Patterns, Patterns Everywhere!
Patterns are an exciting way to enhance the look and feel of your events in a big way without significantly increasing your budget. Different patterns have been coming back into style these last couple years and 2014 is no exception! Currently trending are tribal-inspired and a variety of ethnic patterns in fashion and interiors that are now translating into event design and décor. Here are a few styles to watch for in the coming months:
Ikat is an Indonesian dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that uses a process similar to tie-dye on fibers prior to weaving the fabric. The after-effect is that the dye creates a soft, almost blurry pattern with no strict outlines.
This trend has been sweeping down runways and through interiors for a couple of years and is still going strong in events! Color blocking is the process of pairing different colors together into one design to create bold, artistic statements.
Tribal & Cultural Prints
From Ganado and Chinle Navajo prints to Kente and Batik African prints, ethnic-inspired patterns are all the rage this year and can be expected to be requested in multi-cultural events through the fall. Traditional designs are being paired with bright pops of color to create a modern look. We’re also seeing different cultural patterns combined in one design at weddings as a symbolic reference for the cohesion of each parties’ culture.
Mix & Match
Though not a specific pattern, mixing different patterns together is a huge trend in the design industry right now and can be a fun way to create an organic look at your events. The rules are – there are no rules! But here are some tips to make sure you are being thoughtful in your designs so you don’t overwhelm your audience.
- Work in Odds
The trick to mixing patterns is planning an “unplanned” look. While two different designs can create consistency, three or five patterns creates a beautiful thrown-together effect that is conducive to networking and making guests feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Scale Variety
Choose one pattern as the leading theme and incorporate the others as accents. This will prevent the patterns from competing with each other. A good rule of thumb is to use your loud/stand-out patterns on larger materials like walls or floors and use subtler patterns on smaller items to complement the design.
If you’re using an abundance of patterns, group them together as similar styles. I.e. Chevron, Ikat and Houndstooth can blend well together, whereas they don’t always have the best effect with floral or tribal prints.
- Follow a Scheme
Working within a color scheme can help define the patterns you should work with. Using different hues and complimentary shades will bring the mixture together for a consistent look. You can also throw some solids into the mix to help the patterns pop and give the eye a break! Try to maintain the same intensity in each pattern so they complement each other instead of pairing pastels with vibrant tones and so forth.
When working with patterns, remember they aren’t for everyone and can be scary for timid personalities. As with many other elements, it’s a good plan to have the client show you what type of patterns they like before presenting these ideas to ensure you are on the same page.
Further, don’t restrict your use of patterns to fabrics. For a subtle effect, you can use lighting techniques to project patterns on walls, floors or ceilings. You can add some drama by creating accent items such as backdrops, furniture and rugs. Or you can add patterns to smaller décor items like candles, vases, placemats and napkins. But however you decide to use patterns in your upcoming events, they are sure to make a memorable statement!