Are you having trouble nailing the right mix of styles in your room? Today, interior decorator and home design blogger, Camila Pavone, teaches us how to mix and match patterns at home with ease! Her tips below.
As an interior decorator, one of my jobs is to help push clients outside of their comfort zones. I have found that most people love the idea of pattern and color when they see it in a magazine spread, movie set or store display, but when it comes to executing it in their own home they get shy. That is where I come in. It’s my job to show them how some patterns even act as neutrals and can be built upon with a variety of complementary patterns. Pattern play is one of my specialties and I’m happy to share some of my insider tips with you below, using a recent client project as an example.
Remember that when you add pattern into a room, it’s important to sprinkle it throughout the room. The room would look unbalanced if just one little corner had 10 patterns crammed into it. Along with making sure the pattern is sprinkled throughout, you’ll also want to make sure that the color story you are working with is evenly distributed throughout the room.
Visual weight is key to making sure all of your patterns work. What does visual weight mean? It means you’ll want to make sure that my fabrics have some form of white or empty space in them and that they aren’t completely full of color with no breaks. For example, in this reading nook, the chair is covered in a chevron pattern that alternates white/empty space with blue. The window panels have a lattice pattern with a base of color, but then a pattern in white/empty space. The use of empty space helps the fabrics work together and not compete against each other. The visual weight is balanced in this corner.
Leopard is a neutral. I’m sure you have probably seen this slogan on hashtags, T-shirts and art prints, and you know what? It’s true. Any animal print is a neutral. So, add animal print to your neutrals arsenal of white, beige, black and gray.
Did you know that you can safely and stylishly incorporate a large amount of patterns on your bed? While some people start with neutral bedding, I like going with a small pattern instead. Just like animal print, when mixing patterns, treat all small patterns as neutrals. Small polka dots, skinny stripes or tiny gingham checks are all great examples of patterns that can act as neutrals and a collective base to build upon. I love this The Page Blue duvet set from Crane & Canopy because I can use the small cloud pattern as a neutral, and it’s reversible with an all-white side as well! So, if you’re not feeling so bold one day, just flip it to the crisp white side!
Now that we have our base, we can add another layer of pattern! Here is where stripes are ideal. Because our base is a tiny pattern with little bits of empty space sprinkled throughout, it’s good to add a layer where the empty space is more extreme. The next step is adding a new pattern to go with a more complex one, and break away from the bold white in the stripes. We still have some empty space in this pattern, but it’s not a bright white—more of a cream.
Finish it off with a pattern that takes into account all of the colors we are working with in the space. This flame stitch pattern not only has all of the colors that we are using in the space, but it also mimics the chevron pattern that’s already being used in the space, once again helping to balance the room and make all the patterns work together.
Extra designer tip:
Always use down feather inserts. You can find them for a great price point at Crate & Barrel. Also, always size up with your insert! If you have an 18-inch pillow cover, make sure you purchase a 20-inch insert to get nice fluffy pillows that can easily be karate-chopped if you choose. Poly-filled pillow inserts will not karate chop.
Pay attention to the details. A well-designed room features little touches that help make everything come together with designer-inspired flair. One example in this room is the use of contrasting piping in the pillows using one of the other patterns from the room. Another little detail is a throw folded on the end of the bed. It adds another layer of pattern, but also another layer of texture and warmth.
One other little design detail to note here is the use of color-coordinating books for accessories. It’s so easy to do. Nothing new was purchased for this set up. I simply shopped the client’s home and rounded up a grouping that worked. A good spot to add a few other little details is at the foot of the bed. Oftentimes, it’s a spot that is forgotten, but it’s a great place to add X-stools, a bench or even a settee if you have the space. Here, we recovered a vintage bench with a small-scale fretwork pattern and added contrasting piping in orange. We also placed a catch-all tray in a neutral animal print.