Adding Pattern to a Space

You may remember my plan for our outdoor entertaining space. I had two options and neither included a lot of pattern, but after picking a scheme (Modern Rattan) and starting to put pieces together I felt like it needed prints to liven thing up.  In the Modern Rattan option I had originally planned to have a rug with a lot of pattern, but when the one I wanted sold out I changed to this more subdued one. That decision opened up the possibility of adding pattern in other ways.

I started to imagine the space feeling like an exotic getaway with candles and warm hues. I've always gravitated toward Block Print fabric so when I found amazing prints on this Etsy shop I knew a few of the blue and white ones would work perfectly with our blue sofa. I then added the orange/red pattern to lighten things up and add contrast. I used these and these inexpensive inserts.

I'll have the full tour of our outdoor entertaining space next week, but for now here are a few guidelines I use for making pattern work in a space...also a sneak peak at how things are looking so far!

My guidelines: 

-Consider the primary piece of furniture, it's scale and color and respect that. Building on the navy blue of the sofa was a great way to maintain it as the primary element of the space.

-Find the secondary element of the design and, in smaller quantities include that as well. The orange is the secondary element so playing off that, but in smaller doses is a good way to tie the pattern into the overall scheme.

-Pick patterns that work together (for example: they are the same color) but have their own distinct characteristics. This creates balance without being boring.

-Picking a theme for the pattern and sticking to it. In this case the exotic block print theme remains consistent with lots of room within that theme to play.

-Have fun and go slowly. You can always add more pattern latter.

I focused on blue as primary and selected two different, but related patterns. I then picked a third fabric that has both blue, orange and a few other colors, but a white background. This helps it become secondary to the saturated blue ones.

I then considered size of the pillows. I made the dark blues into 2 small pillows and one large one and the multicolored fabric into two larger pillows. This creates balance without being symmetrical.