I think we all can agree that the thought of taking multiple fabrics that have different patterns and colors and mixing them together in one room or to form one outfit seems really, really scary. This process is even un-nerving to people who do this on a daily basis.  I’m not sure about other designers but I know this process can cause, what I like to call, “PATTERN NIGHT TERRORS.”  It’s not Sugar Plums dancing in this head!  But in the light of the morning, all seems calmer and I gather my thoughts and dive head first into Mixing and Matching.

More and more we are seeing pattern mixing and matching happening in the Fashion Industry as well as the Home Furnishings Industry.  Just this weekend I was watching football games and I noticed the announcers wearing jackets with one pattern, shirts with a different pattern and then the ties and kerchiefs were yet another pattern.  Just goes to show you that if these guys can do it, so can you. Next Sunday, take a look at Howie at halftime and you will see what I am talking about.  Pattern is everywhere.

To make a room more exciting and show some personality you can add different patterns, textures, and colors to your room.  Not only will it be exciting and fun, but it will also be a One-Of-A-Kind Masterpiece.  Your Masterpiece.  It will make a statement as to who you are and will be a little peek into your family’s personality.

I would like to say that there are special rules that will help guide you, but really there aren’t any because Fashion, Beauty, and Design are basically “In the eye of the beholder”.  I think that was the line my mother kept giving me all through those tough puberty years in middle school.  So, anyway, let’s not talk about my middle school experiences.  Moving along…….

The saving grace to this problem is that there are a few guidelines that you can refer to, to help you sort out your PATTERN MADNESS if you so choose to go there.

Below I have a few examples of how to simplify the process and give you a little courage to jump right in and start your Mixing & Matching Masterpiece.  Keep in mind that with each of the following, you need to always be aware of the scale of each of the patterns. Try not to have two big beautiful patterns competing for attention.  Let one be the leader, and have the others complement it. Also, keep the intensities of the colors in the fabrics consistent.  What I mean by that is if you are using bright, pure color, use that with each fabric.  If you have muted colors, draw from that palette.

1. One Color Palette

If you are a bit conservative you may choose this technique when mixing & matching fabrics.  With the One Color Palette, it is exactly what it sounds like.  Let’s say I want a Navy Blue scheme, as long as you stay consistent with the overall intensity of the color you are good.  You can mix different patterns and even different shades of the same color to achieve this effect.

2. Multicolor Main Pattern

With this, let’s say you have this one great pattern that you want to build your whole room around.  Great starting point.  Here you can pull all of the different colors from the main pattern and do your additional pieces.  You can do solids, stripes, plaids and any number of patterns.  With this technique you must keep in mind the scale of all of your patterns.  Your main pattern should be the STAR.  All of the other fabrics should be secondary in size.

3. Neutral

With a neutral palette the sky is the limit. You can have all of the furniture in a nice neutral and accent with pillows in any one color, multiple colors, multiple patterns and or textures you like.  This is an easier technique to be able to change later or when you get the itch to change it up. This could be used if you have a fabulous piece of art or rug that you want to be the star of the room.

4. Same Scale

This is the opposite of the Main Pattern as listed above.  This technique uses patterns that are all of a similar scale, so that one pattern does not stand out, but works together with all of the patterns.  The way this works best is to have the fabrics all in the same color family. You can also add rugs with texture for added interest.

These examples are obviously only a few examples of mixing and matching.  I hope this little bit of information is helpful when you are shopping for your home.  Don’t forget “Your home is a reflection of you” let’s make it your Masterpiece.