Have a Little Play with Patterns

Article excerpt

WHEN did we first start our love affair with pattern? Thousands of years ago, certainly - the Ancient Egyptians lavished patterns on their furnishings in gold and precious stones, but they were far from the first.

Our last real passion for pattern gripped us in the seventies when geometrics were all the rage, taking tips from the stylish days of Art Deco.

Then pattern hit a bit of a slow patch - but we were never going to abandon it for long, and now it's back stronger than ever.

Much of that is thanks to the efforts of some remarkable designers who have revolutionised our ideas about filling our lives with loveliness.

One of the most famous is Emma Bridgewater, the British artist whose charming patterns started off on ceramics and have now spread out into many other areas.

For instance, Emma has brought out a new range of delightful bedding carrying her keynote polka dot pattern - we love her bolster cushion, which teams spots on the front and Emma's colourful stripes on the back.

As well as bedding available at Barker and Stonehouse, Emma's Polka range includes everything from cups and saucers to wellies, toasters and tote bags, take a look at www.emmabridgewater.co.uk We're also mad on Emma's beautiful birds range of bedding, which is patterned with swooping swallows and striped in blue on the back.

Patterned bedding and cushions look great with plain walls that pick out one of the colours in the pattern.

You can also get away with mixing patterns, as long as the colours in them co-ordinate - for instance, stripes sit well with checks and even stars if the palette matches.

And if you want further accessories to make it even harder to get up in the morning, chuck on our rainbow throw in cuddly Merino lambswool.

Sourced by our experienced new home accessories buying manager, Caroline Hodgson, it's British designed and made and is so snuggly we can't wait for winter to come!

Patterned walls can also make a real feature in your room, but it can be advisable to keep them to one eyecatching area, such as a chimney breast or the wall where your bed head rests.

Again, pick out a colour or two from the pattern for the rest of the room, including the accessories - and don't be afraid to mix and match your accessories.

If everything has the same pattern, you risk getting a bit of an Eighties vibe in your decor. …