Several of them have been about pattern mixing, so I thought I would try and capture the takeaways for those of you who prefer to read rather than watch.
1. Make color the throughline. In the screenshot above, the carpet sample on the left is a medium-sized loose antelope print in blue and cream, and the wide striped fabric on the right is blue and white. We also brought in this fabric:
which is a soft red with light blue, light green, white, and dark blue. Blue is the unifying element.
2. Vary the scale. Put small with large, medium with gigantic, and solid with anything. In this picture, we have a medium-size pattern on the pillows, a large on the Roman Shades, and a gigantic pattern on the rug. (And red is in all of them — a throughline!)
I’ve been dying to use this large-scale graphic fabric:
It would work beautifully with a small dot pattern like this. Huge with tiny.
3. Pair unlike with unlike. Putting a floral pattern with another floral pattern absolutely is possible, but it’s tricky. It’s easier to put, say, a floral with a stripe, a geometric pattern with a small texture, or a figurative pattern (an animal, a boat, etc.) with a plaid.
In this serene bedroom, the predominant fabrics, which are on the duvet cover and the canopy, are solids. Then we have a stripe on the Euro pillows, an embroidered floral on the accent pillows, and a solid with trim (so it reads as a large stripe) on the bolster. All in beautiful muted shades of cream, gray and blue.
We kept the palette limited in this room, too, but mixed this fabulous Manuel Canovas “Toits de Paris” wallpaper with a floral on some pillows, a small stripe on another pillow (in the center, behind Zoe the Schnauzer), and a large stripe on the Roman Shade. (We pushed it by bringing in that stripey red rug, but that’s how we roll. You could leave that out and the room still would be cool and interesting.)
This next one is a playful family room, so we used a bright palette based on the Tibet fabric by Clarence House (the tiger pillows). We have a yellow chevron and pink dots on other pillows, a tiny green chevron-y pattern on the bench cushion, and a navy plaid-like pattern on the rug.
Mixing patterns is an art, not a science. That said, I hope these tips break down the process and embolden you to do some mixing of your own. I have faith in you ;)
Annie Elliott Design is based in Washington, DC, with offices in St. Michaels, Maryland and Middlebury, Vermont. We love mixing patterns — and styles! — and we will wallpaper anything that stands still. Thank you, Houzz community, for voting us Best of Houzz – Design for the third time!