Stripes! Chevron! 9 Gorgeous Ways to Mix Patterns in Your Decor

We asked designers to share the best and most beautiful ways to make unexpected pairings work in your home

Play with Scale

Play with Scale

tobifairley.com

Big, bold stripes—seen here on the rug and ottoman—are anything but boring. Still, we love how designer Tobi Fairley added an unexpected burst of visual excitement to the room with a smaller, intricate Greek key pattern on the sofa and rug.

Give a Big Pattern the Spotlight

Give a Big Pattern the Spotlight

Emily Gilbert

Let your favorite large-scale print take the lead in your room, then add two smaller patterns in complementary colors, as shown here in this dramatic living room by designer Lilly Bunn.

Experiment with Textured Solids

Experiment with Textured Solids

huntedinterior.com

Not totally comfortable mixing chevron and floral? Consider using solid-colored pieces with lots of texture—think corduroy, velvet or grasscloth. They give the illusion of pattern without overwhelming a space (or you!). Take your cue from interior designer Kristin Jackson, who brought in a nubby sisal rug to to play against patterned drapes and pillows.

Choose the Same Color Intensity

Choose the Same Color Intensity

theletteredcottage.net

To make a bunch of different patterns work, select pieces with the same saturation, or amount of color. In this master bedroom from The Lettered Cottage, vivid gold quatrefoil curtains hold their own against striking black chevron throw pillows, a striped faux fur blanket and a mirrored nightstand with circular fretwork.

Add a No-Fail Neutral

Add a No-Fail Neutral

caitlinwilson.com

A neutral solid color breaks up bright patterns and supports them. In this living room by designer Caitlin Wilson, a beige sofa underpins lively turquoise and orange patterns.

Opt for a Restrained Color Palette

Opt for a Restrained Color Palette

mrshowardpersonalshopper.com

Sticking with one color scheme makes mixing patterns foolproof, and varying the scale of the patterns helps them work together. In this bedroom featured on Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper, an armchair with big floral upholstery, a medium-striped rug, and curtains and bedskirt in a matching small print all mix seamlessly, thanks to a simple palette of blue and cream.

Unify with a Third Pattern

Unify with a Third Pattern

houzz.com

Use two simple patterns in contrasting color schemes—like turquoise and red—then combine both colors in a third pattern. Multicolored ikat drapes pick up on the turquoise and red elements in this modern living room designed by Tobi Fairley.

Stay With One Style

Stay With One Style

ocregister.com

Mixing patterns of the same decorating style makes them look cohesive. Designer Anthony Baratta combined traditional plaid, stripes and botanicals in this stately living space.

Go Bold with an Extra-Large Pattern

Go Bold with an Extra-Large Pattern

eastcoastcreativeblog.com

Make a big statement with one extra-large pattern accented by small patterned items. In this room by East Coast Creative, the eye-catching houndstooth-stenciled wall establishes the room’s color palette, while patterned throws lend a pop of contrasting color.

Ellen Sturm Niz is an editor and writer working, parenting, and living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+.

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