Mixing patterns makes a space more interesting. Not only that, they have a way of tying all the colours of a room together to create a more cohesive look and feel.

Want to mix patterns, but afraid to? Follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be mixing patterns in no time. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Evaluate Your Existing or Desired Palette

Before heading out to your local home goods store, take a look at your existing palette. You can work with what you have and add a few pieces. Another option is to choose one of your existing colours and build a different scheme from there. In order to do that, we need to start with the basics. 

Analagous: represents the colours on either side of your chosen colour.

Complementary: Are colours directly opposite one another on the colour wheel.

Triad: Is the colour scheme you get when you impose a triangle over the colour wheel.

If after doing all that, you’re still overwhelmed or stuck, be sure to check out different resources for inspiration. My personal favourite is Design-Seeds.com

Step 2: Find Your “Design Bridge”

A pattern with multiple colours is the design bridge that brings into harmony all the other colours in a space. It is the piece that helps to pull and tie it all together. Ideally, you want a minimum 3-4 colours. 

Typical design bridge pieces are rugs, art, drapery, throw cushions.

Stylish soft pillows and folded plaid on white background

Step 3: Vary Your Patterns’ Scales

When they say mix and match they’re referring to scale and colour. Mix the scale and match the colour. Two large scale patterns will compete with one another, whereas a large and small print will work together nicely. This also breaks up the monotony, a dreaded enemy in the world of design.

Diversifying the patterns creates a harmonious grouping, and adds to visual interest.

Cozy bedroom interior with a bed dressed in white and green sheets and peach blanket. Upholstered gray armchair beside the bed and painted fabric art on the back wall.

Step 4: Test Your Patterns Before Committing

You’ll need to test the compatibility of desired patterns before heading out on your shopping spree and implementing them into your space.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Prints from the same era will generally work well together
  • Stripes and polka dots are considered neutrals in the pattern world
  • Break up prints and patterns with solid colours
  • Mix varying scales – combine a large print with a smaller pattern

Not sure how to test compatibility? Fabric samples are a great start, or you can put images side by side. If you’re still not sure or are second guessing yourself, call in a designer for a consultation.

Step 5: Implement Your Mix of Patterns into Your Space

You are now armed with the necessary information to mix and match prints and patterns. Now the fun part—time to shop! That being said, I have one little reminder and that’s to keep your receipts. Happy shopping!

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Until next time,