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Pattern Pairing

This is one topic that seems to come up constantly! How do I mix patterns together so that my space doesn’t feel busy or just simply doesn’t work. I love mixing different patterns in my designs! Repetition is great but can be over done and boring.

There was a decade where this was easy and I’m sure many of you can remember it. The drapery matched the bedding or the pillows, the carpet matched the chairs and lampshades etc. I, for one, am glad that this trend ended! If you want to incorporate multiple patterns in space all you need to remember is colour and scale.

They don’t need to match, they just need to coordinate! 

Here are the basics to becoming a pattern mixing expert:

1. Try to choose different patterns that use similar colours and tones. Also remember to stick to the same hue or vibrancy. That means if there is an emerald green colour in one of your patterns don’t pair it with a different pattern that has baby blue.

2. SCALE! This one is super important. Incorporate 3-5 different patterns using 1-2 large, 1-2 medium and 1 small. Be careful not to incorporate too many small patterns. This will make for quite a busy space.

3. Space out your patterns. Don’t clump them all in one area. Think of drapery, area rug, toss cushions, chairs and art. If they are spaced nicely apart the eye will float around the room and feel at ease within the space.

2 Fool Proof Combinations


Stripes – These work with literally every pattern. You could say that they are the neutral in the pattern world. Stripes also come in a variety of sizes which assists in complimenting almost any style décor.

Damask - A reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen,

cotton or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. It is often used in traditional and transitional design. When pairing another pattern with damask watch your scale and colour tones to ensure they will pair beautifully.

Plaid - Consisting of squares of different colours intersecting each other with varying widths in one, two or three colours. Plaids are almost as versatile as stripes and work with most patterns.


Floral - A flower silhouette or flower arrangement against a background. As long as you keep in mind the scale and colour of your floral with the other patterns you're pairing it with you're golden!

Geometric - A pattern that incorporates sizes, shapes, positions, angles and dimension. Often have clean lines that are 90 degree or 45 degree angles. Geometric patterns are typically used in modern designs but are being introduced alongside traditional patterns for a fun energetic flair.

Watercolour / Abstract - This look is basically a solid. It has gentle movement and does not detract your eye away from the bold floral or geometric. It simply lends a background element to the grouping.

Now that you're a pattern expert, there will be no fear in mixing patterns throughout all your spaces! Please like and comment if you have any questions.

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