There are certain design trends that those who don’t feel like they’re “pro” designers tend to avoid because they’re too complicated or seem to require some sort of magic. Mixing patterns in a design is definitely one of those. But doing it right can have an incredible affect on an otherwise “safe” design. And yes, even you, someone with no “pro” design experience can make it work.
Here are a few of my rules for making mixing patterns in a space work and perfectly mesh (and not mesh):
Mix Large and Small Prints:
This is one of the easiest ways to nail to pattern mixing trend is to try this very easy way to blend similarly colored patterns. Any oversized pattern will look just fine and eye catching with a smaller printed pattern. Look at the variation in size between the geometric rig and the smaller patterns on the floor seats. It’s very subtle and there is no tricky color coordinating but it does add another layer of variation to the room. It’s a little more interesting and not nearly as predictable now! It makes your design look a little more thought out and professional.
Mix Organic VS Modern:
This is a little trick I don’t think many people realize is really attractive and appealing to the eye naturally. If you want to fix patterns successfully, try mixing an organic pattern with a geometric, modern pattern. An organic pattern is anything that appears in nature and does not follow strict lines and shapes. Florals, plant patters, or any patterns that take a more organic form rather than structured will work. The stark contrast to something more geometric is really interesting but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I love in this example that they kept the geometric patterns to the floor and organic patterns on the curtains for a direct contrast. This looks particularly great in really traditional or really modern designs to kind of break from predictability.
This one is too easy and will fit into any style! I have trouble choosing which florals I like anyways so why not combine them. I love this look worked into a super modern design for an organic touch. This is a great way to also incorporate a ton of color into a really clean or neutral design. The opposite of mixing organic with geometric, when you combine two organic patterns, the eye is happy with it. It makes sense, no matter when the colors are. So this is a great way to tie together colors in a very eclectic room as well. It also helps to pull together different elements from different styles like in the example above.
Mix Subtle Patterns:
If you really want to play it same and neutral, you can still create something interesting with patterns. In this example, she’s combined really subtle and neutrally colored patterns in a very organic looking design. The goal is to not be very dramatic or bold with patterns and this works beautifully. It’s still a very soothing and clean design. But there is a slightly more interesting element that catches your eye. When you take a risk to incorporate this look into your design, especially a modern one, it looks more bold and professional.
Mix Complementary Colors:
One more trick you can use if you’re going for a look that is a little more bold. Combining patterns that are complimentary in color helps mesh them together in an unconventional way. It’s a great way to create an intentionally “eclectic” look that doesn’t look like a complete mess. Other random objects, art, and furniture will look more “in place” as well. I personally think this looks best when furniture is mostly neutral like in this example and the patterns are allowed to hold their own.
I hope this helped explain the best methods and tricks to combining patterns and empowered you to maybe take the risk in your next design or own home! It’s a game changer when done right!