Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting it Right: How to Successfully Mix Patterns

I met with a young couple last week for a design consultation and one of their main frustrations was how to mix patterns in their living room without it looking like a hodgepodge. I find this to be a common issue with many people, especially since there isn't one single "formula" to successfully mix and match various patterns and colors. However, if you take into consideration a few tips and things to look out for of when selecting pillows, rugs, and upholstery, it may be easier to pull off than you think! Once you start taking a closer look at spaces that successfully mix pattern, you'll notice that there will always be a balance of small, medium, large prints. I usually try starting off with the largest pattern first (usually on the drapery panels, area rug or upholstery), then layer in the medium-scaled pattern, followed by the smallest and / or solid patterns. Here are several great examples on how this can be done...

This eclectic living room has several different patterns going on but they all work together well. The largest is on the drapery panels and the design has more of a whimsical feel. The rug features a medium-scaled geometric pattern to give the room a modern touch and anchor the space. Smaller geometric printed pillows are mixed with a bold stripe on the upholstery. (Image source)

The subtle paisley pattern on the duvet cover keeps the space feeling feminine. It's paired with simple toile pillows banded in a bold navy blue. And the largest pattern is on the bench - you can never really go wrong with zebra print! (Image source)

The dining chairs have (3) different fabrics - a neutral one on the back, solid texture on the seat and bold geometric on the inside back. The tablecloth has a small pattern which adds to the eclectic mix. (Image source)

The bold chevron patterned rug really anchors the room and is where the designer used the largest pattern. Next wold be the medium sized lattice print on the chair. Then they layered in solid and smaller printed accent pillows in pops of color. (Image source)

The large-scale wallpaper print creates a focal point in this dining room, which is balanced out by medium scaled drapery panels (large polka dots and  medium stripes), and a nearly solid green rug. The solid rug and simple furniture keeps the room from feeling overwhelmed with pattern. (Image source)

How do you feel about mixing together several different patterns in a space? Any other tips or tips you'd like to share? 



  1. Can't wait to put this to use! I'm moving to a new apartment in a month and your blog has helped me so much in figuring out how I want to decorate. Keep up the good work! It's inspiring!

  2. Great post, thanks for sooo many inspiring advices :)

  3. Love those vintage furniture!!!


  4. LOVE love love that top room! Funny I am huge fan of mixing patterns in what I wear (all the time!) but tread a bit more lightly when it comes to my interiors. That top image inspires for sure! Thanks for sharing some fabulous spaces. xoxo

  5. Love this post! You gave great advice! Thanks!

  6. Love these rooms. Hope things are well with the baby!


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