How to Mix Patterns in Your Home

Mixing different patterns is a smart way to break the monotony in your space. However, creating a complementary blend and an appealing look with mixed patterns can be a bit daunting. With the right knowledge and tips, however, you can create a superb mix of exquisite pattern styles in your home. 

From polkas, stripes, and florals to chevrons, herringbone twill, ombre, paisley, houndstooth, and plaids, there is so much to choose from. Your furniture upholstery, wallpaper, custom drapes, etc. are all opportunities for inviting these lovely shapes and palettes into a room. But it is important to know the right mix that you can use before you get started. In this post, we will share professional tips on how to mix patterns to transform the space in your home.

6 Tips to Mix Patterns in Your Home

Mixing patterns requires combining the right colors, shapes, sizes, and shades to create a perfect blend in your room. Your ability to combine correctly will reflect in the overall ambiance of your room. So, how do you mix patterns in a room to create a stylish look?

  1. Explore Various Sizes

When it comes to mixing patterns, sizes matter. Do not choose patterned materials all of the same size and scale. Typically, designers will recommend having one large-scale pattern, one mid-scale, and one small scale in any given room. 

If you plan to use herringbone or chevron patterns, do not use them for large coverings because they can be overwhelming. You can use them for window treatments, area rugs, or throw pillows to complement other designs.

  1. Combine Complex and Simple Patterns

Intricate patterns will look great in the dining room or living room when combined with patterns with simple lines. This will create a beautiful contrast and variation without removing the style and aesthetic. Do not use all complex or all simple patterns individually for a room to avoid creating a monotonous look for your space. If you’ve opted for an intricate paisley pattern on your custom roman shades, for example, consider a bolder pattern for your upholstery or rug to create a contrast effect. 

  1. Use Similar Shades of Colors

Except if you want to create a rainbow room, do not use different patterns with different colors. It will overwhelm your room and make it look chaotic. Decide on a palette and pick your patterns within that palette to create a cohesive look. 

This will create an aesthetically appealing space while providing a blend of variety. When you want to choose color tones, consider using the 60-30-10 rule. This rule means a dominant color should take about 60% of your room while the secondary color should be 30%, and your accent should be 10%.

  1. Limit Number of Patterns

Now, the fact that you can mix and match patterns does not mean you have to combine dozens of patterns. It is best to limit the variety of patterns that you choose. Professionals recommend choosing three or at most four patterns for any space. 

Mixing different patterned designs can transform and energize your room. However, when you have too many of them, you may have a messy-looking and chaotic room. To enhance the aesthetic value of your home, choose a few patterns for your room and ensure that the patterns are complementary.

  1. Maintain a Visual Distribution Balance

You can significantly increase your design capabilities and options when you mix and match patterns and color tones. However, you should be careful not to overdo it, as doing so will overwhelm the room. We recommend that you introduce solid colors to break up the shapes and lines of the patterns. 

Make sure the patterns flow through the room instead of being heavy on one side. You should evenly distribute the patterns across the room to create a seamless flow and interject with solid colors where appropriate. If the arrangement of the patterns does not feel right to you, then it is probably not right.

  1. Choose Your Prints Carefully

When picking your prints and patterns, choose them carefully for a balanced look. Picking patterns all from the same family – like three different kinds of animal prints – will likely not be aesthetically pleasing. So mix them up for a balance of hard and soft – such as stripes and florals. 

If, however, you’ve decided to go with one pattern only, then be sure to vary the scale. For example, don’t have three striped patterns all of the same width. Instead, opt for a mix of narrow pinstripes and bold oversized stripes to break the monotony, bring visual interest, uplift the room, and give it an instant makeover.   


Finally, know what works and what doesn’t. By design rules, ikat patterns and floral prints will work well with stripes white polka dots would rarely work with plaid. However, you must understand that these rules are not cast in stone. They may work for some room designs and not for others. Also, you have to understand that tastes differ. 

In most cases, finding the patterns that blend perfectly with others is a product of trial and error. You may want to consider getting samples of patterns and mixing them to see how they blend or contrast. It is best to go this route before you buy your pattern fabrics in bulk.