Design School: mixing patterns

One of the best ways to pull together a high end looking interior that doesn’t give off that “room in a bag” kind of vibe is to mix patterns; but to many that can be super intimidating!

Pattern is one of those things that when blended together right looks amazing but it is possible to have too much of a good thing or to get overwhelmed in the process!  My general rule of thumb for interiors is if you love it then go for it!!  But for those that are a-scared to jump off the pattern ledge here is the first ever HSE addition of Design School.

A little disclaimer first, these are just “guidelines” to follow, these aren’t hard and fast rules.  Most important is that you give it a shot…some attempts might be more successful then others but in the end I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the effect a little pattern can have in your life!

- Work with the same color “intensity” {pastels with pastels or jewel tones with jewel tones}  Now this doesn’t mean that every single color has to be in the same tone {a pop is always encouraged!!} but if you are struggling to find a combo that works this can help you pull it all together.

- Combine different types of patterns.  Mix large scale floral patterns with linear stripes or plaids.  Ikats with textured fabrics.  Just don’t combine patterns that are too similar {ex. two different types of polkdots = big no-no}

- Find balance in your space.  Don’t put all of the patterns in one spot in the room, locate them around the room.  For instance in the picture below there is a large scale pattern on the window treatments, a texture on the fireplace  {the stone}, small linear patterned chairs with large scale pattern pillows and a patterned rug.  The patterns are balanced throughout the room using large scale patterns in combination with smaller scale and textured pattern.

{Image found here}

- Use a mix of scales of patterns as well as types.  In other words include large scale, medium scale and small scale patterns that are a combination of linear, organic and textured patterns

- Start with one pattern with lots of color and base scheme around that {a colorful stripe, floral or organic would be a good place to start}

- Don’t forget about those textures too!  Mixing up textures {velvety smooth with chunky knit or soft cotton} is another great way to add depth to your space.

Homework Assignment: Choose three or more patterns {odds are always better then evens}

  • Pattern #1 sets the tone for the other patterns.  For this pattern go big and bold.  Make sure there are more then 2 colors and look at patterns like ikat, floral or plaid.
  • Pattern #2 should  be about 1/2 the scale of the first pattern.  For this pattern try a geometric, animal print or stripe.  Try to use less colors then #1 {but at least 2}
  • Pattern #3 should be a small scale pattern or a texture that pulls from either #1 or #2.  Try a tone on tone pattern or a very strong textured fabric.  {remember pattern doesn’t have to only be bold and out there!}

Still nervous about the whole pattern mixing thing?  A great way to play with pattern without getting overwhelmed is by picking one color combo {in this case black and white} that way all you have to focus on is the scale and pattern type!

So get out there and get creative!  Start by looking around your house {or even in your closet} to see what kinds of patterns you might already have!  Push the limits of what you think “goes” together and try something a bit more unexpected!

Class Dismissed

~ Jillian

* There’s still time! Enter to win an adorable custom onsie for a cute munchkin in your life {here}!

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