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French Country Furniture | How I Mastered Mixing Patterns Like A Maximalist | Amitha Verma

By Amitha Verma

Recently one of my dearest friends, Shelena, asked how I mix patterns in my home tastefully. As a maximalist with a love for French country style, mixing prints, colors, and fabrics feels self-explanatory, but Shelena's question made me realize that maybe it's not obvious.

This blog post is for my pattern lovers who don't know where to start mixing and matching patterns to create a cohesive home design. I'll be sharing my 3-step, fool-proof system that simplifies this decorating process.

Don't forget to tune into this week's video and read along to learn this three-step formula I use in my home.

Step 1: Decide On Your Colorway

The first step to selecting a group of patterns is to decide on your colorway.

I take cues from the colors in the room (the walls, furniture, and art). Look around at the things you already have in your home, and see what colors start to show up over and over again. You will start to notice a few key colors that repeat.

If you're working with a blank slate and don't know where to begin, my favorite place to start is with the floor rug.

How Amitha decides on the colors for her french country furniture when mixing patterns

By choosing colors already in your room, you can narrow down your selection.

In my home, I saw a lot of blues, grays, and greens due to the shadowing of the large trees near my windows, and the direction the sun rises - which is not on this side of my home. I also noticed that parts of my house received more light than others, so I wanted to bring some brightness to the areas that didn't get as much natural light.

Amitha’s living room showing how to mix patterns on her French country furniture to create a space that does not look overwhelming.

I ended up with this colorway:

  • Cream
  • Gray
  • Blue

Then I picked accent colors:

  • Green
  • Violet
  • Yellow

Step 2: Select Fabrics from these 4 Big Categories

Think about fabrics in big categories—forget about the color for now because you'll never know what you'll find when you start shopping.

Solid pattern, all-over pattern, geometric pattern, and small print on the French country furniture of Amitha’s living room

I am also not worried about which one goes where when I begin. 

I just start searching for fabric patterns in these four categories:

  1. A solid pattern (linen, cotton, or velvet)
  2. An all-over pattern (here is where you bring in large florals, birds, toile, etc.)
  3. Geometric (stripe, ticking, chevron, circle, Greek key detail, or anything geometric)
  4. Small print (tiny polka dots, petite florals, or anything with tighter patterns)

Step 3: How to Know Where to Place These Fabrics

Solid Patterns

If you're afraid to jump in head-first, the safest option is to use your solid color on your largest piece of furniture.

French country furniture settee with cream fabric and gold-gilt trim and carved details, by Amitha

That's why I chose a solid cream-toned pattern settee for my entry room. I loved all the beautiful details in the gold-gilt finish, and I didn't want it to compete for attention with a bold pattern.

All-Over Patterns

Individual armchairs are ideal french country furniture pieces to play with bold patterns. This is the perfect item to experiment with pattern and have the confidence to go all out on pattern for the following reasons.

It’s a small item so the risk of messing up is small. Generally, smaller chairs or individual pieces look stunning when you add a pattern to it, and you can easily coordinate your favorite pattern with your sofa or bedroom fabrics.

The best part is that you can always move armchairs around the house to find the perfect spot where the pattern looks best in your home.

A cream and floral-patterned french country furniture armchair and a blue and cream patterned french country furniture armchair by Amitha

I chose an all-over pattern for both my chairs, and while they seem very different from one another, they share the same colorway as the colors in my home, so they complement each other very well in this space.

A close-up of the French country furniture armchair in cream with hydrangeas, birds, butterflies, and floral details, by Amitha.

One of my armchairs is covered in hydrangeas, birds, butterflies, and smaller floral details. It sounds like a busy pattern, but what makes it work with my settee is that the base color is cream.

The fact that this fabric is loud on a smaller piece of furniture means that it won't overwhelm the room.

I have another armchair with an all-over pattern, but it's also easy on the eyes because the toile fabric only has two colors: blue and cream.

A close-up of the French country furniture armchair in blue with cream pattern details, by Amitha

This armchair was a good way to introduce the blue in my planned colorway. The motifs also bring in a subtle nod to the floral pattern from my other chair.

Small Prints

I like to use ottomans, benches and pillows to introduce small prints. I did that in my entry space by bringing in this cream and blue ottoman/footstool.

Looking at the small print fabric details of cream and blue on Amitha's french country furniture ottoman/ footstool.

I love having small print pieces because it adds a lot of contrast to a solid-colored sofa. It gives off a shabby chic vibe that still looks quite elevated in the room because of the antique detailing in the furniture.

The patterned cream and blue french country furniture ottoman next to the solid settee by Amitha

The ottoman brings in the cream from my settee and armchairs, but also introduces a new pattern. I used a small print to make this piece stand out on its own and make all the pieces around it feel special— and that's exactly what maximalism is all about.

Geometric Prints

Last but not least, I love to include at least one geometric pattern in any room I design, to give the room some structure. So that it doesn’t feel too free flowing and also, adds that little pop of modern.

The geometric patterned pillow against the toile fabric French country armchair adds to the maximalist look created by Amitha.

This can be a stripe, linen ticking, cross-hatch, greek key, dot pattern or more. Anything geometric goes!

In this room, I added a geometric fabric pattern on this pillow to contrast against the toile fabric on my french country furniture, side chair.

It’s the contrast between the two that allows you to appreciate more and mix more patterns.

A geometric patterned throw pillow on top of a toile fabric armchair in Amitha’s home creates the subtle maximalist contrast that Farmhouse by Amitha is known for.

The maximalism style allows you to express yourself more by curating a group of things you love and putting them together in a beautiful way. It's such an easy way to create a styled home, just remember to stick to a cohesive color palette to keep you from going overboard on busy patterns.

Maximalism In My Home

I followed this exact, 3-step process throughout my home because I love patterns, texture colors and of course mixing patterns.

If you want to see how I did this in my family room, living room, and bedrooms, leave me a comment and let me know!

I want to create the content that serves you, and the easiest way to let me know what you want to see is by giving my video a thumbs up and commenting on what you'd like to see next.

Thank you for your continued support.

Keep using your amazing gifts to create heart in your home,

Amitha

P.S. If you love all of the decor in this week's blog, many of these pieces can be found at Village Antiques in Houston, TX. Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Stop on by or feel free to give us a call at 713-468-3931 if you have any questions! 

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