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Our Favorite Homes That Mix Patterns Together in One Space

by Erin Austen Abbott

When thinking about mi patterns in your home, the word “clash” can come to mind. Like many, you are left wondering, “will it look good? Will it flow and feel intentional?” I was first introduced to mi patterns in my grandparents’ home. I was about four years old and the room that my brother slept in had plaid wallpaper with a different plaid blanket on the foot of the bed. That look has stuck with me all these years later. I don’t know how or why, but the two plaids worked perfectly together. When my grandparents moved to a new home, when I was around seven, they upped their pattern mix with beautiful blue, mustard yellow and green curtains, hanging behind a set of chairs upholstered with an Asian motif. Again, it just worked. These examples left me dreaming of one day hand-painting a room plaid and decorating the space with a different plaid pattern wingback chair. Or a mix of florals and gingham. Or stripes and florals… I could think in patterns all day long.

I know this design concept can be sort of intimidating — and not everyone thinks they can pull it off — so I’ve rounded up a mix of ideas to use as a jumping-off point, to get you on your way to living with a mix of patterns. —

Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
This cozy arrangement of art mixed with pillows mixed with the lamp and rug makes it a "best of" pattern moment for sure.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
This is one of my favorite examples of mi patterns together in one space. From the subtle design of the vintage rugs used, to the recovered settee, to the pop of color from the vintage Indian fabrics, it all works so well together.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
This mix of bright yellow Asian-inspired bedding with a vintage dark green plaid gives you both a mix of patterns and tones.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Vintage pieces and family treasures are a great way to mix patterns while giving a personal touch to a space.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Mi art and botanicals is a tried-and-true way to soften a room, while giving focus to the art and lending a vintage ode.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
This cafe in Mumbai uses tile and hand painted florals and stripes to create a mix of motifs that leaves us dreaming in patterns.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Mi patterns by using rugs on the wall as a focal point, while staying symmetrical, gives the room a cohesive feel.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Mi vintage florals with pillows, table runners and rugs next to a soft wall color is a great way to find balance in a room.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Sometimes the art itself has a mix of patterns that you can base the rest of the room around, by tying in more texture and pattern from the rugs, like the team at Light Lab has done.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Don't be afraid to use pattern to make a small room feel bigger, like in this little boy's room.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
Using art to tie together a mix of patterns is perfectly accomplished in this pattern-filled living room.
Best Mix of Patterns In One Space
From the wallpaper to the pattern of the headboard, to the bedding, each detail flows so well together in this Jersey Ice Cream Co. design creation.

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  • I have such admiration for people who can mix patterns and colors effectively. A great tip I got from a designer friend is that if you have one color—green, say—you can mix all sorts of patterns with that color in all its hues, from kelly to acid greens, and it will work as the thread between multiple patterns. I’ve always tried to keep that in mind and it works every time!

  • Patterns are always a good addition to any interior. My pet peeve is when people mix them randomly. I almost always go with turkish kilim motives. And try to match them as much as i can.

  • I would be interested in seeing (or reading about) some color mi for a desert theme. Seems easy on the surface, but it is also sort of limiting. For instance, my husband and I moved to the desert a few years ago to start a business and enjoy the unique beauty and colors. But, everything outside is a shade of brown and all the homes seem to follow suit. We escape to Sedona for the beautiful red rock formations and could mix in red earth tones. But, we want our home to have a little of that and also mix in some traditional colors to offset or pop (earth green, sky blue, yellow maybe). Any tips?

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