I love patterns and bold colors – there, I said it. Sometimes (all the time) I can’t choose just one pattern and sometimes (all the time) it just feels right to mix and match my patterns in a sort of controlled chaos. So, how does one go about doing that?
Mixing patterns is actually not as scary as you think, I promise. Done right it can be really beautiful and fun! It can turn an otherwise stale room into a room that excites the eyes and makes your heart skip a beat. Here are some tips for creating a cohesive room with a mixture of patterns rather than a room that overwhelms your senses.
Consider all the pieces of furniture in your home that can have patterns: couches, chairs, curtains, rugs, walls . . . You want to pick prints with just the right amount of cohesion and difference. It is a game of balance. If they are too similar, then everything will tend to bleed together with a sweep of the eyes. If it is too different, the patterns can be overwhelming, jarring, leaving the eyes confused about where to look. You want to find designs that have a balance of similarities and differences, which ensures the patterns aren’t out of control and creates a sense of cohesion that relaxes the eyes, yet deliberately directs them around the room. Then again, some designers like Matthew Williamson like to add in as many patterns and colors as they want-– but it takes a well-trained eye to make it all work.
Find prints or designs that share a main color. Maybe the major color in the pattern is orange. Find that same orange in another pattern. That will help create cohesion among the distinct looks. Or pick a pattern that has a tiny grey flower and mix it with a cool grey stripe. Having that color connection keeps the look cohesive.
Size is also a big player in the pattern game. In the words, a print with large designs is a statement, while one with a smaller design is milder, and can actually act as a solid color or even in some cases as a neutral. This is great to keep in mind if you are nervous about using large designs in your decor.
Size should also be considered when talking about physical and visual space. If you are working with a small studio apartment you should opt for a small pattern that takes up little to no visual space. Area rugs with larger patterns work best in larger rooms that need help filling the visual space.
Another great way to dip your toe into the pool of patterns is to opt for tonal and textural prints rather than bright multicolored looks. You can’t go wrong with a monochromatic color palette. This option allows you to choose intricate designs that you wouldn’t normally be able to get away with if the patterns were colored.
Pick a theme. Your theme could be a color family, it could be a design era, or maybe a specific designer’s prints. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, in general keeping some sort of continuity within your prints helps create that cohesive look you want.
There you have it! My tips for embracing patterns and prints and finding the right rug for your room. If you are still feeling nervous about mixing and matching patterns, we are here to help. Call, email, or chat with us, we can help you find your perfect rug!
And as always, if you have a topic or question that you would love for us to cover, let us know!