or throw blankets. Or if you have a velvet armchair, you could choose a silk or satin fabric for the curtains or drapes.
  • Scale: Choose textures with similar scales. For example, pair a small velvet armchair with little flowered draperies or a vast leather sofa with enormous throw pillows with patterns.
  • Shine: Choose materials with equivalent shine. For example, pair glossy velvet curtains with silk drapes or a matte leather sofa with flat linen throw pillows.
Mix & Match Patterns with Fabrics

Mix & Match Patterns

Mixing different patterns can be an effective way of bringing some character and visual appeal into a room. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to achieve a balanced and harmonious look. On one hand, too many patterns may give a clearer and more cohesive impression. On the other hand, incorporating too few patterns may yield a more varied and interesting space. To mix patterns successfully, consider the following tips:

  • Choose patterns that have different scales. This will help to create a sense of balance and variety. For example, you could pair a large floral design with a small geometric pattern.
  • Choose patterns that have complementary colours. This will help to create a cohesive look. For example, you could pair a blue-and-white pattern with a yellow-and-white pattern.
  • Use patterns sparingly. Try to cram only a few patterns into one room. A good rule of thumb is to stick to a maximum of three patterns.

Here are a few specific ideas for mixing patterns in a room:

  • Pair a patterned rug with a solid-coloured sofa. This is a simple and easy way to add a pop of patterned fabric to a room without overwhelming it.
  • Use patterned pillows to accent a neutral-coloured sofa. This is another great way to add patterned fabrics to a room without making it too busy.
  • Layer patterned curtains and blinds. This is a great way to add depth and dimension to a window.

Incorporating a colour scheme into your pattern mixing can be helpful. If you choose a fabric with a blue-coloured pattern, you could also choose a white-patterned piece of furniture with blue embellishments. This technique can create a cohesive look while utilizing different patterns.

Consider enlisting a personal shopper service to expertly guide your pattern-mixing journey, ensuring a harmonious colour scheme and a cohesive look that reflects your unique style.

Style of the Furniture

Consider the Style of the Furniture

If your furniture has a traditional style, you may want to choose more traditional fabrics such as paisley or damask. Paisley is a pattern with origins in Persia, featuring swirl floral motifs. Damask is a type of jacquard fabric intricately woven with designs such as fruits, flowers, and geometric shapes. Several other traditional fabrics are suitable for furniture upholstery:

  • Brocade is a luxurious and weighty textile with a raised design, frequently produced using silk or gold thread.
  • Chenille is a plush and velvety textile with a raised surface made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fibres.
  • Jacquard is a fabric type that is intricately woven with patterns, which can be utilized to produce various designs.
  • Tapestry is a bulky woven textile that depicts images or scenes.

Consider using fabrics with bold geometric patterns, abstract designs, or solid colours if your furniture is more modern or contemporary. These can add a pop of colour or create a bold statement. Examples of modern fabrics are:

  • Microfiber is a synthetic material that is highly durable, stain-resistant, and has a soft texture.
  • On the other hand, leather is a natural material known for its long-lasting quality, luxuriousness, and timeless style. 
  • Velvet is a luxurious fabric that is soft and has a velvety pile, and it is made from cotton, silk, or synthetic fibres. 
  • Linen is a natural fabric with a textured weave and a crisp feel. 
  • Wool, another natural fabric, is durable and warm and has a soft texture.

If your furniture has a mid-century modern style, consider using fabrics with bold geometric patterns or bright, retro colours such as orange or turquoise. Mid-century modern fabrics can help create a playful, vintage feel. Examples of mid-century modern fabrics are:

  • Atomic prints: These prints include geometric designs and vibrant hues.
  • Florals: Vibrantly coloured large-scale floral prints.
  • Stripes: Make use of contrasting or eye-catching hues.
  • Solids: Solid colours in vibrant or antique hues such as mustard yellow, turquoise, and orange.
Style of the Furniture

Use Fabric Swatches

Before making a final decision, it’s always a good idea to get fabric swatches and see how they look in the room’s lighting and furniture. This can help you make sure that everything works together harmoniously. Lay the fabric swatches next to your furniture and see how they look together. You can also drape the swatches over your furniture to better understand how they will look in the space.

In the intricate dance of matching fabrics with furniture, the role of lighting cannot be understated. The ambience of your room can significantly impact the way fabrics appear. It’s crucial to observe fabric swatches in various lighting settings, ranging from the warmth of natural daylight to the cool tones of artificial light and the subtle glow of incandescent light. Doing so gives you a comprehensive understanding of how your chosen fabric will interact with different lighting conditions, ensuring a consistent and pleasing aesthetic.

Moreover, consider comparing fabric swatches to your existing furniture and decor. This step helps guarantee that the fabric complements the lighting and harmonizes with the colours and textures of your current furnishings. Patience is critical during this decision-making process. Take the time to explore different options, allowing yourself to absorb the nuances of each fabric choice.

To elevate this experience, consider documenting your fabric selection journey in an interior design portfolio with Oraanj Interior Design. Capture the essence of each swatch in various lighting scenarios, demonstrating the versatility and adaptability of your chosen materials. An interior design portfolio is a creative outlet and a valuable resource for future design endeavors. In essence, it becomes a visual narrative of your discerning taste, thoughtful decisions, and the evolution of your style within interior design.

Author:- Anna May & Ashitha Shyamkumar Nair (Interior Designer)