Published on October 25, 2017

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. 

Balance Scale 

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: 

Culture Club 

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: 

Retro Grand

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

Get more design inspiration from the Fall 2017 issue:

The Simple Swap That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Decor
The Italian Design Team Inspiring Our Fall Color Palette
Your Go-To Guide for Small Space Seating