Sarice Amiee Interiors

Design Academy

Design Academy Session No. 1 - How To Mix Patterns Like A Pro

Design TipsSarice Gutman2 Comments

New blog series starting today called Design Academy! Each Design Academy post will have a useful interior decorating tutorial.  If you have a burning decorating question or tutorial request, feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will add it to the Design Academy Syllabus (Hah! I'm so nerdy).

Today's first installment of Design Academy will teach you how to mix patterns like a pro! Seriously!  Now pay attention, class is now in session.

Now, there are some exceptions, but for the most part the art of mixing patterns can be broken down into a simple equation.  A large geometric pattern, a scenic (toile for example) or Organic print (floral/botanical, ikat, paisley, etc), and a small scale pattern.  

That's it! For real!

Let's see it again.

This is fun right?! Another one.

...and one more.

Here are some examples of this equation in action.  Remember, pattern mixing can include pillows, rugs, window treatments, furniture upholstery, and even wallpaper.  Some of these interior photos are definitely for advanced level pattern mixers!  Something to aspire to right??

Source: Elle Decor

Some additional notes: 

  1. Try a variation of the pattern mixing equation in a monochromatic color palette.
  2. Be conscious of the pattern scale.  Variation in pattern scale will prevent your patterns from competing too much with each other.
  3. A good jumping off point is to choose an anchor print.  Ideally such a print will have numerous colors from which you will be able to pull your other pattern colors from.  I like my anchor pattern to be an organic one (as you can see from my examples above), but a large geometric or a small scale pattern can also work as an anchor print just as easily.
  4. Don't disregard solid color pillows entirely! Solids will ground a group of patterns and give the eye a place to rest among all the pattern fun!

Still confused? Not to worry! leave your question in the comments section or contact me directly.  Now, go forth and pattern mix!