How to use and mix 7 popular patterns in your home

Pattern adds instant dimension and personality to a room, but it’s a little scary when thinking about where to start.

“Pattern-mixing requires some skill, and like selecting a paint color, people are afraid they are going to get it wrong,” says Cheryl Luckett, an interior designer in Charlotte.

We see interior designers expertly mixing patterns on Instagram and in glossy magazines, but how do you do it in your home when you don’t have formal training or a professional eye? There are some basic rules for getting multiple patterns to coexist harmoniously.

Start by selecting a main motif that will set the tone. “You need to have one statement pattern to start with, and then go from there,” says Edith-Anne Duncan, an interior designer in Blacksburg, Va., who recommends using a floral or chinoiserie wallpaper or fabric as a launching point.

Then layer in supporting designs. “Pattern-mixing is a chorus, and you need altos, sopranos, tenors and a bass line,” Luckett says. She advises mixing patterns with large and small scales, juxtaposing motifs that have movement (florals) with designs that have structure (geometrics), and embracing repetition through a cohesive color scheme.

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