The easiest way for a room to feel eclectic is to combine a bunch of different patterns and mix up the colors. In fact, mixing patterns can look great across many interior design styles, including traditional, rustic, and contemporary.
Letting this type of creativity flourish can also craft an elegant and sophisticated aesthetic, as mixing patterns in design is a real show-stopper when done right. Many consider it one of the leading design trends right now, as it breaks up monotony and can forge a beautiful contrast.
Why is Mixing Patterns So Popular?
Mixing patterns in interior design is always seen as a way to let creativity flow and fabricate a visually stimulating environment. There are several reasons why pattern mixing is so popular and effective:
You can create a space that reflects your unique taste and individuality. By mixing patterns, you can curate a design that’s not cookie cutter and is tailored to your preferences.
Creates Contrast and Balance
When done well, mixing different patterns can create both contrast and balance in a space. This is because it expertly and effortlessly breaks apart any existing monotony.
Patterns add visual interest and depth to a room. Mixing patterns (as well as colors and textures) can create a truly vibrant space that draws you in time and time again.
Besides these positives, mixing patterns almost always results in a space that feels uniquely your own. By choosing each individual pattern with intention and rolling out the finished product step by step, you’ll create a special cohesion as the space comes together. Just take a look at this example – our customer utilized several different types of tin tile patterns to bring their jaw-dropping bar ceiling to life.
Can I Pull It Off?If you’re asking yourself whether the patterns you choose to mix actually look good together and are cohesive, you have the right to be a little worried! Not all pattern combinations are complementary, and some can really detract from the overall harmony of a space (which is hugely problematic!)
As long as you steer clear of these combos, you’ll be on track to successfully mixing patterns. Here are the main pattern combinations to avoid:
- Large-scale patterns with other large-scale patterns
- Similar sized patterns that lack contrast
- Clashing patterns with vastly different themes
- Competing color schemes
- Overusing animal prints
- Combining too many bold patterns
Best Ways to Execute
Mixing patterns as you decorate a space can be delightfully rewarding, but it does take a certain level of thoughtfulness, skill, and precision. Based on our experience with mixing patterns in some of our recent projects, here’s how to expertly execute this design tactic:
Limit the number of patterns
From the jump, you’ll want to choose only a few patterns to mix together so you don’t overwhelm the space. In general, three to four patterns in a room are sufficient to achieve an appealing mix without becoming distracting.
Introduce pattern through accessories
Start small with integrating new patterns with the help of accessories (like rugs, throw pillows, artwork, or curtains). This will make it less nerve wracking to try bold patterns.
Patterns aren’t only about colors and shapes; they also come with different textures. Mixing different textures like velvet, linen, or tweed can add tactile interest, which adds another layer of depth.
Use neutrals as a grounding element
Integrate neutral patterns, like subtle textures or classic herringbone, to anchor the overall design. This will make it easier to incorporate bold patterns on top of the neutrals.
Test the patterns together first
Lay out the patterns and colors alongside each other before committing to them in a room. Consider creating a mood board or using design software to visualize how the patterns will look together.
Ready to get started with mixing patterns in your bedroom or living room? Find more inspiration.