Posted on by Love Dodd

For those of us who weren’t born with a design bone in our body, mixing patterns can be tough.
That said, you don’t have to be an interior designer to understand the basics of mixing patterns. What you do need, however, is a vision and the drive to see that vision through. Chances are you won’t blossom into the next Martha Stewart, but you can mix your patterns with ease and elegance by following some simple steps.
While matching furniture patterns is pretty foolproof, where’s the fun in that? Giving your space some variety is a fantastic way to liven up even the blandest of rooms. It may be time to reconsider that green-on-green-on-green room you thought your guests loved so much.
If you really want to make the most of mixing patterns, hear us out and you might pick up a thing or two along the way.
Odds Over Evens
There’s a general consensus in the interior design community that odd numbers just work better.
When choosing how many patterns you want to implement in your space, always go with a minimum of three. You can always add more as you see fit, but don’t go under three as it will not give you the desired effect.
If you do go with three patterns, the breakdown is quite simple. Your first pattern is your statement piece, something that you want to base the rest of your space off. The second pattern should include some similar colours to the first but at about half the scale. For the third pattern, all you need is a smaller scale complementary colour or neutral textured piece.
Should you decide that three isn’t enough, using four or more patterns should be done a little more subtly. These shouldn’t be large-scale additions to your patterns, but smaller additions that add to the space.
Similarity Blends Better
Okay, so you don’t have to be a professional interior designer to realize that neon green doesn’t go with hot pink.
There’s a similar rule when it comes to blending patterns. You should always be playing within the same sandbox, so to speak. What that means is if you decided your statement pattern has a floral motif, build off that. Don’t start adding in out-of-place patterns that don’t fit the vibe of that space.
In terms of colour, you should also stay within the same tone. If you’ve gone with a nice blue for your statement pattern, find other blue tones that are in the same realm. This is where a lot of people get confused, however. This doesn’t mean use only navy blue, but different blues that are complementary and fit that space.
Furniture stores and furniture liquidators are a great place to get some ideas. Doing a loop around your favourite furniture shops in your area will open your eyes to just how many pieces can be similar but different at the same time. That’s really the sweet spot you want to be in.
Break Up Your Patterns With Solids
We all know that person who loves to go full-tilt into a home design project. There’s nothing wrong with that, but too many patterns can also be a bad thing.
In order to let your eyes rest a bit, introducing some solids into the mix is a good idea. Not only do they break apart all your patterns, they can also soften the look entirely. Even if you do have a lot of different patterns, solids can balance the effect by adding stability to the space.
This works the same for neutral colours. If you think your space has too many takes on the same colour, introduce white into the equation. It’ll give your patterns more room to shine and less of an emphasis on the colours themselves, which should only add to the pattern effect.
Still in need of some help picking your patterns? Head down to one of our three great Vancouver Island showrooms to get some ideas in person or visit our site. We carry a number of great mixing pieces from brands like Ashley Furniture. We won’t be undersold!