How to Mix Patterns - Like an interior Designer

Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Mixing patterns can be one of the most intimidating parts of interior design for novices. The good news is there's a super simple system of how to pick patterns that go together for a harmonious but not match-matchy feel. I'm going to teach you how to mix patterns like an interior designer to make your home decor beautiful and sophisticated.

Step 1

Your first fabric selection should be a colorful and playful selection, think of florals and other vibrant prints (that aren't patterns). You want this fabric to include many, if not all of the colors,  of your home's color scheme. This way you have lots of options to to select from when choosing other cohesive fabrics that will suite your entire home. This should be a pattern that you love and would want to make the star fabric of your room. It could be suitable anywhere, from rugs, to walls, to pillows it depends on how bold of a look you're going for in your home's personal decor. The bolder the pattern and the bigger the area, the more drama it will give your space.

Step 2

Generally speaking your second fabric selection, is going to be for any large objects in your room. For this fabric select one of the neutrals from your home's color scheme that is also featured in the print from your first fabric and look for a fabric that features that shade in a large, geometric pattern or a textured, solid pattern. A textured solid would include any woven fabric or material that appears to be one solid color from far away, but in fact up close has a very subtle pattern. This pattern choice is best for those big space objects like walls, rugs, and large pieces of furniture.

Your next pattern should be a small, geometric pattern. This pattern is ideal for any mid-small sized accessories. It could be for chairs, shows, pillows, rugs. Again make sure to stick to a color that is in fabric one and in your home's color scheme, but is not the same color as fabric choice number two. This will begin to bring balance to your space. Smaller prints tend to be a little more whimsical and stylish than large geometric patterns, so be sure and choose a print that brings personality to your home.

Step 3

For pattern number three go with a large, geometric pattern but this one doesn't necessarily need to be in a neutral color. Selecting a large pattern is going to help offset the smaller and busier patterns in selections 1,3,5.  Again, the larger the pattern the better suited this fabric is for your rooms large objects like, sofas, chairs, and curtains or even large throw pillows and ottomans.

Step 4

Like with step three where we repeated step 1. For step four we are going to repeat step 2! So look for a fabric or pattern that is closer to neutral out of your other three options. Make sure that this would be appealing on a large ticket item on your room. Some neutrals can have soft patterns and designs on them so feel free to have a color on color pattern as long as it is soft and not bright, bold or highly contrasting. You want to make sure and leet fabric 1 and 3 really do the shining and use this as more of a filler fabric.

Step 5

In design odd numbered pairings are your secret weapon. You'll want to end on an odd number of patterns in your space to make it visually pleasing and we're going to repeat selection 3 with another small-scale pattern. This could be either a geometric base or a whimsical print base. You'll want to make sure you're sticking to colors in your home's color scheme and in the fabric you chose for selection 1.

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