Interior Design Ideas: Pattern Mixing

5 Pattern Design Ideas

Mixing patterns is a guaranteed way to bring personality and punch to your space. Create combinations that mesh rather than clash with these pattern mixing basics and examples.

How to Mix Patterns
With these five home décor tricks up your sleeve, you’re ready to mix and match patterns as skillfully—and stylishly—as a decorating pro:

1. Use the rule of three. Decorating with three patterns creates visual interest without feeling excessive. It’s also important to vary the size, or scale, of your patterns. You want one large, one medium and one small. For example, an oversized pattern with chevron stripes and a small-scale geometric trellis print.

Tip: For softer, understated style, use two styles of the same pattern. Think big and little floral patterns with medium-scale plaid.

2. For the best colour schemes,  match your colors. Pick two colors in your biggest, boldest pattern, add a second pattern (and some solids) that shares one or both of them, and then a third that introduces a new hue. To pair them like a pro, use a colour wheel. Just be sure they share the same intensity—all jewel tones, all pastels or all earth tones, for instance.

Tip: Ease into pattern mixing with a monochromatic colour scheme, picking patterns in different shades and tints of the same colour.

3. Embrace variety. Florals and stripes are  foolproof  decorating ideas, but as you get more comfortable with pattern mixing, have fun with it! For starters, mix and match a wilder print with a smaller, neater one—paisley with two-toned stripes, animal prints with repeating geometric prints.

4. Set a mood. Different patterns have different personalities or “feels” as the pros say.  For traditional interior design in a dining room or hallway, start with a formal pattern like a toile or damask. For a cozier feel in the kitchen or bedroom, build from a more casual pattern, like gingham or tribal prints.


Become a member of Reward Me and get exclusive offers!

Become a member

5. Don’t underestimate white. Mixing patterns in one colour plus white is always a safe bet, but they must match—all bright white, all cream. The same white pulls it together, but different ones can create visual chaos. Another trick of the trade: Pops of white, like a side table or mantel, help create a natural, eye-pleasing balance in the room.

Pattern Mixing Decorating Ideas
Incorporate pattern into your interior design through textiles like pillows, rugs and window treatments, or add more surprising pops, like a patterned ottoman, chair cushion, lampshade or even wallpaper. Draw inspiration from these style-specific combinations to create looks all your own:

  • Cottage: Bring the comfy chic style of  English country cottages to your home with plaid, toile and dainty floral patterns.

Tip: Spread patterns throughout the space; clustering everything in one spot throws off the balance and flow of the room.

  • Earthy: For a natural, folksy feel, tribal and tie-dye patterns.
  • Eclectic: Set a happy-go-lucky scene with some classic and some modern patterns—think scripted prints, bold florals and minimalist stripes.

Get more tips for a better home here.

Learn useful home décor tips.

Confirm your personal information

In order to finalize your request, please fill-in the requested information below.