Home Decorating For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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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.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Katharine Kaye McMillan, former senior editor of a New York City-based national magazine, is a writer whose work appears regularly in magazines and newspapers. She is a contributing writer to internationally circulated Florida Design Magazine. She is the co-author of several books on decorating and design, including Sun Country Style, which is the basis for licensed signature collections of furniture and accessories by three leading American manufacturers and importers. A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, she holds a masters degree in psychology and is a doctoral student in psychology at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

Patricia Hart McMillan is a nationally known interior designer, whose interior design work for private clients, designer showcases, and corporations has appeared in publications worldwide, including the New York Times and USA Today. Known as a trend spotter and for clearly articulated views on design, she is quoted frequently and extensively in both trade and consumer publications. She a ppears on TV and talk radio. A prolific writer, she is coauthor and author of seven books on interior design and decoration, with Sun Country Style signature collections of furniture based on two books. She has taught decorating courses at several colleges and conducted numerous seminars across the U.S. She is decorating editor for Christian Woman Magazine and reports on design trends for The Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune newspaper based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been editor-in-chief of two publications and was head of a New York City-based public relations firm representing some of the most prestigious names in home furnishing and building products. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in art history (with an emphasis in architecture), from the State University of New York (New Paltz). She was awarded a certificate from The New York School of Interior Design.

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