Mixing textiles? Don’t be afraid! Get my basic guidelines here:

Posted in: Fabric | 0

Hey! So spring has finally decided to show it’s beautiful face here on Canada’s East coast and I am thankful for it!

It’s that time again. Time to shake things up and brighten up our living spaces for the warmer months. Though fun, selecting and mixing fabrics can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. The following pointers are my personal guidelines for coordinating textiles they can be applied to selecting ready-made fabric items such as upholstered furniture, draperies, decorative pillows, and bedding.

So let’s get ready to have some fun with fabrics!

When you’re selecting textiles for a room sometimes you have a starting point for colour and style direction like a piece of artwork or an area rug for example. With that piece in mind gravitate toward fabrics with the same feel or colour scheme.

Sometimes you do not have a jumping off point. And that’s even more fun! Let the fabrics guide you. When you start to find yourself attracted to fabrics with similarities make note of what is drawing you toward them.

I typically start with a focal fabric selection. Usually this fabric has multiple colours or shades and has a pattern. It quite often ends up being the boldest of the mix… unless my search for coordinating fabric leads me to something wilder. ?

That leads me to my next note: I personally like to select fabrics so that I end up with personality in 3 degrees: show stopper, the complement, and the background. I find layering the boldness of textiles gives each selection its share of attention without creating a stimulation overload.

Now, once you have your starter fabric, consider what your favorite aspects of that selection are. What’s attracted you to that particular choice? Then start looking for its to-be fabric mates. Are they matches made in heaven or a bad romance?


1 – colour

Is there a colour or shade that is consistent in the focal fabric that connects with your consideration? Great now make sure you’re not clashing unintentionally and the visual weight is complimentary.

2 – pattern

Does the pattern in you potential fabric mate speak to the focal fabric? Here are some descriptive words that might get your juices flowing: open, airy, spacious, organic, classic, natural, and geometric. It’s fabulous to have a mix of patterns but we want them to complement each other not look like you rummaged around your grandma’s yard sale pile. So for a classic look consider damask, stripes, and a solid. For a casual look consider a botanical, a paisley, and a stripe or solid.

3 – texture

The texture of the fabrics do not need to be the same. In fact it’s a fabulous opportunity to inject visual interest, especially if you decided to forgo pattern. However, they should make sense with your overall design scheme. SO a casual space would be well suited with canvases, linens, knits for example. Whereas, a modern space might sit well with linens, silks, leathers.

4 – weight

In terms of fabric I’m talking visual and physical weight. Does a particular fabric appear to be heavier than your starter fabric because of the use of darker colour or a high pile texture? Sometimes to use a fabric that’s physically heavy with lighter selections you just need to find it in a lighter colour or vise versa.

Here’s a spring inspired mix of Robert Allen fabrics as an example of textile coordination.

rotary way – coral

wild oasis – coral reef

fiero stripe – spring grass


Now get out there and mix it up a bit!

I’d love if you posted your textile combos with me on Facebook!

Still wading in a sea of fabrics wondering where you made a wrong turn? Call me anytime for assistance. I love projects and I am always happy to help.