The Easiest Way to Mix Patterns

Does your space have several different colors and patterns scattered around and it doesn't feel like it's making much sense?
If so, don't even worry about it. We tend to buy whatever pattern or color strikes us at the moment and then we end up with a pile of mismatched fabrics and colors and don't know where to go from there.
I know that when I see a striking pattern on a throw pillow...or five, I tend to feel like I can't live without it. (I'm a self-proclaimed throw-pillow junkie) Much to my husband's disdain, I end up purchasing the items and bringing them home.
Upon my arrival home, I sometimes realize I had gotten a little carried away (maybe a lot) and not everything is matching quite like I wanted it to. It was simply because I hadn't gone into the process with a color and pattern plan.
I'll show you a great formula that makes this super simple!
The Easiest Way to Mix Patterns
                                                                   Image Credit
This stunning bedroom will serve as our starting point. It is painted in a beautiful white with a subtle blue/green undertone. They have used this undertone to their advantage by complimenting it with varying shades of blue, soft pinks and some light blue-grey throughout the room. Now that we have our undertones and colors dialed in we can begin choosing colors and patterns for the fabrics in the room.
The handy formula below is what I use each and every time I coordinate patterns in a room:
The first thing to note is that almost all patterns will either be an Organic print or a Geometric print:
  • Organic patterns can include floral patterns or anything inspired by nature. They can be very literal or a bit more abstract. Organic patterns can have a lot of swirl and movement and it is typically difficult to see where the pattern repeats itself. 
  • Geometric patterns are those that have a definite pattern to them and typically have a lot of contrast too. The most simple geometric patterns are polka dots or stripes, but there are also a lot of really interesting and more complicated geometric patterns as well. 
If your first choice is organic inspired, you are going to want to choose a geometric to work along side it. Visa Versa.

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Select your Fabric
When selecting your first patterned fabric, simply start with a fabric that you love. Let's say you decided to go the Organic route first and this pattern is what you chose:
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This fabric has that same lovely blush pink, dark green and then a light gray with a green undertone and a bright white. Perfect.
Next, choose a color out of this pattern that you want to highlight. The color you choose will be in the next coordinating fabric pattern.
Let's say that you chose the blush pink color.
Since we used an Organic pattern first, we will want to go with a Geometric pattern next. I chose a geometric pattern (see below) that mimics lattice, which inspires somewhat of a garden theme.
For the third pattern, consider scale. A smaller pattern will help the two bolder patterns blend. This will give you another chance to pull another color from your first pattern choice.
 These three patterns will work together beautifully in the room mentioned above. We've taken the undertone of the paint color on the walls and used it to our advantage.
(If you have not chosen a paint color yet, use the fabrics you would like to use in the room and base your paint color upon the colors and undertones in those fabrics. It can work both ways.)
Side Note:
Large scale prints and patterns work best on large pieces like curtain panels and duvet covers. Small scale prints and patterns tend to work best on smaller items like throw pillows, lamp shades, or valances. Take that into consideration, but don’t be afraid to break the rules a bit. I’m a sucker for a throw pillow with a large scale pattern on it.
Also, never underestimate the power of the solid! It will round out a heavy pattern combination and blend very nicely.
Remember too, that black and white are the best colors to balance out a colorful room. These two "colors" are perfect for solid throw pillows, throw blankets and curtains for rooms that are pattern heavy.
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