Color Palette

How To Perfectly Mix Patterns for a Fabulous Look

Smacs from design wi reach

I love to mix patterns in a room because it automatically makes the room more interesting.  Mixing patterns add depth and personality to tell a story just as an artist does on a canvas.  It’s amazing what a little bit of paisely, a stripe and maybe even an ikat pattern can do to a room.

Do you want to mix it up but panic at the thought of the final results looking like decorator gone wild instead of designer fabulous.

Well. don’t stress out about it any longer.  I want you to try it and get the results you’re longing for.  There is no magic formula how to mix patterns, but there are many options to make multiple patterns work beautifully together a room. Here are my favorite tips how to do it successfully:

How To Mix Patterns With Success

1. Create Balance with Pattern and Color

There are 5 colors in this room: 2 brights (turquoise and lavender), 2 neutrals (white and beige) and 1 accent color (gold).  The colors work together to balance each other out.  The colorful wallpaper and bright trim color on the window needed the simplicity of the rug to balalnce it.  Even though there are 4 different shades of purple in the rug because the tones are close and muted the rug calms down the space.  Also, the shapes in the screen serve as another pattern in the room.  All the patterns work together to create an overall look that’s very pleasing to the eye.

Heidi Pribell InteriorsDesign by Heidi Pribell Interiors

2. Explore One Pattern in Different Ways.  Do you love stripes or paisely or florals for that matter?  Consider choosing one pattern type and tell a story using variations on that theme.  It works beautifully below with the bold stripes of different weights in a classic color palette.  The sofa stripe pattern lightens up the boldness of the floor pattern.  Also, using lots of white in the room makes a clean and fresh look.

Blue Stripes mix houzz

3.  Use Different Patterns with the Same Color  Here’s the trick: If you have multiple patterns simplify the color palette to make it work.  There are 7 patterns in this blue and white room but the blues look identical and that makes the design work.  When selecting patterns make scale your friend.  The bold patterns on the chairs and walls balance each other.   The medium size patterns in the carpet and drapes work together and the small pattern used on the ceiling doesn’t overpower.  Using lots of white calms and unifies.


Blue & White mixRoom by designers Kelly Ford and Kirsten Fitzgibbons


4.  Start with a Patterned Rug and Build Around It.  The distinct graphic pattern in the rug inspired everything else in the room. The strong pattern in the rug made it important to use big doses of solid colors as neutrals to soften the impact of the pattern.  The bold chevron pattern on the ottman and floral pillows give punches of color in just the right places and the eyes flow throughout the room.

J Allan interiors grey rug

Again, a similar design treatment where the rug pattern anchors the room.  This desgin uses graphic patterns and bold punches of color to keep the eye flowing throughout the room and unify the pattern use.

BHG white, purple dining

5. Use Companion Fabrics.  Often the manufacturers do the work for you with a complete line of fabrics and sometimes wall papers that coordinate perfectly.   So why reinvent the wheel?   Keep it simple buy the coordinate, choose your paint colors and accessorize – you’re done.

IMG_0835[1]Sofa, chairs, drapes and accent pillows – all you need is paint colors, accessories and a rug

Madeline Weinrib showroomMadeline Weintrib coordinating fabrics shown in chairs with rugs on display as wall art

Garren Hartmann ID blue and blk

Pattern can have a big impact on how a room feels. If you’re trying to pull a space together and create harmony, think larger patterns. Want to draw attention to one part of a room? Smaller patterns will do the trick. Also consider pattern personality. Busy patterns will up the energy level in a room while simple or pale patterns will promote calm.

I hope this helps ou achieve your perfect pattern mix.