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Mixing patterns in home decoration is easier than you think. I think most people are scared to mix patterns for fear that their home will end up looking like a gypsy caravan. Not to say that gypsy caravans can’t look interesting and while they have been around for centuries, it’s probably not your first choice in decorating. I also think people are intimidated by pattern and that’s why so many rooms end up being run-of-the-mill, safe beige. There are several rules when mixing pattern in one room, once mastered, you will be able to mix patterns to perfection.
Before you start throwing a multitude of patterns into a room, have an idea of a general color palate and theme. Here are the things you need to remember when mixing pattern:
Have a unified color scheme. Notice above there is a common use of a rusty orange and harvest yellow throughout most of the fabrics.
Balance scale and shapes. If you choose a large scale floral, you must balance that with complimenting fabrics like a small repeat pattern like the small leaf themed fabric, a striped patten or check, as well as solids.
This image shows a scheme in action. Large scale pattern on the chair, a tighter ikat pattern behind and solids to create a resting pace for the eye.
This vignette is all about using pattern to set a mood. The pattern here is less jarring because of the heavy use of solids. The solid walls, polished wood table lamp, and table reinforce the cozy atmosphere. The surprising orange fabric on the chair makes sense because of the orange undertones of the burled wood table and the flowers.
This blue bedroom mixes pattern beautifully. Again the grounding agents are the crisp white bedding and the nightstand. The tighter floral pattern wallpaper compliments the larger scale floral pillows and striped carpet. Keep in mind the unifying color scheme of blue and green.
Another example for a slightly more subdued version of the patterned bedroom. All the same rules apply here as well.
Wow. I know this one is off-the-charts, but it works. Although the wallpaper seems busy, its muted tones really act as a neutral backdrop for the bold pink. The solid black lamps are an anchor that offers a place for the eye to rest while taking in the bold color and pattern.
If you are willing to amp-up on the pattern, this sculptural black lamp is a good place to start. Of course you may wish to find a replacement shade to work with your personal color scheme or start anew by browsing our large assortment of table lamps.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool fan of neutrals, you can still infuse your home with pattern. The same rules apply when mixing and matching. This room has large scale curtain fabric, striped walls, and a tighter geometric fabric on the chairs. Solids are used on the floor, chair backs, pillows and table as a relaxing resting place for the eye. It is to be hoped that pattern will now seem less scary to you and remember the gypsy’s crystal ball cannot predict the outcome for you room, only you can make that happen with a little help from the design rules outlined above.
Photos courtesy of Mrsblandings, Chinoiseriechic, Boglestreet, Katiedid