Everything Old is New Again: Pattern on Pattern on Pattern

Everything Old is New Again: Pattern on Pattern on Pattern

Nancy Mitchell
Oct 22, 2013

Layering multiple patterns in a room — that is okay. Encouraged, even. But using the same pattern over and over and over in the same room can be... a bit much. To modern eyes, this 60s bedroom may look fussy, or precious. You would never see this in a contemporary space... or would you?

This modern-day room, spotted in the pages of Lonny, is still a bit of a pattern-splosion. But the restrained linens on the bed, and the limited furnishings in the room, make this look cozy and enveloping rather than crazy and overwhelming. Granted, though, that it's not a look for everyone. This space is far from minimalist.

(Interestingly enough, the pattern in the picture above, called 'Lhasa', is from Brunschwig & Fils; so is the pattern in the top photo, called 'Verrieres' (and still in production). The top photo is from The Peak of Chic.)

Here's another take on the look, from Rue Magazine. The repetition of the same pattern on the wall, on the bed, and in the curtains behind the bed gives all these features a certain cohesiveness: they feel almost architectural. (They also remind me a little of this.) To keep all that pattern from hurting your eyes too much, everything else in the room is pretty simple: black walls, black floor, white linens, black and white rug. (And, of course, a Lalanne sheep. Part of every restrained design.)

The toile pattern in this bedroom (photographed by Philip Harvey and spotted on The Style Saloniste) does triple duty as wall hangings, curtains and wallpaper. I love how cozy all the repetition, and the soft textiles, feel: the pattern is less contrasty than the ones in the above two rooms, so it's less statement-making, but also easier on the eyes.

And here's one final examplar of the style, from Vogue Living Australia. I think it's the most true to the spirit of the original, and it's also my least favorite — to me, all those florals! florals! florals! just read a little too chintzy. But maybe this one is your very favorite? It does seem very atrendy, something that you'll love or hate just as much 30 years from today as you do now. Do you love the look? Is crazy allover pattern cozy and weirdly appealing? Or should it stay in the past?

(Images: as credited above)

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