Pattern offers endless variety of options, colors, and scale. It delights our senses, inspires design, and builds in layers of appeal in a way that differing hues of color cannot do on their own.

Pattern also has the power to intimidate many of us. How much is too much? Is there such a thing as too little? This one with that one? Or that one? Or both?

Basic pattern mixing is easier than you might think if you follow these guidelines.

  • Choose an odd number of patterns, with a minimum of three. One pattern is a little bit bland, two seems a bit too balanced, but at least three adds enough interest to keep the eye moving, to offer variety.
  • Pattern one should be large in scale, pattern two medium, and third smaller in scale.
  • Vary the pattern. Too many striped patterns are distracting, choosing only floral feels fluffy.
  • Choose a mix for best impact.
  • Remain within the one general color system, with one pattern carrying on one or more of the colors of the next. They should feel related by their hues.
  • Another key is to stay in the same hue – all pastels, all bold vibrant shades.
  • Scatter the pattern throughout the space to accomplish balance.
  • Busy patterns bring vitality to a space while simpler patterns convey calm.

Stripes, paisley, floral, chevron…the possibilities are endless! Take a risk, the payoff could be outstanding!

Image Credit