Sunday, May 3, 2009

Design Tip of the Week (05.04.09): Do you see the Pattern?

I received a book this weekend called Tricia Guild Pattern (2006). This collection of Tricia Guild's fabric and wallpaper designs made me really think about the complexity of patterns and the significant role they play in interior design. Tricia summed up the power of patterns nicely, stating that, "Patterns can be free or contained, spontaneous or harmonious, fluid or rigid, classical or innovative, inspirational or balanced, colored or neutral, subtle or vivacious." Think of how many pattern options we have and the impact that these choices make on a room. Picking the "right" patterns for your home is no small task. So to better equip you in making those tough choices, here is some foundational knowledge about identifying basic elements of patterns.

Since there are so many types of patterns out there that are used as the building blocks for creative design, we will showcase a few at a time. Today's focus: Tartan and Toile!

*Tartan is a pattern of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical lines in varying colors. Tartan is typically associated with Scotland because many of their knits are tartan patterns. BTW- when you think of Tartan, think of plaid. Below is an example of a common tartan pattern.

A modern play on tartan can be seen in Vivienne Westwood's designs. Westwood is known for her inventive interpretation of historic patterns and has been using tartan as her inspiration for several years. Her designs, while fashion based exemplify the modern twist you will find on traditional tartan.

*Toile de Joye, also referred to as Toile, is a decorating pattern that is most often composed of complex scenic designs in a repeated pattern printed in a single color (usually black, red, blue, or sepia). Toile is a popular pattern for curtains and other fabrics, wallpaper and bedding.

Here is a fun twist on the classic Toile design. Check out Shelia Bridges' Harlem Toile de Jouy Wallpaper. Its toile, its urban chic, its one of Oprah's faves!

Stay tuned and we will bring you two more in June to chew on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Toile. Especially modern versions that are stark in contrast - like black on white or the use of trendy colors or the use of modern scenery as the pattern. Tartan patterns are fun too, but I look at Burberry and I don't know how they are going to keep that Burberry Tartan trendy forever...