We have had enormous fun over the past few months running interior design workshops at various Soho House hotels around the country. Not only because being in a room full of people getting excited about fabric, pattern and colour is what we love, but it has brought up the same questions time and again that have helped us focus our sessions on what you really want to know and need to understand. One of these is PATTERN – how to use it, how to combine it and how to understand it…

For this, we are highlighting designers we feel balance this really well, like Kit Kemp (images above). I did listen to a talk she did last year and one thing I remember her saying – she designs for people to live in these rooms for a few days, not forever. In other words, there is an overload of pattern in her work that looks beautiful but don’t feel you have to push this far in order to achieve the same results. Using patter in interiors is all about balance – start by picking out one pattern you like and where you would like to use it – on your largest piece of furniture, like a headboard or sofa, or on the curtains? Once you have this primary fabric decided, its easier to begin creating a scheme.

Your primary fabric has colours that can be complimented or contrasted with depending on how bold you wish to go. You should aim towards a few patterns in the room and break up the pattern, especially if its pattern on pattern like cushions on a sofa, with plains. This will add depth to the room and avoid it becoming too busy. Your eye needs to be able to rest and too much pattern, makes for an unsettled room. Picking out a colour from this pattern to paint on the walls will really hold the scheme together.

Fabric is not the only way to add pattern and colour into your room – rugs, lamps and art – it really is all in the detail. Your rug can be patterned or a plain woven rug which has a texture and pattern through the weave, providing a lovely backdrop to your room. Art we think it is what brings a room together – this doesn’t have to be expensive art and with so many great graphics and posters available online and through museum shops, it is easy to add without investing all your budget. Take a look here for tips on creating your own gallery wall.

Large scale pattern will often have many colours, especially florals, and you can choose your primary colour for the room from this. Accent colours on cushions, trims, lampshades and other accessories will bring this pattern to life. We have more on colour here and although we love colour in this office, using pattern and colour doesn’t mean going bright and bold, using neutrals, natural pattern and shades of colour can be just as effective, elegant and successful.

Happy decorating! Taline & Victoria

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