Four ways to mix and match patterns in your home

Mix and match patterns in your home like an expert with help from our ultimate how-to guide

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How to mix and match pattern in your home

Fancy bringing some bold patterns into your home decor, but nervous about getting it wrong? Mixing and matching striking designs can be daunting, but knowing a few key principles will help you understand how to balance and co-ordinate everything from chintzy florals to animal prints.

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Follow these top tips on how to master using bold designs in your home like a professional stylist.

Striking geometrics

Geometrics can totally transform any room; they bring a touch of modernity to a space but still look at home in more traditional houses too. If you’re nervous about introducing large-scale geometric patterns for the first time, choose one which has just a couple of colours, then use these shades as accents throughout the room to make sure the pattern harmonises with the rest of the space.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Wonderland wallpaper mural, £34 per sq m, Wallsauce
If you’re mixing and matching bold geometrics, there are two things you can do to ensure there is balance: choose similar colours and clashing patterns or do the opposite and opt for similar patterns and clashing colours
Yvonne Keal, Senior product manager at Hillarys
How to mix and match pattern in your home

Geometric shapes work so well on fabrics because their hard lines are softened by the nature of the material – this is especially true for curtains, because of the way the fabric folds and drapes. So, if you want to soften the harsh edges of a geometric print, then choose soft furnishings rather than wallpapers.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Vector border dandelion curtains, from £41.05, Curtains 2go

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Animal prints

Whether you opt for tiger, leopard, zebra or snake, adding a bold animal print to your home requires courage. These patterns are certainly not wallflowers; they’re prints that can add a sense of quirkiness, confidence and glamour to an interior when used as a large-scale decoration. However, they can also be toned down with smaller accessories while still exuding a vibrant, luxe feel.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Splendid animal print wallpaper in Blue, £21.99 per roll, Wayfair

Animal print can be implemented into your home in a number of ways, from cushions, curtains and rugs to throws, sofas and other furnishings, but you should aim to balance these out with plain colours so that the print doesn’t become too overpowering.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Matte wallpaper in Beige, £27.99 per roll, Wayfair
If you’re sold on going bold, then definitely do it big – that way you’ll achieve the ‘wow’ factor!
Rachel Kenny, head of the design studio at Wallsauce

If you’re going to opt for a brave animal print wallpaper, then a great way to incorporate this into your décor without it becoming too OTT is by creating an accent wall where there aren’t any windows to break up the pattern.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Love Her Madly in Python wallpaper, £120 per roll, Woodchip & Magnolia

You should also remember that you’re not limited to black and white or brown colour schemes for animal prints, as there are so many options out there to choose from. So, whether you want to go for bold monochrome decor or subtle neutral shades to fit with the rest of your room, shop around for the print you think will fit best.

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Fancy florals

To harmonise designs such as large geometrics and florals, clash the patterns and not the colours. You should show a clear definition between the geometrics and florals but tone in all of the colours. As a rule of thumb, stick to a maximum of three shades across both patterns to tie the look together. If you clash colours and patterns, the whole room could become overwhelming.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Florence curved bedstead with king quilted mattress, £479; Nian cotton duvet cover set, from £25; artisan hammered tables, £69 for a set of three; Vienna three-drawer chest, £229; Cayman rug, from £40; embroidered floral cushion, £20; Ikat printed cushion, £12; Okan floral cushion, £15; Opal table lamp, £14; Edison LED emerald ornament, £15, all JD Williams
If you have an open-plan room, use patterned wallpaper to create a sense of changing space if you want to section off a certain area. And if you’d really like to make distinct zones, use the same paper, such as a dramatic floral design, but in different scales.
Nina Marika Tarnowski, founder and design director at Woodchip & Magnolia
How to mix and match pattern in your home
Fiori linen summer berry curtains, from £38.45, Curtains 2go

Choosing a large-scale floral wallpaper can totally transform a room. The high-impact design will create a focal point for the space.

How to mix and match pattern in your home

Opting for a dark floral will add drama to any space and bring the room together, whereas choosing a watercolour floral pattern, like the exclusive murals by Carol Robinson, will provide a soft, romantic feel. Whichever style you opt for, large-scale wallpapers will certainly give you a stunning feature wall.

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Simple stripes

Vertical stripes are usually used in traditional schemes to create the illusion of height. For a soft, classic look, opt for a tone-on-tone colour scheme such as cream and white, or if you’re in search of a bold, impactful design, choose contrasting colours such as bright blue and fresh white.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Siesta Salmon roller blind, price available on request, Hillarys

Horizontal stripes are often associated with contemporary, edgy homes, plus they can also make a space seem wider as they elongate the room. When used in a range of widths and colours, this can be a fun and playful print.

How to mix and match pattern in your home

Remember, when it comes to stripes, consider the size of the room; the bigger the space the larger the print can be, while a more compact room will require a smaller, subtler pattern so it’s not overwhelming.

Top tip 

An essential part of using pattern successfully in a room is balance. Your aim should be to spread the pattern across the space, rather than have it all in one place. So, it’s a good idea to blend your chosen patterns with similarly-coloured plain furnishings to make your home feel cohesive. 

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With stripes, it’s best to avoid pairing clashing colours as the design is bold enough as it is, and this will only distract from the pattern and cause it to look cluttered and messy.

How to mix and match pattern in your home
Padstow stripe wallpaper in Pacific, £25 per roll, John Lewis & Partners
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If you have a large-scale stripe wallpaper, then you should counteract this bold print with less busy designs such as block-colour furnishings. However, if it’s the accessories which feature stripes, then you can add some dainty florals to the wall scheme too.

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