Playing with patterns in decorating can make such an impression in a room. Why do people have such a tough time with mixing and matching when decorating a room?
To some, it comes naturally, to others not so much. As a kid, going to the fabric store with my mom I would spend hours looking at the bolts of fabric full of patterns and color. Something that I still love to do.
How to mix patterns and color to work together
OK, I get it, you are fearful to add too many patterns in a room. Trying to mix and match can be confusing. To get the hang of mixing things up to try working with textures in the same color family. Use colors in the same family and add texture to add interest. For example, in this picture from West Elm, beautifully tucked coverlet, with fur pillow to create interest to the virtually no color palette.
Color as a common ground
Use color to find commonality among prints if you are so bold. Today many stores will display complementary fabrics next to each other. Look at the hue of the color, if they match the patterns will usually work. You might find a blue pillow that has a print and one that has an appliqué pattern with the same blue, the commonality of the color will tie the two prints together.
If you are choosing multiple prints think multiple scales; small, medium and large. Quilters know this all too well. Find the base color that you want to work with then choose fabrics that have a small, medium, and large scale print. If you keep all your prints the same scale throughout, the patterns will compete with one another appearing too busy. Your goal is to create a cohesive look. Here you might like a big bold pattern for your rug, add a solid couch (I always recommend a solid color couch) and work with the feel or style of the rug pattern to pick out the art and fabric for the pillows.
While you are choosing your prints always keep in mind style. Are you adding these patterns to a space that will be traditional – think damask and paisley; or contemporary think geometric patterns and abstract curves.
Playing with patterns can really be a blast and make or break the cohesiveness of a room, so take your time, go to a fabric store and play around with the bolts. Go to a store that has a bunch of pillows and pulls them off the shelf arrange them on a solid couch and see how playful you can get.
Send me pictures of your mixed patterns!