Patterns! To create a truly sophisticated interior, patterns should be embraced. I remember spending a ton of time learning about proper pattern and textile mixing when I was in design school It’s no wonder that a common design mistake we see a lot of is homeowners only purchasing solid colored pieces for their space. This is a big mistake when it comes to furniture and accessories because this leads to a space feeling boring and underwhelming. Instead, homeowners should incorporate patterns into their space, but most people don’t know the rules of pattern mixing and how to start. Luckily for you, we’re here to share some of our designer secrets about pattern mixing!
You shouldn’t be scared to use patterns within your space. While we’ve seen many interiors that are completely overdone with pattern, this shouldn’t stop you from embracing them!
Patterns provide a lot of character to spaces, and it is a real shame to hear of those that are afraid to use them or perhaps don’t know how to create a well-balanced interior with them. This is also what we will explore within this blog post today.
So how exactly can we incorporate patterns into our spaces?
Let’s explore this further!
The Golden Rules of Pattern
First of all, there are some golden rules that designers love to live by when it comes to incorporating patterns into spaces. Creating balance with the patterns you choose is one of the key aspects to consider when using patterns in your space.
One of the golden rules is to spread patterns around the room, and not have them all piled up in one area or corner. Mixing neutrally colored pillows with a patterned one is a good place to start.
Next, you should consider what solid colors are already in the space. It is important that the patterns you use include the solid or block colors from the room. This helps to make the room feel more cohesive and therefore any pattern won’t look out of place.
One starting-out principle that can be used when searching for patterns is to think about the size of the space. The larger the room, the bigger the pattern it can take. But the smaller the room, the smaller the pattern. The exception would be accessory type spaces, such as power rooms. Big pattern in powder rooms is very on-trend right now.
Creating the Perfect Pattern Balance
To create the perfect balance of pattern in your space, you should look to incorporate a variety of different patterns. We love introducing a large scale patterned rug, paired with a solid or small patterned sofa, and then use printed fabric on chairs. You can add some throw pillows, a blanket on the sofa, all coordinating, but with different sized patterns on them. Et Voila! Instantly the space feels complete and like a home.
When you’re evaluating patterns and which ones to use for various areas, make sure to look at them from a distance of three to five feet away. This is how most people are going to experience your space. If that subtly textured patterned fabric looks like a solid from three feet away, then treat it as a solid within the overall plan of the space.
You should always vary the size of your patterns and include a small, a medium, and a large pattern in a room. With upholstery, this is easy to understand, but this applies to kitchens and bathrooms too. A medium-size pattern on a backsplash can be paired with a small patterned granite countertop. The sizes of the patterns being used shouldn’t match or the space won’t feel pulled together.
So, which patterns should you use?
This is of course mostly down to personal preference and the overall design of the room in question. However, there are some considerations that should be thought about.
Floral patterns can be perceived as traditional, but they will never truly go out of style. They offer a reassuring connection from our past to the new and natural environment. Small-scale floral patterns are romantic, whilst there are more subtle and abstract floral motifs that create a minimal and modern pattern.
Stripes are interesting patterns that can be extremely helpful in an interior. Vertical stripes will help a space to appear taller, while horizontal ones will help to elude you to a wider space. These are often found in period properties, however colorful stripes such as blue are often found in many homes inspired by the Hamptons.
Polka dots are a popular pattern choice and can work well when paired with stripes as they add contrast.
Animal prints make extremely interesting patterns! Some still hold on to negative and “tacky” connotations associated with this but they do work extremely beautiful in neutral color schemes. Stick to two or three maximum, and animal prints can really bring these spaces to life!
Geometric patterns, often associated with Scandinavian interior design, provide a natural and characterful element to spaces. Pair them with natural linens or cotton.
Where to Use Pattern
Patterns can be added to interiors in a variety of different forms.
Firstly, soft furnishings are perhaps the most obvious… Rugs, pillows, drapes, throws, bed linen, and even larger furniture such as sideboards, coffee tables, and sofas.
However, you can add patterns to many hard finishes too. These include wallpaper, tiles, and carpet. Adding patterned tiles to a shower or bathroom floor adds personality to an otherwise sterile environment. It is also a similar story for kitchen backsplashes – opting for a colorful or interesting pattern for the backsplash adds energy to a plain kitchen.
Remember to use solid colors from the room in patterned elements to ensure the space feels cohesive. If you choose a patterned tile for a bathroom, take the solid colors from that and try to incorporate them into other areas such as the trim work, and accessories like towels or blinds, for continuity.
We hope this post has given you some inspiration and ideas on how you can incorporate patterns into your spaces! Have you added patterns to your home? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.