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Patterned Chairs that Will Bring Style and Flair to any Room

Armchairs provide extra seating in a room, but they can also be an amazing focal point. There are several ways in which they do this. For example, the iconic shape of a fabric tub chairs with their curvaceous appeal can be popular choice to capture interest. The material, from leather to upholstery, can also make a great talking point, but we think that patterned fabrics are key to making an armchair stand out.

You may shy away from using patterns. Surely, you think, they are one-trick ponies that only suit one kind of interior design scheme and colour choice. Once the décor changes, the patterned fabric armchair has had its day. You may think that any future décor changes have to revolve around the patterned armchair.

But this is not the case! The patterned fabric armchair is versatile, and we’ll show you how.


The first thing that impacts on an item’s versatility is its shape. There are many shapes of armchair, from the traditional wing-backed armchair to the rounded tub chair bedecked in patterned fabric.

The shape of each chair underpins its place in the living room, and it dictates how well it works in future décor just as much as its pattern. Choose a shape that fits the style now and around which the décor can change in the coming years. We all have likes and dislikes when it comes to style and shape, so opt for the one that you like and enjoy.

Patterns – making them work

There is no need to be frightened of patterns, and they can work in any living room, whether it’s a family home or a bachelor pad.

Idea 1 – Let the patterned armchair be the big thing going on

A way to use a pattern successfully is to allow it to be what you need it to be – the one big thing in the room onto which all eyes fall. For example, when using a tartan patterned tub chair, let it be the star of the living room, but choose other colours and shapes that prevent it from being too overwhelming.

  1. Keep the décor light, airy and neutral but with an undertone that connects with the pattern.
  2. Don’t overdo it with one pattern e.g. tartan check tub chair with tartan check cushions and throws. As well as using block colours, choose a completely contrasting pattern, but link it by using similar colours.
  3. Mix the traditional with the new, such as a traditional tartan check with the modern shape of a tub chair. Match this with a high-backed sofa in a block colour that connects with the colours of the tartan that you chose.
  4. A restrained colour palette on the walls, floors and ceiling give the attention to the pattern, with the other pieces in a supporting role.

Idea 2 – Stick to one colour palette

If you don’t want patterns and styles to clash, then you need to be clear about the colour palette. By marking out the territory with an obvious and complimentary colour palette there can be no doubt as to the order of the room. It creates a calming space in which your patterned fabric tub chairs can thrive and be bold, but without being the ‘look at me’ pattern that we discussed in the first suggestion above.

So, how do you achieve this?
  1. Decide on the pattern and the colour of the armchairs and/or sofa before you start decorating the rest of the room, and have these patterned items in situ before you start decorating.
  2. A single colour palette doesn’t mean you have to be muted in your choices. You can be bold but this is the key: choose two main colours that match/connect/complement the colours in the pattern and use a third contrasting colour sparingly.
  3. Accent areas of the room with the occasional use of black, such as a black cushion or three, or a black lampshade.
  4. Choose a colour palette that compliments your style. For example, the fun appeal of a modern floral pattern works well with ‘modern’ colours and accessories. Choose a pattern in more muted and neutral colours if you don’t want the pattern to be the main focal point.

Idea 3 – Go for broke!

This is not everyone’s cup of tea, and if you don’t like classing patterns, then look away now. It may look a heady mishmash of patterns where everything and anything is thrown in without thought! But, prise your eyes open for a second and examine the key elements, and you will see that even in this apparently unordered and chaotic living room landscape, there are connections.

  1. Similarity of patterns – If you take a moment to examine key details you will see that there is a vague similarity in the patterns (or at least some connection – usually one of the three that we will be discussing here!) If you go for broke, do so by mixing, matching, contrasting and clashing similar patterns. That is, stick with floral patterns, with gently interspersed with a geometric pattern (or vice versa), or stick with geometrics or modern florals.
  2. Size of pattern – Again, take a moment to look and you will see that some clashing patterns are contrasting sizes. So, use large, blooming florals with ditzy prints, or large geometric modern patterns with smaller patterns of a certain vintage. Keeping shapes similar means that it is not overly chaotic to the eye.
  3. Colour – You can shrug off the three-colour rule to a certain extent, instead opting for a broader palette but keeping a sense of connection between all colours. Choose one main colour and have that as the focal point for tying everything together.

Patterned fabrics and upholstery are nothing to be frightened of. You just need to decide if the pattern is the star of the décor, or it is there to add a hint of detail in a room?