Words: Yeong Sassall, Vogue Living
If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with a bold print in your home, let this be all the encouragement you need.
Tip 1: Experiment.
“There are also now wonderfully glamorous printed velvets such as those in our most recent collection Palazzo: Pellestrina with chiaroscuro roses (pictured), Cosimo where a velvet damask on silver is overprinted with colour, or Russolo which is a modernist pattern that resembles a Kandinsky painting. Prints can feature prominently as upholstery fabrics – they’re not just for curtaining.”
Tip 2: Mix textures.
My preference is for a bold printed pattern to feature prominently and be supported by complementary (but not directly co-ordinating) plains or patterned fabrics of different qualities and textures. For example: velvets mixed with linens.
Tip 3: Avoid being too matchy-matchy.
“I’m not mad on all cotton prints together – it’s too old fashioned and cottage-y.”
Tip 4: Be wary of excessive print on print.
“To be honest, I’m not a great fan of print on print directly as I feel a scheme needs a calmer, plainer texture in between. I do practice what I preach: in my country home I have just installed patterned printed wallpaper and fabrics from Nina Campbell’s Les Reves Collection combined with O&L’s plain linen effect blackout Mezzanotte to provide the calmer element.”
Tip 5: Live with it.
“Pick a pattern that takes your fancy, no matter what the style. Order a large sample, or better still, invest in a metre or so (it can always be used for cushions later on!) and take it home and experiment with draping it or placing it in different places. It is bound to give you ideas, even if it’s not your final choice.”
Tip 6: Don’t be scared.
“Invest in a large cut of wallpaper or a single roll and take it home to play with. You should definitely not be afraid of using big or busy patterns in small spaces… they often look magnificent. In my tiny downstairs guest cloakroom I have Birdsong, another of Kristjana S Williams’ designs for O&L, it is quite a busy intricate pattern but guests who visit the facilities always comment favourably.”