Wednesday, October 04, 2006

prints charming

After a decade of decorating in muted colors and textures (as my friend says, "Everyone's house is brown!"), the big trend in home design today is pattern, and tons of it! It's all about layering -- pattern piled upon pattern. And it was never more evident than a party last night to celebrate the release of designer Tricia Guild's new book Pattern, which is filled with photos of beautifully decorated rooms done up with classic and modern moshes of toiles, botanicals, Chinoiserie, Provencal, geometric, retro and more, and helpful design ideas for recreating the look in your home. Even the cover is flocked in black velvet! (How pattern-progressive of her!)

Tricia, a London style-setter and founder of Designers Guild, is known for her vivid textiles, papers and paints. And as she told me while we both waited patiently for another glass of Prosecco, "Many people find pattern frightening because it takes a certain amount of courage to trust your instincts. What will the visual outcome will be? Will it clash, will it look too busy?" So, where should a pattern-phobic person like me start? (I didn't mention that I am a proud owner of a very beige couch.) "I say don't be afraid to mix it up. Pick things that you simply like, and combine those several patterns by using one common thread as your guide, like perhaps linking everything by color. I call it eclectic layering and it almost always works."


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