Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Making Mixed Patterns Work in Your Decorating Scheme

                                                                      Decor Pad

How many of you shy away from incorporating mixed patterns into your decorating schemes? Mixing patterns can add vibrance and interest to your decor.  Use the following guidelines to help you pull it together. 

Large-scale patterns are like warm colors because they appear to come toward you. They can create a lively and stimulating atmosphere and make a large space exude harmony and appear cozier.

House Beautiful

Small-scale patterns appear to recede making small spaces appear larger. They can also camouflage odd angles or corners and draw attention to one part of a room. On the contrary, in a large room, small patterns can seem bland. If you are using a small-scale pattern in a large room, pick one with vibrant colors.

Many fabric and wallpaper companies have created coordinating products to make the choices easier for you. If you prefer to mix your own patterns try to match the scale of the pattern to that of the area over which it is to be used. In general, use large prints on large-scale furnishings, medium prints on medium- sized pieces, and small prints on accents. A sofa would look better than a dining room chair in a large-scale pattern.

Both Pictures - House Beautiful

If you are using a large-scale pattern, you can go with many colors in it. Medium-scale patterns should have some different colors and small-scale patterns should have just a few.


A good rule of thumb when mixing patterns is to use the same color intensity. Don’t mix pastels with vibrant jewel-tone colors. Also use complementary or analagous colors to tie the patterns together. Choosing different patterns like a wide stripe and paisley in the same color palette makes it look intentional.

House Beautiful

Last but not least, avoid placing all patterned pieces on one side of the room or your room will look unbalanced.

                                                                       House Beautiful

~ "Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope, a slight change and all patterns alter." ~   
             Sharon Salzberg


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