Drapes: When Small Prints Work & Why

If you’re lucky enough to have large windows, you’ve probably got some ideas for equally large drapes. Often, when a lot of fabric yardage is required in one space, we tend to shy away from smaller prints and patterns so as to not overwhelm the room (or scare away guests). While small prints on fabric do tend to be more “busy” than larger prints on a large scale, I’m here to tell you that they can be the absolute perfect choice in draperies. Consider the following:


This basic setup moves into the realm of W.O.W. with its tasteful and exciting use of small prints. The drapes have a smaller print that, from this point, almost reads as a dark neutral, which is why they work so well with the X stools’ small-print pop. The drapes happily coordinate without competing. They also complement the large-scale and light-colored sweeping print of the rug. Overall, because the room itself is pretty straightforward (strong, geometric shapes), so prints are what add personality here.


This dining room is both luxurious (velvet chairs!) and cozy. A small-print drape is ideal here because, with a small architectural space, the pattern is in proportion with the room while also linking the neutral tone of the chairs. The length of the drapes (slightly grazing the floor) is also in keeping with the room’s elegance.


Several different colors and design elements are occurring in this space. The right small print on fabric can be extremely versatile, effectively tying together multiple themes. The solid nature of the room is broken up nicely by the small pattern of the drapes, but they don’t distract from the room’s overall aesthetic like a large print would. And the geometry is in perfect harmony here.


The warm, rich colors of this game room bring the grand space in to a cozier setting, while the large windows open it up again. The drapes hung here, just slightly above the windows (not at ceiling height), and billowing onto the floor, work with the scale of the room; the small print in lighter but equally warm tones reads almost as a neutral at this distance and frames the windows beautifully. (Contrastingly, a large print would likely distract from other important elements in the room.)


For a less-than-elegant setting, in which your eclectic style is given room to shine, these delightful drapes are a lovely touch. A small print on these ribbon-pulled shades enhances the casual vibe of the room and even gives off a feminine touch – a nice contrast to the dark walls. I adore the mix of color and prints in this space!

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.



Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on December 6th, 2012

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