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How to Mix & Match Patterns

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Around New Year’s I started feeling inspired to perk up our home with some new accessories. One thing I was noticing from pinning lots of home decor inspiration to Pinterest was that patterns and pillows make the difference in a room. And one area we could really use a perk was in our family room.

Our room has some serious green accents, such as our Madeline Weinrib rug and my grandmother’s green buffet, but I really wanted to pull in some other colors such as red and blue to make the room that much more interesting. I think people are scared to use red and green together as it comes across as Christmassy, but it really is a fantastic color combination if you get the shades of the respective colors right.

That’s why these Schumacher Chiang-Mai dragon pillows fit the bill perfectly. They include the colors we already had going on in the rest of the downstairs (the pale blue, greens, and browns) but they also added interest in the reds an oranges. It’s the perfect jumping-off point for accents & accessories.

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Then I stumbled on the Safavieh chevron throw pillows at a sale on Fab, and I thought, Perfect! Yes, it’s bold, but they work because they are contrasting types of patterns and the color schemes are harmonious. The strong geometry of the chevron is a great contrast to the flowy, hand-drawn feel of the Chiang-Mai dragon pattern.

Now say “dragon pattern” ten times straight. It’ll make you giggle.

And again, we’re pairing bold geometrics of the chevron against the Moroccan pattern of the rug.

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I went ahead & put together some pattern formulas for you to check out. These are the perfect way to perk up your decor without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

Pillows-Reds.png (4 documents, 4 total pages)

Reds: chevron  +  chiang-mai dragon (schumacher)
Pinks: hable construction + trina turk
Purples:   ikat + chevron

Pillows-Yellows.jpg (4 documents, 4 total pages)

yellow 1: chevron + seahorses
yellow 2: squares + trellis
yellow 3: lemon  + bamboo

Pillows-Greens.png (4 documents, 4 total pages)

green 1: squares + scribbles
green 2: houndstooth + borders
green 3: floral + mod links

Pillows-BlacknBlue.png (4 documents, 4 total pages)

navy: silhouette + greek key
blue: small chevron + large chevron
black: ampersand + interlocking circles 

 

Tips:
  • Hunt around on Etsy, eBay, and sites like Fab.com or Joss & Main to get great deals on designer items. I like Etsy for pillows in fabrics from Schumacher, Trina Turk, etc.
  • Mix & match similar patterns, such as the blue chevrons shown above. BUT the key to making this work is choosing them in radically different scales. The reason this pair work is because of (1) the color schemes and (2) the small scale of the first and the oversized scale of the second.

 

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  • Jenny @ Hank + Hunt

    I love this post! I’m bookmarking it for fabulous textile finds, but where did you get the ikat chevron fabric on the runner?  I LOVE it!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, thank you! I love it too. Actually, it was just a length of fabric that I bought on eBay. I had no idea what to do with it and then it hit me like lightning that I should be using it like a runner. It wasn’t very expensive either. It came all the way from Uzbekistan or somewhere.

  • Jenny @ Hank + Hunt

    I love this post! I’m bookmarking it for fabulous textile finds, but where did you get the ikat chevron fabric on the runner?  I LOVE it!

    • RachelShingleton

      Oh, thank you! I love it too. Actually, it was just a length of fabric that I bought on eBay. I had no idea what to do with it and then it hit me like lightning that I should be using it like a runner. It wasn’t very expensive either. It came all the way from Uzbekistan or somewhere.

  • Brigette Zorn

    Love this! House Beautiful did something on pattern mixing in a recent issue, and it was so helpful. Ikat + paisley + gingham works perfectly. Who knew?!  

  • Brigette Zorn

    Love this! House Beautiful did something on pattern mixing in a recent issue, and it was so helpful. Ikat + paisley + gingham works perfectly. Who knew?!  

  • Audra Frick

    I love this post.  I love pillows are I am currently bored with my current pillows.  I am going to hit up Etsy in the coming months for a refresh! Cheaper than new couches… Thanks!

  • Audra Frick

    I love this post.  I love pillows are I am currently bored with my current pillows.  I am going to hit up Etsy in the coming months for a refresh! Cheaper than new couches… Thanks!

  • Helena Butters

    Wow! This posts is fantastic! I will be saving it for future reference.

  • Helena Butters

    Wow! This posts is fantastic! I will be saving it for future reference.

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  • http://www.inspiremeheather.com/ Inspire Me Heather

    Hi there! Thanks for posting about mixing patterns, there’s so much to learn here! I have this linked to my “patterns” post as well today, it’s a keeper!

    • RachelShingleton

      Yay! Thank you for the kind words!