As a DIY interior designer, the level of difficulty probably plays a huge role in what projects you’re willing to attempt. Most likely you feel comfortable at “beginner” level tasks like choosing a kitchen sink, but are you willing to entertain “intermediate” projects for something you truly love. However “advanced” challenges can be a little intimidating. For these projects you probably use a lifeline, calling in a friend, or even hiring a professional.
There are some trends that most of us just feel more confident in executing, and for some reason mixing patterns isn’t one of them. It might just be the fear of clashing, but for whatever reason the “Pattern on Pattern Trend” scares a lot of us. But with great risk comes great reward, and we promise if you follow these simple rules, you’ll be ready to mix patterns like a pro in no time!
Stick to an odd number of patterns — preferably three!
While even numbers may sound more – well – even, odd numbers visually look more balanced. When mixing patterns, stick to an odd number of designs, ideally three. Three tends to be just enough, and leaves less room for error. Mixing and matching three patterns is much easier than five or seven!
Keep your color theme consistent.
A big key to mixing patterns right is paying attention to color. When you have multiple patterns in one room, you want to keep colors more consistent. Too many patterns and colors together and the room will look busy rather than beautiful. Stick to a range of shades (such as brown neutrals) or select a few colors (grey, yellow and blue) and don’t stray from your color scheme.
Make patterns permanent.
When incorporating patterns into your home, it’s easy to think you’re limited to décor and accessories. In reality, you can make patterns a permanent part of your home — a move that can actually make your mixing seem more intentional rather than accidental. So how do you create a cohesive look with permanent patterns? The kitchen is a great example of where this can work. One of the major kitchen island trends is choosing elements that are different from your wall cabinetry and countertops. Complimentary finishes, colors, and countertop materials on a kitchen island make mixing and matching easy. Outside of kitchen islands trends, your flooring and backsplash are two other permanent places where patterns can be incorporated.
It’s all about scale.
A rule of thumb for mixing patterns is having one large scale pattern and then two or more smaller patterns. Start with your main (or large scale) pattern first. This will give you a foundation to work with when choosing your secondary patterns. Your main pattern should be a focal point that really grabs the attention in the room. Once the first pattern is established, you can work off the scale and colors of that pattern to finish the space. Your second and third patterns should be half the size of your large-scale pattern, and should complement its colors. Ideally, they should also be different in nature — for example, floral and stripes or chevron and polka dots.
Find inspiration in unusual places.
If you try to cram a lot of patterns into one space and don’t take full advantage of the room, your mixing definitely will end in an eyesore. Think about places patterns don’t typically live. For example, kitchen sink window decorations are usually mundane. A small potted plant, if anything, sits on the window sill. When you’re incorporating patterns into your kitchen, don’t skip over this piece of prime real estate. Kitchen sink window decorations alone can bring many pattern possibilities to your home, such as beautiful drapery designs, additional shelving (for placing those potted plants), a backsplash that borders the window frame, and even an intricate leaded glass window.
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