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How to Mix Patterns Appropriately

If you’ve ever walked past a home goods storefront window and drooled over their layered patterns, or sighed wistfully at the pages of a home décor magazine filled with photos of mixed print textiles, then this post is certainly for you.

Fancy living room with black and white patterned chairs – by Hudson Interior Design

Many design novices or reformed minimalists are afraid to mix patterns for fear that their décor attempt will look like nothing more than an explosion of clashing prints, colors and textures. This is a legitimate apprehension, of course, because we’ve all seen the outcome of poor design work.

Fancy living room mixing orange and tan in a beautiful way – by Rachel Reider Interiors

In order to avoid your home resembling a pile of dirty laundry, heed the following tips:

  1. Stick to one white and one other color. At first, this may sound too simplistic, but it’s actually one of the best rules of thumb for pattern mixing. If all of your patterns are the same color, then your room will blend nicely. White will break up the differing patterns and add to the unity within your space.
  2. If you can’t stick to one color, at least stick to the same palette. You may also choose to use differing tints of the same color. For braver or more experienced designers, you may want to experiment with complementing colors.
  3. Draw everything together with one large block of color. For example, if you’ve chosen patterned throw pillows, patterned curtains and patterned wall art, tie it all in with a solid colored bedspread or wall paint.
  4. Choose only one super-bold pattern and complement the look with other more toned down prints.
  5. If you’re still to wary of prints, stick to mixing textures. This will help you build a better knowledge of which lines and natural patterns look best when paired together. Mixing patterns is not always an easy achievement and can take a great deal of learned skills.
Modern bedroom idea with white and red-orange – by emily jagoda
Traditional family room with blue and grey color palette – by StarrMiller Interior Design
Awesome color combination (orange and brown) for a modern living room – by Pepe Calderin
Living room with white couches and grey walls – by Tara Bussema
Green and white contrast in modern living room – by FrontPorch
Beautiful upholstered coffee table with patterns, in green and white living room – by Tara Bussema
Fashion living room with bold selection of patterned fabrics – by Tamara Kaye-Honey. © Grey Crawford for CHD
Modern kitchen with cream white and orange cabinets – by Alterstudio
Black kitchen, orange dining space and white living area – by Mosca Photo
Fancy living area with colorful patterns – by Tamar Schechner
Modern looking living area with geometric designed upholstered chairs – by Abbe Fenimore / Studio Ten 25

Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is a seasoned blogger, entertainment journalist and all around professional wordsmith with a passion for interior design and home organization. A self-proclaimed eternal wanderer and neat freak, she enjoys sharing her eclectic tastes and zeal of creating a beautiful and balanced space through DIY home décor. After graduating with a degr[...]

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