Fabric Finesse

from Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living
Give your outdoor patio furniture new life with fun fabric covers. Read our guide to choosing fabric to make sure your new covers go with your indoor and outdoor decor.

Mix and match outdoor fabrics like a pro with these decorating tips.

Start with what you love. Selecting fabrics that you can live with can be challenging, so trust your gut. Go with what makes you smile.

Look outside.
You found a fabric you like. Now how do you know if it’s the right color? Start by taking a look outside. What’s the color palette of your flowers? Does one hue or a combination of hues stand out? What colors would go well with the exterior color of your house? With your hardscaping? For example, if you have a brick red patio, earthy browns and greens are good choices. Or you could enliven gray concrete with blues, pinks, and purples.

Look inside. The interior spaces of your home also hold color cues — use them to create a smooth transition from indoors out. Like moving from the kitchen to the living room, don’t worry about repeating a color scheme. Rather, select a complementing color that won’t jar guests as they move between spaces. Adding a touch of the color that is dominant in an adjacent room is a good way to visually link indoor and outdoor rooms.

Follow the blueprints.
Let the flavor of your home’s architecture
guide your pattern choices. If your house and furnishings are traditional, think damask, toile, or floral. If your house is modern, consider geometric patterns or bold solid hues.

Go for variety.
Add depth to your outdoor rooms by starting with a pattern you love and then adding two others in varying scales. Crazy for a broad stripe? Mix it with a thin stripe and a midsize floral. Achieve eye-appealing balance by using your favorite pattern on 60 percent of your furnishings, using your second favorite on 30 percent, and your third on 10 percent. Add a coordinating solid to hold the look together.

Keep it simple.
Going with a neutral palette for your large furnishings is a fail-safe option. You can add colorful accessories to change the look from season to season without buying all new gear.

Eliminate the guess work and see what your house will look like before you redecorate.
•DIY Ideas: How To Garden
•Outdoor Living
•Designing for Outdoor Living
•Planning a Comely Courtyard
•Plant Encyclopedia
•Outdoor Fabrics and Rooms
•Outdoor Rooms

Design anything from a patio-side container garden to a beautiful yard on your computer screen.

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