Does your home’s interior need a facelift? Try mixing and matching fabrics

With a love of paisley and an affinity for mixing florals and stripes, Sarah Richardson has plenty of passion for prints that often accent rooms she helps refurbish.

The designer has brought her own distinct imprint to a new collection of about 70 fabrics for Kravet, which manufactures fabrics sold to the trade. It’s a project two years in the making she describes as a “huge dream come true.”

“What I love about fabric is it covers all the surfaces,” says Richardson, host of the new HGTV Canada series Real Potential. “It’s what you sit on. It’s what you touch and it’s what you interact with every day.

“Anyone who knows my work knows I love patterns and prints and combining a collection of different fabrics together.”

For those looking to refresh their decor heading into fall, Richardson shares tips for selecting the right hues and ways to pair fabrics and colours within a designated space.

1. Determine your design esthetic

When it comes to decorating a space, Richardson says people often ask what the best way is to create a “jumping off point” for a room.

For those ready to make the leap, she recommends finding a fabric that appeals to their individual style sensibility. This not only helps to narrow the focus on choosing the right hue, but can also help to drive the decor direction in the rest of the space, such as those who may be looking to drench walls or coverings in a fresh colour.

“I always think that you should zone in and see if you like the colours,” Richardson says.

She says she always strives to balance contemporary and traditional elements within each room she designs, a mantra she applies in selecting fabrics featuring contrasting styles within a shared space.

2. Opt for a neutral foundation

Selecting a combination of neutrals as a base for large-scale furnishings is safe and timeless.

“You know you can live with it. It’s not like doing a hot pink sofa that you know you may not love next year.”

She says there has been a shift away from beige, oatmeal and flax-toned hues as the prime neutrals.

Heading into fall, expect to see grey emerge as the big colour and neutral alternative, she adds. Richardson recommends pairing the smoky shade with soft yellow for a “fresher take” on neutrals, mixing cool and warm colours within the room.

“I tend to look to the natural landscape for all of my inspiration for palettes and for combinations.”

3. Select a standout colour

Primed to add colour to help enliven staid surroundings? By keeping big-ticket items like chairs, sofas, drapes and any other items with longevity in neutral hues, Richardson recommends opting for a lone hue as an accent to inject into the room.

“Choose one colour that you want to add to layer in to bring your neutral palette to life, and you’ve made a great dynamic statement.

Source: Lauren La Rose, Canadian Press

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