Striking partners in modern design

Patterned wallpaper is designed to stand out but it should fit in with textures too.
Patterned wallpaper is designed to stand out but it should fit in with textures too.
Sweet peas - the scent of summer

GARDENING: Brian Kidd on how to grow perfect sweet peas

Have your say

Pattern and texture are two important elements in interior design and, while they can be used independently of each other, they work best together.

Scale is important in both, but particularly in patterns. In general, large scale patterns work well in big spaces and smaller scale patterns work better in smaller spaces.

Large scale patterns and heavy textures will ‘fill’ space and can be used generously in large rooms but might make a small room feel smaller. Texture can add depth and layering to a room scheme.

Shiny textures reflect light while rough textures absorb light and very rough surfaces can cast distinct shadows and bright spots.

In general you would use big patterns on larger areas like a large-scale print fabric on floor length curtains at a big picture window or a large-scale print wallpaper on a feature wall, but having done that you then need to fill the rest of the room and that is where pattern and texture come in.

Having selected smaller scale patterns for an accent chair and cushions on a plain sofa, the room may still be missing something, which could be texture.

Texture is very big in home furnishings at the moment; there is a wealth of wallpapers as well as textured weave fabrics.

Old favourites like velvet and silk have also made a big comeback in some amazing colours.

Textures became particularly important with the trend for contemporary monochromatic schemes as they needed something to give them depth and visual engagement.

Glass stairs, chrome hand rails and door furniture, leather sofas and chairs, natural oak furniture, granite work tops all with distinct textures created the look.

What we are seeing now though is that colour and pattern are creeping back as the desire for comfort and homeliness grows.

The world of home furnishings is at a great point at the moment where colour, pattern and texture are all happy bedfellows and to what extent is really down to personal choice.

This is where many people find they need help. It really is a very personal balancing act of layering pattern, colour and texture to create a home that feels right for you.

For a glorious extreme of pattern and texture look at Pip Studio collections distributed by Brian Yates.

The Pip Studio range is the ultimate vintage range of wallpapers with bold bright designs with a touch of kitsch in colour, pattern and texture. It is quirky with bright floral motifs and trailing leaves in a damask style.

It features flowers and tropical birds in vivid colours alongside delicate sprigs of cherry blossom, butterflies, ribbons, whimsical picture postcard collages, buttons, teacups and some of the most tactile and intricate flock wallpapers you will find.

Its fantasy designs are the antithesis of the monochrome trend. In truth most of us inhabit homes somewhere between the two.

· Simone and business partner Jane Patterson run The Interior Trading Co, Marmion Road, Southsea. Visit