Combining print and pattern can bring excitement to any room, adding both depth and layers, however, knowing how to introduce pattern into your home can be a daunting prospect. There are so many styles, colours and variations to choose from, so we have put together a few tips to get you going.

The most important factors to consider when layering patterns are scale, colour, material and co-ordination. As a rule of thumb you should have at least 3 different patterns in your scheme to make it interesting. Set small patterns against large ones and limit your colour palette

When first trying out mixing pattern we would recommend experimenting with rugs, throws and cushions, as they are an inexpensive way of updating any interior. Once you are feeling more confident include one large area of pattern e.g. flooring or a wall covering.

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Start off experimenting with pattern by using soft furnishings and accessories.
[Photo credit: OWL DESIGN]


Once you start to feel more confident introduce pattern to your floors and walls.
[Photo credit: January 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.]




A good starting point to design your scheme is to choose a lead pattern. This pattern should be your favourite as it will be the inspiration for your entire space or room. In most cases the "lead" pattern will be a bolder, larger print pattern. Once you've found your lead pattern you should then chose two additional patterns on a smaller scale to compliment it. Your lead pattern should make up 60%, the second pattern 30% and a third accent pattern should make up 10%. It is important to try not to choose more than one of the same scale size as multiple patterns of the same scale can often begin to look too busy.

Also be aware that not all patterns scales suit all applications. For example a large-scale print can be too big for a pillow or small room, and a complicated pattern might disappear in the folds of drapery.

monticello fabric designers guild

Chose your lead pattern, the bigger and bolder the better.
[Photo credit: Designers Guild]


Colour is always a great way to tie together a scheme. Pattern doesn't have to mean a rainbow of color. Using patterns from the same colour palette is a great way to create a subtle scheme. The darker and bolder the colors and prints of your patterns are, the more dramatic your room will look.


Mixing patterns doesn’t always mean a rainbow of colours like above photo - although this can look fantastic if you want to make a bold statement!
[Photo credit: Vogue Living Australia, Photograph by Lisa Cohen]

You can also coordinate patterns by matching less prominent colors within your chosen patterns. Picking out smaller areas of shared colors in the pattern and using this as an accent colour will make sure your scheme doesn’t fall flat.


Choosing patterns for the same colour pallet can create a calmer feeling space, whilst still adding interest.
[Photo credit: House to Home]

Pattern doesn’t have to stop at fabric for cushions curtains and upholstery. Wall coverings, art and our favourite, flooring, can also be great way to include pattern.

When mixing patterns in a wallpapered room, using all the mixing rules is very important. Start with scale, the wallpaper pattern should have a scale all its own, other patterns in the room do not have to match its scale. Small spaces such as the downstairs toilet offer the opportunity to experiment with bolder prints.

designers guild christian la croix

Patterned wallpaper can have a scale of it’s own.
[Photo credit: Designers Guild; Belles Rives Wallcoverings]

Tiles are a fantastic way to add pattern to your home, you can arrange plain tiles to create your own pattern or buy patterned tiles. They can be mixed and matched to suit your design and used on walls and floors.


Tiles are a great way of continuing pattern through rooms and on both walls and floors.
[Photo credit: Ann Sacks, Moroccan Influence tiles]

We hope this has inspired you to take the steps to put your stamp on your home!

Company Name: Owl Design
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