How To Mix Patterns

Many people ask me how I know what patterns look good together, and many people think I’m crazy when I put certain patterns together. It’s true, I’m a pattern lover and I’m not afraid to be bold with my combinations. So I’m here to give you a few tips for mixing them well.

My living room

I’ll start off with my top 3 tips and then go into some pattern combos I put together and I’ll tell you why they work well.

Tip #1 – Scale can make all the difference.

Even if you have a million colors going on, mixing up the scale of your patterns can make them all work together. Overall, make sure you don’t have more than 1 or 2 dominant patterns. Then work your other patterns in around those.

Tip #2- Mix Geometrics/Stripes with “Natural” patterns.

“Natural” patterns are those that draw their influence from nature. Such as florals and animal prints. The juxtaposition of the harsh geometrics and soft naturals is a great combo.

Tip #3- Use at least one print that has a more solid/dark background.

If you squint your eyes and look at all of the patterns next to each other, this one should stand out. You can try this test with my combos below 🙂

Now if you’re a real pro, sometimes you can throw these tips out the window and your patterns may still look great together, but for those of you who are just getting comfortable with the concept of pattern mixing, I think these will really help you out. Be bold & good luck!


Set 1 works because…

– No more than 3 bold colors

– Primary colors- yellow, red, blue play off each other

– One print has a more solid background

– Only 1 bold floral

– Mix of geometrics and “natural” or nature inspired prints

– Mix of large and small scale prints

Set 2 works because…

– Complementary Colors- orange and blue (turquoise)

– Lots of bold prints going on, but the majority of them tie together with a black and white color scheme

– Neutral with bold pattern and small punches of color


Set 3 works because…

– One bold floral that all other colors are drawn from

– Mix of textures

– Mix of small and large scale patterns

– Analogous colors scheme (yellow, green, blue)

Set 4 works because…

–  Bold Floral and Ikat tie together with similar colors schemes

– Mix “natural” and geometric patterns

– Mix of dark and light backgrounds

– Mix patterns with 3 or more colors with patterns that only have 2 dominant colors


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