How to Mix Patterns

Take your room from dull to dynamic by mixing patterns in your textiles, wall coverings, and even some hard surfaces such as flooring or tile. The options are endless, but there are a few key considerations to ensure the look is done right.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to master the art of mixing patterns.

1. Play favorites

The best way to start working with pattern is to pick a favorite. It doesn’t have to be the dominant pattern in the group, but one that you love for its color and design. That pattern will set the tone for the look and determine your color palette and complementary prints. Choose at least three patterns in total and stick to an odd number, which is more appealing to the eye.

2. Lay a solid foundation

Prints work well against a solid backdrop. For example, pile a plain couch with throw pillows in various patterns or accent a solid wall covering with patterned window treatments. Break up patterns with solids such as a solid-colored throw pillow in between two prints. This ensures that the patterns won't clash or overwhelm the room.

3. Vary scale

Be conscious of scale when mixing patterns. You’ll want to include both small-scale and large-scale prints. And be sure to watch the weight. Evenly disperse patterns throughout the room versus grouping them all together at one end.

4. Consider a single color

You can certainly mix colors and patterns, but an easy way to work a multitude of prints is to stick with one main color. A common color ensures that your patterns will work together.

Regardless of whether you choose a single color, be sure to work with the same color intensity. For example don’t mix pastels with primary colors or neutrals with jewel tones.

5. Keep it in the family

Another way to keep your patterns on track is to choose prints from the same family. For example, work with classic patterns such as damask and toile or trendy patterns such as chevron and large graphics. But take a cue from Romeo and Juliet: avoid mixing the two families.

It’s that simple! Follow these tips and tricks and have fun getting your mix on.