Interior Decorating..Looking at the different Sizes of Patterns used on Wallpaper and Fabric

A Trade Secret..Measuring Small and Medium sized patterns on Wallpaper

This post is the second in a series of three articles covering the topic Using Pattern in Interior Decorating.

In my first post in this series titled Looking at Patterns used in Interior Decorating on Fabric, Drapes, Wallpaper and Carpeting, I covered the six basic pattern / design motifs and variations on the six patterns. This article is all about looking at the different sizes of patterns used on wallpaper and fabric. I have come up with an easy way for you to measure them, so you know what size patterns on wallpaper and fabric you are looking at.

LOOKING at PATTERNS on WALLPAPER

Wallpaper patterns come in three sizes: small, medium and large.

SMALL SIZED patterns on wallpaper can be the size of a postage stamp, sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger. An easy way to see if you are looking at a small-sized pattern is to place your thumb finger, or the bowl of a teaspoon on the pattern you are looking at. If your thumb, or the bowl of the teaspoon covers up almost or all of the pattern, it is a small pattern. Illustration 1 depicts a “Dot motif” on wallpaper being measured with a thumb. Illustration 2 shows a flower which is part of a loose delicate twisting “Round Motif” being measured by a teaspoon.

MEDIUM SIZED patterns on wallpaper can easily be measured with your fist. Take your hand and lightly make a fist. Place your fist over different parts of the wallpaper pattern. If your fist covers an important part of the pattern, or most of the pattern, it is a medium-sized pattern. Illustration 3 depicts a medium-sized floral “Round Motif” being measured with a fist. Illustration 4 shows a medium-sized “Diamond Pattern” on wallpaper being measured.

Large sized patterns on Wallpaper being measured, and Small sized patterns on Fabric being measured

LARGE SIZED patterns on wallpaper are easily measured by placing a hand with outspread fingers over an important part of the pattern. If most or all the design motif is covered, you have a large-sized pattern. Illustration 5 shows a large floral “Round” on wallpaper being measured. Illustration 6 shows a pink elephant “Medallion Pattern” being measured.

LOOKING at PATTERNS on FABRIC

Patterns on fabric differ in size from patterns on wallpaper. Fabric patterns come in sizes small, medium and large, like wallpaper, but their scale and how you measure them is a bit different.

SMALL SIZED patterns on fabric are not measured with a thumb or bowl of a teaspoon as I talked about when I told you how to measure wallpaper patterns. Yes there are small-sized fabric patterns the size of a postage stamp, or smaller. But a lot of small-sized patterns on fabric are scaled larger.

The two things you need to measure a small-sized pattern on fabric are your lightly closed fist, or the bowl of a tablespoon. (Fist more than tablespoon).

To measure a small sized pattern on fabric, place your lightly closed fist or the bowl of a tablespoon over an important part of the fabric design. Illustration 7 depicts a closed fist measuring one part of a small contemporary botanical pattern. Illustration 8 portrays a Paisley “Round Motif” on fabric being measured by both a fist and tablespoon.

Measuring Medium and Large sized Patterns on Fabric

MEDIUM SIZED patterns on fabric are easily measured by placing a hand with outspread fingers over an important part of the fabric design. Illustration 9 shows a medium-sized “Checkerboard” (Diamond) pattern on fabric being measured. Illustration 10 portrays a medium-sized “Medallion Pattern” of a bird houses being measured.

LARGE SIZED patterns on fabric are easily measured by placing two or even three hands with outspread fingers over an important part of the fabric pattern. Illustration 11 shows a large pattern of mixed fruit being measured by two hands. Illustration 12 shows a floral on fabric being measured with three hands.

So there you have it, some easy ways of measuring patterns on wallpaper and fabric. My suggestion to you now, is to go around your house and try measuring things, with patterns on them. Look at patterns on pillows, on sofa fabric, design motifs on oriental rugs, and wallpaper. Also look through better interior decorating magazines to see how the different sized patterns have been used by famous interior decorators and designers. Learn to study the works of the most knowledgeable and apply what you learn to your own life.

Companion Posts
The first article in this series Looking at Pattern used in Interior Decorating on Fabric, Drapes, Wallpaper and Carpeting 3-10-2012,
The third article in this series Mixing and Matching Fabric and Wallpaper Patterns 4-13-2012,
Pick (Use) four colors when decorating a room 3-7-2011,
When decorating a Beige Room think Tones, Texture and Sculptural Interest 3-16-2011,
Picking the Perfect GRAY PAINT…A Popular Color Choice of the Moment 2-15-2014,
The Right Way to Hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011,
Arranging furniture, so Sofas talk to Chairs, Like the Pros do 9-7-2012

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About fredgonsowskigardenhome

Your eyes deserve to view beauty. I hope Fred Gonsowski Garden Home helps to turn your vision, into a reality.
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