This is a simple mix that can have a big impact. When using a strong pairing of opposite colours such as orange and blue, all you need for a backdrop is cream or white.
This is the next step beyond tip No. 1; the pattern on the cream-coloured pillows here is so subtle that it practically reads as a solid.
Keeping a simple palette allows you to have fun playing with the shape of the pillows (squares, rectangles, bolsters, etc). Primary colours plus a few punches of orange dominate this cushion mix. The designer also has played with different sizes and shapes in the ottoman mix.
Anyone who has visited a cottage in England knows that there are no two floral prints that clash with one another.
Tip: When a pair of floral prints appear to be clashing, simply add a third. If those look like they are clashing, add a fourth, and so on, until it all just works. This mix has a wide range of floral styles, colour palettes and scales, and the result is sophisticated and inviting.
In other words, use as many patterns as you like as long as the common denominator is the same colour palette. When you do this, be sure to vary the scale of the patterns as much as possible.
By sticking to these geometric tribal patterns, the designer has collected an interesting and harmonious group of pillows.
White-on-periwinkle toile meets David Hicks’ geometric La Fiorentina, underlined by a slash of gold? If you’d said this out loud, I would have thought you were crazy, but it’s so striking and appropriate here. The solid gold throw grounds the two patterns, and their large scales stand up to the very large scale of the script on the rug.
This is a masterful mix, and keep in mind that the ottoman and wallpaper are tossing in even more scales, colours and patterns. However, when you break it down to basics, it’s simply those three scales and shapes tied together by a lovely palette of opposite colours, orange and blue.
Now, I could deconstruct this and talk about using black and white and neutrals punched with pink, but seriously, who knew an eye chart, a pink Union Jack, one large flower, some sequins and contemporary botanical-ish prints would work? This is an example of just having fun and throwing everything into the mix with wild abandon. If the spirit grabs you, toss the formulas out the window and just have fun.
What’s in your mix of cushions? Share a photo or your tips in the Comments below.