Mixing Patterns and Colors


When it comes to designing the interior of your home, there really aren’t any rules.  Truthfully, the only rules by which you should abide are those of your own style guidelines.  There’s no book to follow — no requirements that need to be met.  In the end, it’s just you and your own design personality.

Many people avoid mixing patterns and colors in the same room for fear of the combination becoming too bold or abrasive; however, vibrant textures and hues that seem to contrast can actually be perfect compliments to each other.

Here are some things to keep in mind to maximize your rooms’ aesthetic appeal:

  • Small Efforts Make Big Impacts.  If bold patterns and textures are new to you, try adding small touches at first, then building upon the aspects that appeal to you most.  Pillows and area rugs are a great way to introduce interesting colors and patterns without overwhelming your space.  With these accents, you can still have more neutral furniture and walls while you figure out where to take your textures next.
  • Heighten The Experience.  It’s easy to forget about vertical space in your home, but this often-underutilized real estate can be incredibly valuable when you want to add interesting features beyond your floor. Layering colors, textures, and patterns in your curtains is an easy way to draw the eye up and perpetuate style in otherwise blank space. Consider layering solid sheer curtains with those that have a pattern. Create a curtain trio by adding solid fabric over the two sheers.  This will give you tons of different options to showcase the various layers depending on your mood.
  • Think Big, Then Whittle Down.  Gather fabric and color samples as they catch your eye.  Don’t be afraid to accumulate eye-attracting pieces in the masses.  If something seems interesting to you, give it the attention it deserves.  Once you’ve acquired a good amount of samples, lay them out and begin to mix and match until particular combinations go together naturally.  Be sure not to rule out certain samples based on preconceived style notions; this exercise is intended to show you some possibilities you may not have ever even considered before.
  • Compare And Contrast.  When it comes to mixing elements, your possibilities are endless.  Bear in mind that contrasting colors such as blue and orange will make a big impact visually, but geometric shapes and figures will also add their own effects.
  • Shop The Scales.   Rather than adhering to a pattern of shapes that are relatively equal in size and shape, seek options that give you a full scale of sizes.  Huge, sharp shapes can be perfectly outfitted next to small, neatly put-together polka dots.  The more varied your size scale, the more options you’ll have when it’s time to put it all together.  Pulsating patterns will keep your eyes engaged so you can fully experience your freshly designed space.
  • Scour The Sources.  While it may sound a bit cliched, finding photos of other peoples’ design successes can be a sure way to build the foundation of your own home’s fashion.  Do not focus in on entire rooms that you want to come home to, although it’s great if you find them.  Rather, immerse yourself in finding pieces that you can put into your own puzzle.  What is it about “this couch” and “that area rug” that made you pause?  As you collect images, you’ll begin building rooms that perfectly suit your own personality.

Have you experimented with mixtures of patterns and colors in one room and come out successful?  Share your photos with us at our Facebook page!


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