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My Simple Formula to Coordinate Fabrics

Are you completely confused on how to coordinate fabrics or mix and match patterns or are you are thinking about redecorating? Luckily, I have a love of fabric and love to help!

My mom fundamentally taught me the art and skill of mixing fabric patterns and color. I grew up watching her decorate our homes – we moved a few times!

Over time decorating multiple houses of my own and having a career in home decor, I’ve been able to hone my own skills to create a simple formula that I’ve used for years.

Mixed and Matched Fabric Patterns

The family room in my home will be our classroom! A little bit of history. All of the core upholstered furniture pieces in my family room I’ve owned for 10+ years!  I’ve been able to breathe new life into them by re-upholstering each piece in new coordinating fabrics.

If you invest in well-made furniture (my mom taught me that too!), it’s a great option to re-upholster the pieces to get a couple of rounds of new home decor of out of them. A little paint and fabric go a long way to update a room.

Coordinating Fabrics is Easy When You Have Items Made for You

Did you know how easy it is to have pillows and drapes made? It becomes especially helpful when you can’t find drapes or pillows that you love.

It really it doesn’t cost that much more, if you find the right seamstress or re-upholsterer. Sometimes it’s just easier to have them made verses combing the internet and driving around town searching for that look that you have in your mind!

Many people ask me where I bought my drapes and pillows, but unfortunately they can’t be bought. However, the look CAN be recreated with my simple formula. That’s how I achieved a home decor design that is unique to me and you can too.

Here are the core fabrics in my family room and the main wall paint color:

Coastal Decor Fabrics Coordinating
Core Family Room Fabrics / Valspar Paint

Do you see how the fabrics coordinate?

The simple key is this: coordinate fabric patterns that are small, medium and large scale together in the same room. Mix those patterns with a solid base fabric either with or without a texture.

5 Step Formula to Coordinate Fabrics

  1. Start with a neutral base of white, cream or khaki
  2. Find 2 colors that are complementary to the core neutral
  3. Small-scale pattern fabric
  4. Medium-scale pattern fabric
  5. Large-scale pattern fabric

You can see my fabrics don’t exactly “match” and every single one is from a different manufacturer. The fabrics instead “coordinate”.

Neutral camel fabric on the sofa with a herringbone woven texture.


Large pattern blue, cream, and camel stripe used in drapes.

P. Kaufman

Medium pattern on club chairs combining blue, cream, and camel.


Small quilted blue with cream dot pattern used on both the French chair and pillows.

Unknown Manufacturer (sorry!)

Pinterest Inspiration

Please follow me here on Pinterest for more images of my home and design inspiration.

Here is a mood board that you can use on Pinterest showing how I developed the coastal color palette for my family room.  It’s all about sand, sun and surf!

5 Step Formula in Real Life

Are you feeling a little more confident in how to coordinate fabrics in your home, but want a totally different color palette? Are you like me and love the most recent Pottery Barn catalog? Let’s go shopping together!

Pretend that my club chairs and French chair are cream, keep my sofa the same camel fabric and let’s redecorate in our minds!

Coordinating Fabric Example from Pottery Barn

How to coordinate fabrics in the latest Pottery Barn catalog
Pulled from Pottery Barn

I used the same simple 5 step formula to coordinate fabric patterns!  Isn’t that easy?  If you love this look, I’ll link the items below:

Medium Pattern Pillow

Small Pattern Pillow

Large Pattern Drapes

Solid Pillow

Want a totally custom-made look like I created? Most fabric stores have a designer that will guide you for FREE. Support your local community and find a fabric store near you and they will help you through the process and likely have or will recommend a furniture upholsterer as well.

Want to know more about my home and go on a tour? Click here to take a walk through my home and view my before and after photos of recent room makeovers.

I hope you found this useful and if you like what I am producing please consider signing up for my weekly e-newsletter. I’ll share behind the scenes information and you’ll never miss a post!

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Hi! I love your beautiful coordinated look. Could you tell me the names of the fabrics for the stripe P. Kaufman and the Waverley print on the club chairs?

    1. Jessica, sorry I bought those close to 8 years ago and don’t have the names (didn’t know I’d be sharing my home back then!). If you took the pictures of mine to a good fabric store, I bet they will know what they are since they are so classic and from big brands.

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