How to Mix and Match Bold Patterns in Your Home
Here’s how your prints can live together in the same space.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:59 AM
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Look to the runways (and the streets) for the season’s kaleidoscope of patterns—layering colors, eras, and materials in the ultimate expression of individuality. More is more! But there is a method to the mash-up. Let these four ideas guide your next creation:
Bring in Texture
Fabrics that juxtapose shiny and matte or woolly and smooth add subtle pattern while appearing almost like a solid, such as this heathered bouclé. A leopard-print velvet and futuristic materials in neoprene or metallic also create interesting depth and drama.
Playing with proportion is all about impact: Put repeat patterns on smaller items, like a pillow or lampshade, and splash larger motifs across a wall and onto a chair. If you don’t want to cover an entire room, try a small space, like a powder room or hallway.
Mix Contemporary and Classic
Merging new-school textiles with Old World techniques (think: a damask in bright acid tones) instantly refreshes a room. Combine styles, such as a black-and-white graphic and a handcrafted Fortuny design, and make traditional patterns cool again.
Punch Up the Palette
If you can’t find a particular print that you love, pick a color first and build from there. Or when bringing a bunch of different patterns together, use a similar hue for structure. Grids, stripes, and polka dots are great for layering in with busier motifs to support your overall palette.
Get the Look:
Frank Lloyd Wright-designed fabrics in Mondrian-esque motifs meet a spotted tile floor that Yayoi Kusama would surely adore.
Coven Wallpaper, Maison C Frank Lloyd Wright Collection Design 103, Schumacher Frank Lloyd Wright Collection Design 107 in red and blue, Schumacher Agrarian Hand-Painted Tiles in Pivot, Fire Clay Tile
Get the Look: Nature Rules
A Josef Frank botanical and neoprene-style Pierre Frey material refresh a classic gingham silk and glazed terracotta tile.
Cheetah Vision Wallpaper, Aimee Wilder Exotic Butterfly Wallpaper by Josef Frank, Schumacher Pop-Up Fabric by Boussac, Pierre Frey Couture Lattice Fabric, Dorothy Draper Beverly Hills Check Fabric, Dorothy Draper Eastern Earthenware Tile, Cle Tile
Get the Look:
This magenta silk jacquard could have been your grandma’s—except when paired with bold stripes and a splatter-print cotton.
Draper Stripe Wallpaper, Dorothy Draper Samurai Bloom Fabric, Beacon Hill Mr. Hide Leather, Jerry Pair Leather Thunder Blotch Fabric, Timorous Beasties, $158 per meter Stick Tree Fabric by Kvadrat, Maharam Mantova Velvet, Pierre Frey Ombre Rug by Kelly Wearstler, The Rug Company, $1,935
Shop more prints:
First Row: Leopardo Cut Velvet, Luigi Bevilacqua Clic Clac Quadrille Fabric, Hermes Impero Fabric, Fortuny Chalet Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler, Lee Jofa Second Row: Nuit & Jour Fabric, Pierre Frey Zee Urchin Fabric, Jim Thompson Fabrics Brasilia by Kravitz Design, Flavor Paper Papier Peint, Maison Darre