10 Rules For Mixing Patterns In Decorating

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Decorating is a crucial procedure that needs not only expertise but a keen eye for matching and mixing patterns, prints, and visual elements pleasantly. Decorating is a subjective aspect that must be defined with both norms, standards, and personal taste. Hence, the result of decorating home interiors depends on the wants and feasibility of the outcome. There are rules for mixing patterns in decorating. These rules for mixing patterns in decorating are not to limit the possibilities but to serve as guides in making the home interior decorations optimal and practical.

Here are rules for mixing patterns in decorating:

Mixing Patterns In Decorating

1. Follow and unite the direction of the pattern

bohemian living room mizing colorful geomerical patterns

Whether it comes in diagonal, horizontal, or vertical orientations, abide with the general direction of the patterns. This is an ultimately common rule for mixing patterns. This can result in less clutter-looking interiors making your interiors look stylish yet organized. The application of this rule is perfect for small spaces or rooms. A unified selection of pattern directions can give a well-lit interior decoration.

2. For mixing different patterns, use similar colors or hues.

Avoid a chaotic design by opting for matching different patterns with the same color family. It will create a spacious and pleasing visual effect. Accenting is recommended for this endeavor to give contrasting associations than plainer outcomes.

Image: Carley Page Summers

3. Limit your patterns up to two to three kinds


It is important to not overapply different patterns. Choose only one dominating pattern to make the general design comprehensive and enhanced. By this, a space or room will be energized as there is a focal point such as the pattern that will be emphasized. Thus, a singular aspect is boosted giving a specific impression to the room.

Image: worthing court

4. Prints are also other things to consider


Follow the rules for mixing patterns above. Furthermore, the prints applied should be similar or at least not far-looking from each other. For a more harmonious balance in the visual outcome, pair a traditional print with a simple but transitional-design print. Stick to the concept of the interior design in choosing a print. As an example, do not mix cute animal prints with steam-punk prints or other similar concepts.

5. Eliminate what does not match with other elements


The pairing comes with intuition and common sense. You would know which color, print, and pattern do not go well with the focal design element. As a tip for eliminating, place all the design materials side by side and choose only two to three elements that make a unified visual characteristic. The shape of the room or space and the color of the flooring are also other aspects to consider.

6. Consider the sizes


Make sure to apply one pattern with a bigger size than the rest. Mind the flow of the prints and shades of the color family. Make the smaller-scale patterns less attractive as paired with all the other decorations. The elements of sizes include the form, number of colors, layers, and depth of a print.


7. Eclectic and transitional designs are the practical trends


Make sure to choose vibrant patterns if you want to overdo your pattern-mixing elements. Mind the consistency of its flow and the emotions that you perceive out of looking at it.

8. Start from the lowest part of the space


Categorize or start harmonizing your patterns from the bottom part of the room or space. These include the overall designs of the flooring, baseboards, and wall. You can place the dominant pattern alongside the flooring, and use the smaller-scale patterns going upwards.

9. Most importantly, mind the existing patterns of your space


The architectural elements of your room or space are permanent. Hence, your decorating materials should abide by it. For plain-colored walls, you can choose several patterns with more than two prints but still limit the number of your patterns.

10. Make the intricacy simple as much as possible


It can also give you the opportunities to change furnishings from time to time because of its harmonized appearance. Moreover, do not over-accent a wall and do not apply two different similarly-sized patterns to avoid making the size of the room look shrunk or darkened.

Patterns are important visual elements that need to be considered to come up with something visually desirable. Patterns have technicalities that require thorough analysis when mixing with other objects to look visibly clean, neat, and in accordance with the desired decorative concept. Depending on the theme, color palette, or concept of the decoration, patterns have its versatile appeal and principles. It is not always “yin” or “yang” when mixing patterns, or conservatively sticking to the monotonous patterns to achieve a safe design outcome. Creativity will always find its way to give patterns its utmost presence in the decorative aspect of your home interiors.

Tags: decorating tips, decorative pillows, living rooms with warm atmosphere

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