How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro

Happy Monday! We're coming off an amazing weekend with temps in the 40's and lots of sunshine. Sadly, the forecast says 6-10 inches of snow tomorrow with blizzard-like winds. Midwest weather, I tell ya.

We did manage to install our stairs runner Sunday after painting the stairs white last weekend. My measuring skills failed me once again and we are short a runner so we'll be finishing that up next weekend, but it already looks so much better! I'll share a before and after with tutorial soon.

Today we're here to talk about mixing patterns. It's a great way to bring color and personality into your home, but without a few conscious decisions, your home can quickly turn into an overwhelming pattern overload.

Luckily, there are a few tricks to making patterns look pulled together and NOT like you've lost your mind.

You can mix patterns many different ways in your home (rugs, art, textiles), but today I'm going to use the pillow example. I will show you 3 different tips depending on your comfort level to follow when mixing patterns for a pulled-together, cohesive result. These tips can be applied anytime you mix patterns, not just for pillows :)

floral, leopard, chevron

1. Scale is Key

The single most important tip when mixing patterns is to pair a larger scale print with a smaller scale print. For example, you can see the pillow with a large floral print and lots of white space above has a much larger print scale than the other two grey pillows who's patterns are repeated over and over and over.  Pairing a larger print with a smaller helps balance the look and the white space is a nice contrast that lets the eyes "rest".

buffalo check, dalmation print, faux fur

2. Stick to the Same Color Family

A good rule of thumb when mixing patterns is to stick to the same color family for a unified look. It's an easy way to safely mix patterns if you're still building up your confidence. Add a solid pillow to break up the look and you're all set.

palm print, stripe, geo print

3. Add an Unexpected Pop of Color

If you're looking for a bolder look, keep the combination from looking too predictable and boring by adding a pop of color. In the example above, I pulled the subtle green from the stripe pillow and chose a pillow with that same green color. When you create your home color palette, you can use your chosen colors as you guide for pillows too!

Following these 3 tips will have you mixing patterns like a pro in no time.

My go-tos for pillows are Etsy (this shop has tons of affordable options), Tonic Living, Gordmans, and of course Target.