I have always loved mixing patterns — even as a kid, I was made fun of for combining stripes with polka dots. Given though I didn't care what a bunch of fourth graders thought, this habit transferred into adulthood. And I'm so glad professional and amateur designers alike are now beginning to incorporate mixed patterns into their clients' and their own spaces regularly.
However, there are three main tips to consider before mixing patterns wisely and effectively:
- Use patterns of multiple scales: All of the patterns you use should be of different scale — too many small, tight patterns could confuse the eye in a space.
- Incorporate white to add negative space: White or other light neutrals allow the eye to take a breather from all that pattern goodness, and can add to the depth of a space. If you're not into white, allow areas of open-blocked color to give the eyes a rest.
- Use colors that complement each other: Bright pink stripe with red leopard? Maybe not. Use non-competing colors in your pattern play.
Check out a few good examples from our tours. (Images: as credited above).
1. Isabel and Claire's Globetrotting living room. Image by Rebecca Proctor
2. Katharine and James' Glamorous Family Home in London. Image by Eleanor Busing.
3. Irene and Evan's Welcoming Whismy House Tour. Image by Bethany Nauert.
4. Jean and Dylan's Playful Working Hideaway House Tour. Image by Andie Powers.
5. Lesli's Bright and Beautiful Farmhouse, photo submitted by Lesli.