This is the look you’re likely already familiar with, but it’s a very effective one none the less: pick out colours from within your pattern and use those as your plains in the room. It’s an easy way to create a cohesive scheme, and a good way to make a bold pattern easier to live with.
Case in point: in our Larsson wardrobe scene, the mossy greens in the pattern (a Morris & Co wallpaper, Pimpernel in Bayleaf/Manilla) are reflected in the wardrobe’s exterior painted in our own Moss shade.
If you look to our our living room scheme you can see how this works when the pattern is on a large scale as well. Here, we’ve used another Morris & Co wallpaper, Blackthorn all across the walls. But, by taking its green tones and using them on the panelling and the Chawton storage piece, and by continuing the hints of pink-red through to the Harry Rosehip cushion and even the flowers and some of the books, it feels like a very harmonious part of the space. Imagine if Chawton were painted in a pale neutral. It wouldn’t be half so successful. The same goes for the Ardingly larder image where, again, the Olive paint tones nicely with the wallpaper, and this time the red and yellow details in the pattern are picked up by terracotta accessories and even the richly-stained timbers.
This is a look that can apply just as well to a more subdued and restful scheme, which you’ll see in the scene with the Olivia loveseat. We’ve used pattern subtly here, opting for terracotta-tinged neutrals (the Grace scatter cushions in Thea Natural and geometric Burnt Sienna) and echoed them in the Salt-painted walls and the plain Harry Rust upholstery on the loveseat.
It won’t always work out this way, but it’s easier to choose your pattern before you choose your plains, especially if the pattern is a main feature of your room such as a wallpaper. There’s a whole wide world of paint colours and plain fabrics out there which means you can very easily find one that works, whereas patterns are a bit more restricted, especially if you’re after a particular style or theme. Don’t feel you have to match perfectly either, but do compare good-sized samples side by side first.