Combining and Matching Fabrics: The Rule of Three

Usually when it’s time to update furniture with new upholstery, it’s common to go with updating just one piece of furniture. But what if multiple pieces need updating? It may be tempting to get the same fabric for all the pieces, but then you run the risk of the furniture looking too uniform to the point of being a little on the dull side. You may want to mix and match fabrics. But how do you go about doing that?

There are a number of ways to mix and match fabric to get a look like the one above. One of the possible methods is to use what Sew Delicious blogger Ros calls “The Rule of Three.” It’s a fairly easy concept that comes from the world of sewing. You choose one multicolored pattern, one solid color that matches the first pattern theme and a third pattern that ties into the first two. In this case it was a red floral fabric, a solid red fabric and a tan/red cross fabric.

You can easily apply this rule to upholstery selections. Below are three swatches out of our new sale fabrics that illustrate the concept:

Pattern Fabric:


Supporting Solid Fabric:


Third Fabric Matching First Two:


Notice how the second selection matches the deep blue accents in the first, and the third matches the white and blue tones in the first two selections. In this case, the solid deep blue pattern may make a great sofa selection, with a chair on each side sporting one of the other two patterns. With this technique you will be able to create a fun, coordinated room with a furniture that makes a statement every time!

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