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Decorating 101: How to Mix Patterns

Using patterns in interior design is very important as they help create depth within a space, add a touch of drama, and tend to tie everything together within a room when used properly. Getting the right balance of patterns can be the make or break to the success of a room’s design. Selecting patterns for your room can be a challenge, and mixing multiple patterns can be even more intimidating when you are trying to pull your room together. From minimal and traditional, to geometric and modern there are so many options to choose from. Whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist there is a pair of patterns for everyone. It all comes down to coordination and finding complimentary options and we’re here to help you figure out how to successfully use as many, or as few, patterns as you’d like to bring your space to life! Read on to see Inside Weather’s top five pointers for mixing and matching patterns to perfection.

Understanding Patterns

When thinking about patterns, bold textiles may come to mind first, but patterns in fact come in multiple medium forms including, but not limited to, marble, wood, tile, and printed textiles. When layering and mixing patterns, we think it is best to use some combination of multiple mediums within your space. Many people are intimidated by mixing patterns, especially in multiple forms, within a room in fear that they may distract from the overall design of the space, but we believe they do just the opposite. Using multiple tones and layers of pattern will help create depth and direction within your room by drawing your eye to specific locations, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your decor!

We are firm believers in maximizing when it comes to patterns here at Inside Weather! With over 300 different pattern choices, we’re certainly sure we have something to meet everyone's needs. We offer patterns on our dining chairs, lounge chairs, tables, sideboards, credenzas, desks and throw pillows. You can check out all of our pattern offerings on our product pages here!

Start with a Color Palette

Color is one of the most powerful tools in unifying a space, specifically in relation to patterns. With so many colors and tones out there, this part can be intimidating. Check out our tips on identifying a color palette for your home here if you need guidance in this area. Whether you are into neutrals, bold colors, or a monochromatic color palette, there are countless ways to mix and match when it comes to patterns within your space. When selecting a color palette, you can pull inspiration from just about anything. Maybe you have a bold color print on a sofa that you want to work with, bright geometric patterns on a rug, or are simply starting out with a wall color you just had to have. No matter what, we suggest starting with one solid color you’d like to see throughout the space and build from there. 

Take Pattern Scale into Consideration

When mixing and matching multiple patterns, it is important to take pattern scale into account. The balance in the scales of the patterns are just as important as the patterns themselves. Starting with three patterns within the space is a great way to get started as this is the minimum number of patterns you should use within any given space. Pattern number one should be your loudest pattern and strongest statement within your design. This means you can choose a really vibrant pattern, a really large scale pattern, or simply your most favorite pattern that you want to use within the space. Pattern two should be a contrasting pattern and should also be smaller in scale. So, for example, if you use a really large scale floral pattern first, your second pattern can be something like a smaller scale chevron or dotted print. Then, you can tie the first two together with pattern three by making it similar to either option. If working off of the above example, a great option for pattern three would be another floral pattern with several of the colors from the other two patterns. Always remember to tie everything together through either similar pattern, color, or both.

Here is one of our favorite pattern pairings from within our assortment.

In this example you can see we went for a bold large scale geometric pattern for pillow number one, a complimentary geometric pattern for number two, and tied it together with pillow number three by using the same circular shape from pillow one, and the same color background from pillow two. This is a great option for those who want to go bold on pattern, but stay neutral in color. You can check out each of these pillows on our throw pillow page here!

Distribute Patterns Evenly

We highly suggest that about 40%-60% of your entire room should have a pattern and the remainder be balanced with neutrals. How you choose to create this division is entirely up to you and your personal home decor preferences, but you should always be sure that the patterns are evenly distributed. Keeping patterns to one side of the room, or to just the floor, or the walls can make the room feel unbalanced and look off. You should always provide some resting space for your eye. So for example, if you have a patterned rug, curtains, and pillows, you may want to opt for solid colors and textures when researching how to choose your furniture color within the space. On the other hand, if you have bold patterns on your furniture pieces, you can balance the space by adding a solid rug and curtains.

When considering patterns for your space, always keep in mind that it is a great idea to get samples and use a bit of trial and error before finding the perfecting pairings. There are no rules to mixing patterns, so be sure to find a way to express yourself, and if you really love something, there is always a way to make it work. Remember your living spaces should be an expression of your personality and aesthetic so trust your instincts and always remember to have fun and make it the room of your dreams!