Decorating With Patterns: Tips from Expert Designers

Do you have a room that could use a bit more personality? Is there a space in your home that needs a dose of lively energy? How about a spot that could use a little something to engage the eyes? If you’re nodding your head, then it’s time to incorporate patterns into your decor. This may seem like a daunting task–especially if your mind immediately jumped to the thought of mixing patterns. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Our expert designers have three tips and some inspirational photos and advice that’ll help you achieve amazing results when decorating with patterns.


Tip #1: Choose Just One

decorating with patternsWhen it comes to decorating with patterns, you don’t have to use a lot to create a beautiful look. In fact, sometimes choosing just one for a space is the best way to make a gorgeous style statement. Take this kitchen for example. The geometric pattern on the shades adds chic character in the midst of minimalist design. The reason it works so well is threefold. First, its cool colors balance out the warmth of all the wood tones in the room. Secondly, it plays beautifully off of the metal squares on the counter stools, and, finally, its medium scale-size is just right. A large-scale pattern wouldn’t have enough room on the shades to repeat and be appreciated in its entirety, and a small-scale print would look too busy.

So what are the takeaways? When choosing a single pattern for a room, bring a sense of composure to the space with a print that contrasts and coordinates with other design elements, and consider where you’re going to put the pattern to determine the best scale-size. In general, large prints work well on large items and small prints on accents. As for medium-scale patterns, you have a lot more flexibility.


Tip #2: Use Formulas for Mixing Patterns

If you feel a pang of nervousness at the thought of mixing patterns, you’re not alone. When done right, layering prints creates a captivating and welcoming atmosphere. But when done wrong, it can leave you with a gross visual mishmash of designs. So how do you avoid pattern-mixing pitfalls? One way is to work from some hard-to-go-wrong formulas. Here are five that’ll have you decorating with patterns like a pro in no time!


decorating with patternsStripes with Anything: Stripes are like the neutrals of the pattern world. They work beautifully with practically any print, so go ahead and use them generously. For a foolproof look, combine a few different sizes of stripes with a polka dot or some stripes with a floral. The gentle curves of dots or florals are perfect against the sharp lines of stripes.

Go Natural: Just as in nature, florals and other leafy botanical prints work well together. As long as their lush colors coordinate, they’re a safe bet for patterns that will mix easily.

Consistent Colors: You’re pretty much guaranteed a great result when you combine patterns within a restrained color palette. Try choosing a variety of patterns in the same two colors. You can also use a single patterned piece to inspire colors for other patterned accents in the room, or relate patterns by selecting ones that have the same background color.

Scale It Up: A common problem people run into when trying to mix patterns is ending up with a cluttered look. This usually happens because the patterns are all the same size. It’s usually best to vary the scale-size of the patterns in a room. Picking one small, one medium, and one large pattern to feature will help ensure a gorgeous look. Think large-scale stripes on drapery panels, a medium-scale geometric on a duvet cover, and small-scale patterns on pillows.

Pillow Collections: Speaking of pillows, assembling a pillow collection is a fabulously fun way to combine lots of designs. Adding and subtracting from the set is a breeze, so you can change things up seasonally or even on a whim! Try to balance curves with lines, and make sure to include at least one solid–like the colorful collection in this dining nook.


decorating with patternsTip #3: Be On-Trend

When decorating with patterns, going with a trending print is a sure way to upgrade the style and modern appeal in a space. Right now, trellis patterns are the go-to for many top designers and style-setters. Their interlocking designs are timeless and versatile. You can incorporate them on just about anything–windows, walls, rugs, upholstery, accessories, and more. Today’s variations range from boldly graphic to modestly muted, so there’s sure to be one that’ll tickle your style fancy. A trellis in crisp white against a strong shade will deliver the most impact. Softer tones–like the light gray and white of the trellis pattern on the top treatment in this office space–are more subtle, but the effect is still stunning.


Decorating With Patterns: Let Us Help!

Are you ready to infuse some personality, beauty, and energy into your home by decorating with patterns? We can help! Our team of expert design consultants here at Bazaar Home Decorating would love to guide you toward the perfect patterns for your unique spaces. From fabrics and window treatments to bedding and accessories, we have everything you need to create a custom look in your home. Come see us and all that we have to offer at our Milwaukee-area showroom. Or, invite us over for a free, shop-at-home consultation. Contact us today to get started!