Three Ways To Boldly Mix Patterns

Patterns can be a scary thing. Patterns, some might say, give solids job security — so that those of us who feel intimidated by the plaids, paisleys and polka dots of the world can find peace in a calm beige or a soothing blush.

But, perhaps patterns are simply misunderstood.

There are ways to introduce patterns, and even mix patterns, to elevate a room’s dimension, be it the family room, bedroom or office. Experts insist patterns are friendly, and they even play well with other patterns, if they’re compatible.

And that may be the key. Finding compatibility among patterns and colors. Here are a few tips and trends to remember when mixing patterns.

Know your patterns. It helps to be able to decipher the difference between a Damask and a Quatrefoil in a totally unpretentious way. It’s just easier when searching online or when asking for help in stores to be able to identify a Trellis or Ikat pattern over describing what the pattern looks like. School yourself on the patterns you like, so you’re able to peruse your favorite sites and shops in search of the shapes and scenes you’d like to add to your home. Need a primer? Wayfair has a list of the top 15 patterns. Consider it “home” work.

Find inspiration. As with any industry, home décor demonstrates annual and seasonal trends. Lucky for us, who may not have time to keep up with all things style, Vogue corralled the biggest trends for 2017, allowing us to cherry-pick our favorites for inspired additions to our home. Included in those trends is anything green, big or small, lime or emerald. Beyond that, modern African and Asian prints are popular, tropical patterns are earning their keep, bronze is big, textures are in and muted colors, such as grays and blushes, are trending.

Experiment. You never really know how things work together until you actually put them together. HGTV offered a few handy tips on mixing patterns to guide newbies on the process. Experts first suggest that you start with an inspiration. Maybe it’s a color, one pattern or a scene. Once you have your inspiration, you can build from it. The pros suggest consistency when it comes to the intensity of hues, keeping muted colors with muted colors and jewel tones with jewel tones. But when it comes to patterns, select obviously opposite designs to ensure the look appears intentional. And, when mixing patterns, find different scales, blending large patterns with smaller ones.