How to Combine Patterns

Combining colors can be daunting, but mixing patterns? That can take an eye for design. Too many patterns in a room can overwhelm the senses and look like visual clutter. A room full of solids with one lone pattern, however, can be a little boring. Instead, find a design that blends balance with interest by mixing it up a little bit.

 

Here are five rules to follow:

 

Links Grey Rug Pattern Illusions Chair Pattern
1. Stay with the same color depth

Mixing pastels with jewel tones, or primary colors with muted, earthy neutrals doesn’t work. One pattern will dominate and the other will look like a design mistake. Instead, mix patterns by sticking to the same intensity. For example, our bold black and charcoal Grey Links Area Rug mixes well with the deep red and gray floral pattern of the Illusions Accent Chair. You can easily mix florals with dots or stripes or another pattern if it shares a common color palette.

 

Nolana Accent Chair Pattern Geo Chic Rug Pattern
2. Or stick with one color

You can also mix patterns that share a common color. Our Nolana Accent Chair, for example, has a deep apple green stripe. It pairs well with our Geo Chic Rug, which features a brick pattern in the same color. The result is a striking splash of green.

 

Parquet Rug Pattern Sidney Road Accent Chair Pattern
3. Stay in the same style family

Another thing to do when mixing patterns is to stick to the same style. Contemporary patterns will mix well with contemporary patterns, and traditional patterns usually work best with traditional. There are exceptions to this rule, however. For example, a classic Oriental rug will often work in any style home. Here we mix the contemporary style and palette of our Sidney Road Accent Chair with the same style and palette of the Parquet Slate Area Rug. The effect is modern and sophisticated.

 

Poppy Accent Chair PatternGrant Rug Pattern
4. Consider scale
For patterns to complement each another, one should take the lead. Stripes and florals work well together, as do florals and plaids. The key is to watch the scale. If one pattern is large, the other should be of a smaller scale. Here we mix the large pattern on our Poppy Accent Chair with the narrow stripe on our Grant Rug.

 

5. Strive for balance

Finally, consider the layout of your furniture when you select patterns. Balance patterns around the room, and avoid having them all together on one side of a room. The bottom line is to have fun. Chances are, you can tell if it’s a hit or a miss. So listen to your inner design compass – it won’t steer you wrong.


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