Cure for a Humdrum Living Room: Plenty of Pattern

published Jan 31, 2017
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(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Sarah likes a visually interesting home, as shown by the eight patterns in her living room. “I like each room to have pops of color and pattern to keep things fun and eclectic as you move from room to room,” writes Sarah. “I like to mix and match patterns so they relate, but also contrast for visual interest.” Sarah shared her pointers for mixing patterns in her fearless living room.

Start with one bold piece

I tend to fold new patterns in as I find them, but I started with one boldly patterned piece (the drapes), which dominates, and built upon that.

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Don’t make it too matchy-matchy

I don’t like things to look too overly coordinated and matchy-matchy, so I include repeating colors, or inverse colors for contrast, interspersed with solid colors.

Keep the backdrop neutral

The walls, sofa, and some of the chairs add a neutral backdrop for playing with pattern in the accessories, drapes, rug, and throw pillows. The persimmon-colored chair pattern ties together the persimmon, solid-colored sofa and the contrasting gray patterned drapes. I try to stick with a limited palette of grays and orangey/reds in the living room.

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Play with size and scale

Play with size and mix different scales to complement each other. For example, use smaller, subtler prints paired with larger-scale, bold prints that have a different directional pattern.

Spread it around

It also helps to spread pattern throughout the room so one area doesn’t look busier than another and your eye keeps moving around the room.

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Remember you can always change it

The great thing about playing with patterns in accessories is you can change them out if you get pattern-ennui! That’s why I tend to gravitate toward neutral backdrops such as white walls and solid-colored furniture.

(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

Thanks Sarah!

See all of her beautiful home → A New England Craftsman Colonial Goes Contemporary