Designer’s Guide to Mixing Patterns — RISMedia


Mixing patterns can change the overall look of a room. A variety of patterns can change from the scale of rooms to the energy of space. However, blending patterns seamlessly can often feel overwhelming and confusing. The key to creating visual harmony is having the right mix of shape, color and size. With a few expert tips, you can start mixing and matching patterns throughout your home, resulting in a designer-inspired space. Read on for some tried and true rules for mixing patterns in your own home.

Use different sizes

When mixing patterns, it is important that the patterns are not all the same size. Instead, a large-scale pattern should be the main pattern, and you can layer medium and small patterns. For example, you can use a stripe as the dominant pattern, with herringbone and floral patterns as accent patterns.

Select the correct number of patterns

Three to four models are a good number of models to use in a space. This will result in the most visually balanced room. Two patterns can look like an accident, while more than four can feel cluttered and random.

Mix simple and complex patterns

Mixing simple and intricate patterns will help the room not get too busy. A simple pattern will balance the complexity of busier prints. This blend will also provide the contrast needed for a cohesive space.

Use similar colors

Select similar colors to avoid crowding the space and keep the room from looking chaotic. You can achieve this by using a tonal color scheme or by selecting a unified color palette. A visually appealing color palette should have a dominant color, a secondary color, and an accent color that is used sparingly.

Bring color contrast

While sticking to the colors you’ve selected in your color palette, you can vary the shades of the colors for additional balance in the room. For example, if your color palette is blue, white, and green, using different shades of blue, such as navy and pale blue, and white and cream, can create a beautifully layered and cohesive space.

Incorporate solids

For a visual break, be sure to incorporate a few solid pieces. This might mean several sturdy throw pillows, a sturdy blanket, or sturdy curtains with a patterned ribbon along the edge.

Space the patterns

Spreading the patterns throughout the room maintains the balance of the room. It is essential to mix the patterns instead of grouping them. For example, this means using a striped rug on the floor, floral draperies, and cushions in various patterns, such as a herringbone pillow, a smaller-scale stripe, and a solid.

Mix traditional and eclectic

Combining traditional and eclectic patterns can make a room feel fresh and harmonious. An example of this type of pattern mix can be mixing classic stripes with a bold ikat print.

Mixing patterns can instantly create a layered and interesting look.


Comments are closed.