Lavish Prints: Pros and Cons
We all know what a few colorful prints can bring to our wardrobes; they inject verve, flair and a sense of fun, but rarely offer the mileage of a little black sleeveless dress. However, when it comes to upholstery, wild multi-color prints can be surprisingly versatile.
A lush paisley such as "Riviere's Enchantee," used above by Todd Romano, is loaded with possibilities. (House & Garden sourced it as Brunschwig & Fils.)
When a print contains five or more hues, you can pull any one of them for wall color, side chairs, pillows and so forth. An added bonus: in my experience dense patterns beautifully camouflage smudges from tiny fingers.
You can also layer pattern upon pattern, as Peter Dunham does so masterfully.
The downside of prints? For one thing cost. It typically takes 26 yards of a large-scale print to upholster sofas similar to the ones shown here. Nice simple solid cottons and linens are also easier to find at budget friendly prices. (This is why I tend to choose prints for ottomans or benches and opt for solid sofas.)
But if you have a sharp sense of your own aesthetic, know you truly love a certain print -- it's not just a crush -- and can afford the fabric, lavish prints can be an investment that will endure.
Fun link for textile fans: the Leman Album.
Credits: Milly tote shown top available through Shopbop; Milly dress is from Neiman Marcus; 1960s "It Girl," Penelope Tree, photographed by David Bailey for Vogue, February 1969; Todd Romano photos by Michael Mundy for House & Garden, March 2004; Dunham photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna for domino, April 2008.