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How to Design Chairs by Color Scheme

When I first set out to design a Winter Collection of chairs, I decided to do something different this time around. Instead of finding a hero fabric and designing around it, I took up the challenge of designing by a simple color scheme. And I immediately knew what colors it would be: pink & red! They are my signature colors after all. So the big question became this…what shades of pink and red would I use?

I started with two scraps of velvet that would set the tone of the design.

Then, I hunted around for fabrics in those shades of red, pink, and red & pink together. An amazing cut velvet fabric by Brunschwig & Fils caught my eye and I knew it was a done deal.

Everyone knows my love of preppy patterns, so buffalo checks in those colors would be a non-negotiable. I found the exact shades I needed from the same fabric brand. I had a stripe with those colors too, so yep, in the mix it went! Even an embroidered animal print made the cut, because, why not?

A simple floral was all that I needed. I had coveting this amazing fabric by Schumacher for a long long time. It had the right shades of red and pink. But it was predominately black! Would it work???

Finally, I thought I would need some green in the mix, but when I tried to add green, it was just too much for the collection. The answer was no green.

Next, I planned out how the chairs would sit at the table, which made all the difference in the design of the chairs. Here’s my brainstorming notes!

And here’s the finished product! It takes a lot of thinking, brainstorming, and planning to get the right look. But it’s so worth it, don’t you think? Sometimes it makes sense to break up the fabrics with combos like the prints and buffalo checks.

Other times it looks good to go all over bold with the entire print covering the chairs. It’s all about getting the right chemistry going between the chairs and making sure you have a balanced amount of each.

There’s not one right way to do it, so if you really have colors you love, then why not design around color schemes? It can set the right tone in your space and make you joyful at the same time!

If understanding how to work with colors and patterns interests you, then I’ve got a treat in store! I’m going to be launching a course in Fabric Mixology in January for all those who want to learn how to do this. There is a formula to doing this; it’s both an art and science. Click here to get on my email waitlist and you’ll be notified when the course comes out! I’m so excited to show you what I’ve been working on!

Wendy Conklin

I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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Styling Guide

Bring the Chair Whimsy aesthetic into your home with our styling guide!