Friday, August 10, 2012

How to Combine Patterns Like a Pro

Mixing patterns can be intimidating! Unless you're a designer by profession, how can you know that you did it right? What if something clashes?

While it's good to be wary (we've all seen a house or two where the homeowner went a little overboard), there's no reason to avoid pattern mixing altogether. Apartment Therapy put together this great guide for pattern matching. You'll be mixing and matching like a pro in no time!

The only way to truly get comfortable with using patterns is to give it a go. Here's the crash course:

The Magic Number: Odd numbers work when you are grouping. Three is always a good place to start; go up from there if you're feeling it.

  • Pattern 1: This is your strongest statement, so choose something you absolutely love and want to go off of for the rest of the room. It's best to start with a large scale pattern.
  • Pattern 2: This piece should have a couple of the same colors as your first pattern, but be half the scale.
  • Pattern 3: Go for a complementary color or neutral textured piece in a smaller scale.

Color Intensity:
Stay with the same color tones and intensities. Veer away from mixing primary colors with pastels, or muted ones with jewel tones.

Solids and Textures: You don't want to put too many patterns on top of each other. You need a place for the eye to rest. Add in solids and textures to balance and seperate.

Graphics: Choosing a black and white (or color and white) graphic is a good way to add in an eye catching element to unify the space.

Balancing: Whether you begin with your patterns or solids first, be sure the rest of the room is continued in that same color palette to create harmony.

White: White is a great base that brings everything together and lets your patterns make a vibrant statement. Just make sure to keep the same white throughout for a crisp, clean look.

Companion Fabrics: If you need a little study time to push you into the world of mixing patterns, look into companion fabrics. Companion fabrics are designed by companies as pre-mixed harmonious patterns by color palette. Just head to the fabric store, ask for some companions and start studying what works together and why.

Pattern Buddies: Ok, so let's get down to the nitty gritty. What looks good together:

  • Polka Dots, Textures and Graphics
  • Small Polka Dots, Stripes and Florals
  • Plaid, Paisley and Graphics
  • Ikat, Polka Dots and Paisely
  • Chevron, Floral and Geometric
  • Toile, Texture and Stripes
  • Animal Prints and Texture
  • Two Ikats and Texture
  • Damask, Floral and Stripes


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More