How to Mix Patterns For a Well Curated Space
Words by: Emily Ruff of Cohesively Curated
Mixing patterns throughout a space can be overwhelming and intimidating, but when you take the time to get it right the result is worth it. Whether you bring in pattern through pillows, wallpaper, artwork or furniture it is important to keep things balanced.
There are several areas to focus on when curating a mix of patterns to liven up your space.
Scale: make sure you mix small and large patterns and include some solids.
Color: Choose a few different colors to focus on, if you have more than 5 included it can feel a bit nuts. Different shades of the same color and incorporating neutrals help keep your space from feeling out of control.
Contrast: Choose a mixture of patterns that are both high and low contrast. An example of low contrast is beige and white vs. high contrast like black and white.
Although this space by Studio McGee has 10+ different fabrics, it still feels cohesive. There are multiple striped patterns, some paisley, and geometrics like plaid and diamond patterns. There are tones of blue, teal, red and lavender mixed with neutrals to create balance. This is pattern mixing mastery and you’ll see it in almost every Studio McGee design.
Amber Lewis is the queen of pattern mixing, and doing so with vintage textiles. In this space the colors tie it all together with shades of navy, indigo, pink and coral both in the pillows and rug. There is a lot of pattern here, but some are repeated and the neutral sofa, stools and coffee table really ground the room.
This space has a ton of pattern going on, but once again the color palette is fairly streamlined between black, blue and a touch of rust. Everything else is very neutral. The other thing to note is that most of the patterns are either stripe or geometric with only the brushstroke pillow not falling into those pattern categories.
Finally, if your style is more traditional you can still mix patterns, but you can repeat the same patterns throughout the room. Including only one pattern that doesn’t have a match makes the room feel more symmetrical and balanced. Kate Marker did such a great job doing just this while still making the room feel eclectic and collected.
My favorite approach is to include one pattern that is repeated and then mix it up from there. Typically the repeated pattern is the most neutral, the largest item and falls behind the other pillows on either side. Give it a try, put your own spin on pattern mixing and create a space that is unique to your style.