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These articles are written by Our Designer's to assist you in your decorating projects. You can also use them on your website or blog as long as you include the writer bio and all links.

H. John Johnsen is a Designer and Writer for Home Design Sense.com and other web sites. You can find more information at the website or email at: [email protected]

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Mixing & Matching Fabrics

Mixing and matching fabrics designs, color and scale is an art which is easy to learn.
Furnishings with simple lines invite fabrics that are more complex in color or texture, whereas detailed, ornate shapes demand more subdued fabrics.
Most people use two fabrics when decorating a room -- a print and a solid. You can add interest and variety by using three fabrics in a room with a pleasing mix of color, pattern, scale and texture.

First, begin by choosing an anchor fabric. Be sure it is a pattern that you love, because it is the main pattern by which you will be choosing the other fabrics. For your anchor fabric, choose a pattern with a minimum of three colors. Choose two more fabrics, each having one or two of the anchor fabric colors in their pattern.

Vary the three fabrics in contrast. One fabric should be light, one medium and one dark.
Change the scale or size of the patterns by choosing one fabric with a large pattern, one medium and one small. Solids fall into the small-pattern category. Using all the same size patterns will cause each one to overpower the other.

Of course, fabric decisions will depend upon your room's 'design styles'. This means that a particular style will require a specific material pattern. You don't want to use large tropical florals with an Americana or Modern style. Do some on-line research if necessary to find a special fabric style and pattern that works with your style. You will find a lot of companies that supply design style fabrics and coordinating materials.

The ideal room would have both smooth- and rough-textured fabrics, so choose fabrics of varying texture. Look at wools (roughly textured), cottons (smooth) and silks (ultra smooth). Also, consider fabrics with sequins, beads or other embellishments to get a wider variety of textures and looks.

Also, keep-in-mind that fabric colors; like paint appear different in various lighting. So, be sure to bring home a sample and view it in your home lighting. Another think to consider is the rooms sunlight exposure. Bright color fabrics will appear even brighter when exposed to direct sunlight.

Today, fabric companies are offering coordinated fabric sets; which mean choosing matching fabrics is getting easier and the decision making is much quicker. So, shopping for fabrics is getting a little easier.

The print is the anchor fabric, and the green and beige fabrics reflect its colors. The print fabric is medium-toned, with a large-scale curvy pattern and rough in texture, with a dull sheen. The green fabric is darker than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a smooth texture and a bit of sheen. The beige fabric is lighter than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a rough texture and a dull sheen. Together these three fabrics give a room an interesting mix of color, pattern, scale, texture and sheen.

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