Friday, November 8, 2013

Mixing Patterns Victorian Style in 5 Easy Steps - Part 1: Introduction

One of the hallmarks of Victorian decor is a mixture of patterns. Most DIY-ers find this the most difficult aspect of Victorian interior design. However, it is really a lot easier than you would think. Just follow these four easy steps and you'll be able to pull off a coordinated designer look for Victorian and any other style of decorating.  So relax and have fun. We're here to help you enjoy the process. PLUS submit your photo (details below) and

You Can Win a FREE professional 
interior designer sample board 
Valued at $500
specifically suited to your needs*

 Step 1
is the most important. Choose a great inspiration piece.
Begin by choosing a fabric, rug or wallcovering in a pattern or color you love. Names to look for include Brunschwig & Fils, Clarence House, Schumacher, Scalamandre, Stroheim & Romann, Lee Jofa or other premier design houses. Try to find a design or pattern in at least three colors, such as one of the fabrics shown on the left. If you are decorating in period Victorian style, aim for an inspiration piece with four or five colors.

Your choice should be a design in colors you like. Coordinating fabrics and even ready-made items and wallpapers that go with them are available, but the result can be boring or too "matchy" to look right. You will get better results if you customize the mix so it is uniquely suited to you and your home. This also means you can use that one-of-a-kind vintage remnant or the Persian rug that's been in your family forever as your inspiration.

*So here's your homework assignment: Find your inspiration piece. Send us a photo (jpeg) and we will use two or more of submitted photos over the next few installments to illustrate our steps. That means, at least two of our readers will wind up with custom sample boards they can use to create the coordinated room of their dreams. (See details below.)

IMPORTANT DETAILS: Entry must include your name (we will only use your first name), email address (just for verification - will not be made public or used for any other purposes) how much of the sample product you have (e.g. size of rug, wallpaper for an entire room or one wall only, fabric length and width), your style or period of decor, the size of the room, and any other relevant information and photos (e.g. favorite colors, item you have that you must use without reupholstering, etc.).

The fine type: By submitting your original photo you are granting us permission to use it as we see fit. Please do not submit photos that may be copyrighted by someone else with one exception: You may select a fabric from for this contest. Photos must be received by November 15th, 2013. SUBMIT photos and information to The subject line should read "Sample Board Contest Entry."

Still having trouble finding an inspiration piece? Send us a photo of your favorite print dress or shirt and we'll take it from there. 

Thank you and Good Luck!

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