A common and not entirely incorrect thought when deciding on a fabric for an upholstered piece, is to consider the scale. That is to say, consider how big the pattern is, compared to how big the project piece is. Some fabrics will even be labeled small scale and chair prints. Implying that smaller projects like side chairs, dinning chairs, and pillows need smaller scale patterns. But is it ever acceptable to use a large scale pattern on a smaller project?
The short answer is yes, there are times that it is acceptable to use a large scale pattern on a small piece. As a matter of fact, I find that more times than not, the large scale pattern on a smaller piece ends up looking great.
You must consider more than just the fabric itself, and think about how much of the fabric's pattern will be seen on the piece you are covering. Just stop and think about the part of the fabric that you love the most. Will most of it be seen on the piece? or will some of it get cut off. As long as the particular part of the pattern you like so much is still going to be seen well, then it is probably going to be fine.
Another thing to consider is if the part of the pattern that is not going to be shown is vital to the pattern as a whole. Some fabrics carry a scene, and if part of the scene is going to be cut off, then it may not work.
A floral for example, that is made of a large array of different flowers will probably need to be left in tact. However a floral where the main part is showing, and only the vines an leaves are going to be cut off, will usually work out beautiful.
Another point to consider when dealing with large scale patterns, is that your project will end up taking more fabric in the end. The only way to make your project look right will be to match the pattern, and the only way to match the pattern will be to go up the role until you reach the same pattern again.
Even though your project will take more fabric, the results will typically be worth it.
The main point that I am getting to is not to be scared of large scale patterns even on small pieces. think about the piece as a whole, take a little risk, and you will be pleasantly surprised.