House Rules: Pattern Mixology

Using multiple patterns together in a room is often near the top of the list of design concerns.

A15 HOUSERULES
Published October 18, 2012 7:20 PM
2 min read

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A15 HOUSERULESUsing multiple patterns together in a room is often near the top of the list of design concerns.

By Michele Green and Barbara Sperling

 

Using multiple patterns together in a room is often near the top of the list of design concerns. Here are a few “House Rules” you can follow to ease the anxiety of mixing it up:

 

A15 HOUSERULESHouse Rule: Find a great fabric to serve as your inspiration and build your design around it by uniting the patterns with a common color. If your foundation is blue, all of the patterns should have the same blue color repeated somewhere in the pattern. Don’t mix pastels with primary colors, or muted ones with vibrant jewel tones.

 

House Rule: Odd numbers seem to work best when grouping things together. Three is the minimum number of patterns you should use in a room. You want a mix of large, medium, and small scale when mixing patterns.

 

Pattern #l – Pick the largest pattern carefully because it will make the strongest statement in your room. In our example, the floral is the largest, strongest pattern.

 

Pattern #2 – Select a different pattern that’s half the scale or size of the first. In the example shown, the hemp and cream modified geometric is the second strongest fabric.

 

Pattern #3 – The third encompasses similar colors from the first two predominant fabrics and is of the smallest scale. The blue fabric with the small brown dots shown in the photo works well since it has similar colors but does not compete with the more intricate patterns.

 

House Rule: Be mindful of balance to avoid putting all patterned pieces on one side of the room. Try repeating a pattern from the window treatments by using it for a pillow across the room so the patterns are positioned evenly throughout the room. Also, don’t forget about solids and textures. Distributing solids, textures, and patterns smoothly throughout the room will provide an aesthetically balanced look.

 

We would love to hear your design questions, or topics you would like us to cover in future columns. Email us at houserules@shoptheopenhouse.com.

 

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