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"Here is the secret to successfully mix interior patterns."

What is the key to successfully mix interior patterns? The answer largely revolves around the relationship between density and scale.

Scale is how big or small the pattern element is on the fabric or wall paper. This essentially has to do with its size. The scale of a large flower is greater than the scale of a small rose bud, for example.

Density refers to how tightly grouped together the elements of the pattern are. A rosebud pattern on an open (solid color) background would be much less dense than the larger, intertwining flower pattern which shows little, if any, background.

So in that example, the large floral pattern is both relatively larger in scale and denser than the open, smaller rosebud pattern.

To add sophistication to your overall design scheme and avoid visual chaos (not to mention mental anguish), combine interior patterns of different scale and density.

For example, if you are using florals you could try a dense, large, multi-flower pattern on the draperies while using an open background, small, bud pattern on the throw pillows resting on a solid color, yet textural sofa.

Keep in mind the overall color scheme when working with interior design pattern. The elements of design work best together and not alone.

Stripes and checks may be the easiest pattern to work with. They work well alone or with any of the other pattern families. This might be a good starting point to begin experimenting with your new found, pattern mixing skills.

I have found this approach to be successful for me personally. I have used checked fabric for the window panels in my living room (shown above). A coordinated, striped pillow rests on a wicker chair with a solid cream colored cushion. My other upholstery is a textured, solid blue (not visible). The conversation area is anchored by a densely patterned area rug which ties together the main color palette of the room. The result works for me.

You may need to experiment gradually to get the look you want. If I can learn to mix interior pattern, Im confident you can too.

Related Material

Understanding pattern types

The importance of texture


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