How to Incorporate Multiple Colors and Patterns into a Design

Mixing Color

I have been called loud once or twice in my life. This is mostly due to the volume at which I speak, however, it would not be off base for some people with more subtle esthetics to also use this word to describe my designs. I love pattern, I love color, and I especially love mixing them all together to come up with the perfect designs. I truly believe that a room with only one focal point is boring. I love when someone new sits in a room I have designed, and looks around two or three times before they realize that the ceiling has been wallpapered, or the floor has an interesting design painted on it. Keeping things interesting and mixing things up is why people call and hire me! I cannot disappoint.

Custom Pillows

While changing patterns and colors can be fun, there are a few rules that I always follow in order to keep things looking cohesive and not like I just threw a bunch of different items in a room and called it “art”.

Mixing Patterns: 

Mixing Patterns

When you mix patterns, make sure to mix different types of patterns; straight patterns with whimsical rolling patterns work well. Stripes with florals, animal prints with gingham, trellis with paisley are all good examples of this. If you try to mix plaid, stripes and trellis you can end up with a very linear design, which can come across as very straight and very boring.

Make sure you mix up the size and scales of patterns. If you have large floral, take your trellis to a small scale. Patterns of the same size will often compete with each other.

Mixing Patterns with texture is an easy way to get started. If you are nervous about starting to mix patterns together, start with mixing textures. Think of a tiny blue and white herringbone patterned fabric; when you step back, you may only see a blue fabric. I think of these tiny patterns as more of textures. There is pattern up close, but most people will not see that pattern unless they are up close and inspecting the grain of the fabric.

Try only to have one white. Unless you are doing a monochromatic room in shades of whites and beiges, try to keep one white throughout, and stick with it. If you have printed fabric with an ivory in it, then mix in a woven fabric with an eggshell background or your fabrics will compete against each other instead of complimenting each other.

Start with Analogous colors An analogous color scheme consists of three colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match very well, and can create a comfortable and serene atmosphere for a room.  Turquoise, Blue and Green would be a good example of analogous colors.

Mix in one complementary color. A complementary color is one that falls opposite of another on the color wheel. If you have designed your room using an analogous color scheme, add one of their complements through accessories to create some diversity or excitement. Blue’s complement would be orange.

Mixing Colors: 

Color wheel

Most importantly, have fun. This is your home! If you truly love a wild and crazy fabric now, don’t be afraid that you will hate it in a year or so! Your love will last!

Mixing Color
Mixing Colors

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