How It’s Done: Pattern in the Home

October 18, 2017

The late, great textile designer William Morris once said, “No pattern should be without some sort of meaning.” As long-time fans of all things print, we’d have to agree. Whether it’s a floral chair that recalls grandmother’s garden or a great kilim rug scored while rummaging through a Parisian thrift shop, there’s a lot of life woven into the fabrics of our home.

Of course, the more patterns you add to the mix, the easier it becomes for motifs to clash. The trick, we’ve found, is to layer them thoughtfully in a way that’s balanced and complementary.

We know, we know—easier said than done. That’s why we asked our home personal stylist, Anne White, for her expertise. Here, she shares her tips on how to mix, match and maximize your prints.

Curate Neutral Foundations
Calming shades and earthy accents are a perfect base for vivid prints.

“A light rug with a minimal graphic pattern can serve as a neutral in your space to anchor even the most boldly printed sofa. To avoid visual overload with your favorite statement-making seat, stick with neutrals throughout the rest of the room. Use calming shades of white and cream, and pull it all together with a few  accents that tie back to the colors in the rug.”

Balance Big With Small
When mixing prints, it’s all about scale.

“Go floor-to-ceiling with print for a bold approach that allows solid upholstered pieces to shine. To pull this off, the largest areas of print must vary in scale significantly to avoid a dizzying effect. In this room, the large petals on the rug strike a balance with the wallpaper’s small floral design to create a nice visual resting place.”

Think Beyond The Sofa
Walls, dressers, and tables are prime print candidates. 

“Why should textiles and upholstered pieces have all the fun? When it comes to mixing patterns, a striking wallpaper can narrate and guide the theme throughout the room. Here, the inlay work on an end table provides the right amount of smaller scale graphic appeal to compliment the larger scale floral wallpaper, rather than compete with it. The trick: make sure they share a common color palette.”

Opposites Attract
Pair natural with industrial, modern with vintage, statement with minimal.

“Love the idea of a floral print headboard but fear it will make a room feel feminine or busy? No problem! Create a calming, sophisticated balance by juxtaposing the feminine florals with solid accents, graphic touches, and natural elements like wood throughout the rest of the room.”

Ready to find your next favorite pattern? Shop printed décor and furniture here.