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How to Use Fabric to Set a Living Room Style

The right mix of fabrics and patterns in your living room can set a specific style. If you know how to use fabric effectively, you'll be half way to reaching the style you want. In the living room, use patterns on pillows, window dressings, and chairs.

When deciding on a style, why reinvent the pattern-mix wheel, when others have done such an excellent job? Exactly! The following are some classic fabric mixes. The parentheses indicate an easy place to use the pattern in your room:

  • American Country. Large country quilt pattern (sofa), medium-scale folk-art floral print (lounge chairs), woven checkerboard checks (accent chairs), and medium stripes (window blinds).

    Create an American Country style with homespun quilts and florals.
    Create an American Country style with homespun quilts and florals.
  • American Southwest. Navajo-blanket print (sofa), medium scale (1- or 2-inch) woven check (lounge chairs), and woven narrow stripes (draperies)

    Go for the American Southwest style with Navajo patterns.
    Go for the American Southwest style with Navajo patterns.
  • English Country. Large-scale glazed chintz (sofa and draperies), narrow 1/2-inch stripes (slip covered lounge chairs), and small calico or mini-printed pattern (accent chairs, pillows)

  • Traditional 18th Century. Large-scale floral chintz (sofa), crewelwork tree of life (wing chair), woven trellis pattern (lounge chairs), small all-over floral tapestry (accent chairs), and medium satin stripes (draperies)

    Combine fabrics and patterns from the 18th century to evoke the Traditional style.
    Combine fabrics and patterns from the 18th century to evoke the Traditional style.
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