Digital Fabric Prints – Lessons to Decorate your Home

Almost all items at home are coloured through dye or digital fabric prints. We want to share some lessons in color to help you in decorating and creating your own designs. The famous interior designer, Patrick Mele said, “I’m not afraid of colour. I like bold statements with colour. I like rich hues,” he proclaims. “I don’t tend to work a lot with muted or tertiary colours. I like crisp white, crisp black; I like crisp vibrant colour as an overall statement.” He gave his tips when it comes to colour with the latest of his designs courtesy of


Digital Fabric Prints

In the entryway, a bright and playful wallpaper by David Hicks gives a sense of lightness to the dark wood trestle table, a family heirloom, and the existing wood detailing.

Lesson No. 1
Think in Colour Families

“I wanted a lot of white, first of all, and then a mix of blue and orange,” he reveals. The secret? Working with various hues within each of these two complementary colour families. His blues included “cobalt, turquoise, delft, navy. Within the orange family, corals, tangerines, grapefruits. Really rich hues, not muted.”

Digital Fabric Prints

The homeowner loves blue, so that was the first color Mele decided to focus on when developing his decorating approach.

Lesson No. 2
Blue & White Always Works

For Mele, using a combo of blue and white is like “wearing a white shirt with blue jeans, or a navy-blue blazer and a white shirt. It never goes out of style.” The classic color combination in interiors can be similarly dressed up or down. In the living room, Mele used a decidedly denimlike shade of blue grasscloth on the walls to add colour and texture, which helps the silhouettes of the white accessories and the wingback chairs really pop. The overall effect is polished yet casual. “I think blue and white is the equivalent of black and white; it’s just not as fierce,” says the designer. “It’s more welcoming to most people.”

Black chairs by Hans Wegner tie back to the black base of the table Mele had made for the breakfast room.

Lesson No. 3
Pick a Palette, and Repeat

“When you’re in the middle of the foyer and you’re able to see all the other rooms throughout, you have the same family of colors repeated but in different ways in each space,” says Mele. Case in point: The walls of the breakfast room are coated with a similar blue to the family room, but this time with paint, and as in the entryway, a pop of orange upholstery has a striking yet grounding effect.

Digital Fabric Prints

Mele added a decorative fringe to the sofa and a skirt to the armchair to reduce the number of visible legs in the room, given the dominance of the piano in the space.

Lesson No. 4
Play with Percentages

A genius way to get even more mileage out of a small group of colors is to do a flip-flop of sorts, pushing what was previously used as an accent color to the foreground. This is precisely what Mele did in this music room by using statement orange curtains and tangerine lamps while letting the blue and white recede to a single armchair. “It ties in blue to fit in with the rest of the house,” says Mele of his design.

Digital Fabric Prints

Mele covered two-thirds of the dining room walls with white wainscoting to temper the coral grasscloth that covers the reminder and painted the ceiling a subtle shade of blue.

Lesson No. 5
Use White to Freshen Things Up

“I think white modernizes and freshens,” he says. “People are afraid of their old grandmother’s found furniture, but their forms are so fabulous and remain timeless. White just gives furniture a contemporary personality, I think. A fresh youthful spirit.” To strike the right color balance in the home’s formal dining room, Mele had the dining chairs bleached white from the original brown.

Digital Fabric Prints

The fabric Mele and the homeowner fell in love with for the master bedroom is Jules et Jim by Clarence House.

Lesson No. 6
Strike a Colour-and-Pattern Compromise

When dialing up the pattern, it’s sometimes best to dial down the color to achieve a calmer, less chaotic effect.  “I just wanted to use that pattern everywhere and not break it up with different colors or patterns,” he says. To that end he refrained from introducing any of the vibrant colors he used on the home’s ground floor. “I wanted it to feel a little calmer, quieter, even though it’s not a calm, quiet fabric.”

Digital Fabric Prints

The color master himself, Patrick Mele, in the home’s colorful living room.

More Mele Colour Tips!

What’s a great way to bring in brighter hues without it feeling overwhelming?
“If you aren’t comfortable using strong hues in a big way start small, with key accessories like textiles—pillows, throws, area rugs—that can be switched out as your mood changes.”

What are a few of your favorite decorating tricks for adding instant color to a room?
“Fresh flowers, books, lampshades.”

What are common color decorating mistakes you see?
“Dreary, gray, dilluted versions of true color, I think, are overused. Too many institutional creams. Creams can at times be lovely, but more often than not they are sad and feel dirty and dated. Instead of cream, opt for true, crisp white. Instead of sand, try cocoa.”

Any specific rooms that are great for experimenting with colour?
“Dining rooms are a great place to try out your first move in the colour department. We usually gather in these spaces at night, a time when a deep color, such as claret or aubergine, illuminated by candlelight, draws you and your guests to the table. Powder rooms are another, which should be treated as little jewels and departures from the rest.”

You can see on most of his designs that he is using digital fabric prints. Why not you? Digital Fabric Prints are so flexible that you can even change your designs with different patterns and colors each season. Feeling creative right now? Talk to us with your Digital fabric prints needs. Enquire within.