Solids and stripes, chevrons and florals, checks and polka dots. Mixing and matching patterns can allow for plenty of possibilities, but to some, plenty of headaches as well! Fear not, this post will put those headaches to rest! Kathy McGee with k interiors is graciously sharing her no-fail tips on how to correctly blend patterns together and actually have fun while you’re doing it!
BACKGROUND: Kathy McGee started writing her blog My Interior Life back in 2010 to chronicle her love of interior design and all her adventures in decorating along the way. As she’s decorated her own homes and those of others over the years, her style has evolved and her “eye” has been trained to find some unique pieces that personalize those spaces. Kathy believes combining estate sale and vintage finds with classic pieces makes all the difference and can’t stand cookie-cutter design. One style does not fit all. For more information, please contact Kathy at email@example.com or 615-948-0186. You can check out her blog at www.myinteriorlife.blogspot.
I’m so excited to be here talking about a fun, yet potentially stressful or perplexing task for some – mixing different patterns in a room. However, as the title suggests, if you just simply experiment, play around a little bit and follow some simple guidelines (I won’t say rules as I think a lot of great design has no rules), you’ll be mixing patterns like a master in no time.
I think one of the easiest and greatest ways to add interest with different patterns is to balance the scale of the patterns. While this may sound confusing, it’s really one of the simplest to demonstrate. And remember, pattern isn’t just for throw pillows . . . it can be in the wallpaper, rugs and upholstered furniture pieces.
(via House Beautiful)
In this example, the large-scale striped rug grounds the space, a medium-scale print on the settee adds another layer, and a small-scale print on the chair finishes off the mix. All these pieces are also in the same neutral gray/black color family, which ties in with the wall color and other furniture finishes.
This leads me to another tip when mixing patterns . . . mix shades of the same color. This is a simple way to draw pieces together and create a pleasing continuity.
Whether it’s shades of blue or simply neutrals, mixing patterns in the same color family allows you to be a little daring while creating a cohesive space.
Another great tip is to build upon one bold pattern whether it be a wallpaper, rug or curtain fabric. This bold pattern can often be the jumping-off point for an entire room, allowing other pieces to accentuate rather than detract from it.
(via Habitually Chic)
(via Habitually Chic)
Both of these rooms have extremely bold, graphic elements – the first being the wallpaper and the second being the rug. However, the other patterns in the room do not compete for attention and instead complement the graphic design element.
Which leads to another important thing to keep in mind when working with multiple patterns – soften prints with solid colors.
This room also illustrates that point. The extremely graphic rug is tempered by the white sofa and orange wall. It also shows a variation of pattern sizes – large, medium and small.
Another good idea when mixing patterns is to vary the type of pattern it is . . . geometric with something more organic like a floral or nature print. An animal print with an ethnic ikat.
(via The Estate of Things on Flickr)
One of the most important things you can do when mixing patterns is just to experiment and have fun. Start with a pattern you love, whether it’s a favorite fabric on a throw pillow, a rug or wallpaper and add in layers one at a time until it looks and feels right.
Thanks for having me, girls!
WOW! Great advice, Kathy! Such simple guidelines but SO important when designing a room! For more information about Kathy and her design business, see below:
Nashville Interior Design Blog
(First image courtesy of: SavvyHomeBlog.com )