Mixing Patterns

I think everyone has at least a little bit of a type-A side in them when it comes to decorating. You know - it's that little part of you that secretly smirks with satisfaction when you find a sheet set with just the tiniest bit of yellow in it that pairs oh-so-perfectly with a duvet with the just tiniest bit of gray in it, and then you find two euro shams in the same exact shade of yellow, and then you top it all off like a wedding cake with a striped yellow pillow and a striped gray pillow. Baby angels sing and the entire cast of mice from Cinderella dances with glee and your significant other walks into the room and gasps at your color-coordination and then proceeds to make you pancakes and mimosas while you sit back to enjoy the latest episode of "Orange is the New Black." Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about.

Well my friend, it's time to lock up your inner matchy-matcher and throw away the key - at least for the rest of this post! While you're at it, lock up the angels and mice too (but keep the mimosas) and be prepared to have your mind blown with a pattern EXPLOSION.

In a nutshell, mixing patterns is fun. It's a fast way to add tons of visual interest and depth to a room (or an outfit!) and can elevate your signature style from expected to extraordinary.

Here are a few mixes I've found that I love. Enjoy!

Above: Start out simple! Experiment with neutrals first. Here, the designer paired a heavy black & white stripe with a lighter feeling black & white check. The fabric accents are neutral and soft. Even the frames on the wall are mismatched here, but the sizes, shapes, and texture add so much visual interest!

I'm absolutely bonkers over this mix. The black animal print on top is reminiscent of polka dots and is simple but bold, and ties well with the bold black stripes on the bottom. The neutral pink & taupe help to balance out the heaviness of the black prints.

This outfit is similar to the last one: Navy stripes on top are simple enough to pair with navy dots on the skirt, and the burgundy adds an unexpected bit of color. I think what I love most is how the necklace also acts as a print here and pulls everything together, and even though it's intricate, it works because the other prints are so basic and clean.

Don't you just love this? Here you can see exactly what I mean by "adding depth." The designer could have easily left the sofa with just the two blue patterned pillows in the background, but adding the bright floral pillow in the foreground packs a huge punch and steps it all up. The navy running through each pillow's pattern creates a cohesive, rich look.

Above is another favorite. I love the look of layered rugs in general, and here the designer chose three patterns with different weights and colors but in the same Turkish/kilim genre, and it works, right?! Even the similar wear on each of the rugs helps to make them look like a collection.


Doing a little pattern-play of my own while shopping for the guest bedroom. These ones aren't the winners, but close! (Stay tuned for the full guest BR before/after!)