Mixing Patterns in Decor

Carmen Lopez

Have you ever thrown fabrics together trying to be creative and wondered why it didn't work? 

I was taught as an artist to look at patterns, color and balance. 
 For some reason it has always come natural to me...

Carmen Lopez
What do you notice about the pattern in this design?

 The shutters, the chairs and the wallpaper have a similar line or shape....

The chair fabric softens the hard edges and the solid orange is a resting place for the eye...

every room needs a resting place...
an area with no pattern...
Carmen Lopez

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Carmen Lopez

Look how every color and print plays on each other....
the blue, orange and printed fabrics are repeated through out the room to create balance...

My eye naturally started at the left gold sofa corner, then to the chairs, then the orange sofa and then around to the the coffee table....

it's like the designer created a visual path through color to see the room and create interest....

Debra French

Look at the pillows...
the shape of the flower is the same but a different scale...
they balance each other... they don't fight each other...
It wouldn't work together if they were the same size.

Debra French

Matchbox Magazine

John Robshaws living room and home is a fun example ...
he started as an artist and became an interior designer and fabric designer...

look how he plays with shapes...
the circles and the diamond shapes are repeated in his fabrics and the side table ....

the stripe rug adds an element that calms the patterns down..

The circle pattern is repeated on the wall.....
it looks like he designed his home as if he is going to paint the room on a canvas...

Debra French

Start noticing how everything in nature has a pattern...a green leaf, a butterfly etc ....

it helps to look at magazines or decor on-line and notice the pattern and the shapes in them and how they use color...

also....John Robshaw has a new collection with Cisco Brothers ...

And....my computer broke...It's being fixed and if I don't post on schedule you'll know why...Shoot....so frustrating!


  1. I always think that it's a true gift if you can mix pattern and color. It's a mystery to me. I just don't have the eye. The post was a great help.
    Thanks for the wonderful photos.


  2. I think its fun to mix and match but its like an experiment, a little of this a bit of that, and you don't always get it right but you keep tweaking until you do. There is no doubt this kind of mixing always makes for a most interesting room!

  3. I am loving that Chinoiserie breakfast nook area!

  4. Love your artistic eye! I think people look to designers to mix patterns since most people aren't comfortable with that. Good luck with your computer! ugh! Hope your week goes well.
    xo Nancy

  5. Love the look, but you certainly have to have a talent to pull this off. The Carmen Lopez dining area is so wonderful and adore the wallpaper. You have the eye, Julie!!

  6. Love these examples and such great thoughts on how it all works!

  7. Hello Monday! This is one happy post, Julie! When a rooms makes me smile, it works!!
    I love every room here.

  8. I love this post! I love all the mixed patterns - so well done. I also feel so badly for you about the computer - I literally don't know what I'd do!!

  9. We've played it safe for so long and have been quite basic when it comes to patterns. But we're changing things up a bit and have hired a decorator who loves colors and patterns and we can't wait to see the results. Room are so much more interesting!
    C + C

  10. Wonderful post! You have an amazing aesthetic eye to be able to do this. The colors and patterns work perfectly!

  11. love john robshaw's stuff! i don't have the eye for patterns or prints, but i know what i like when i see it!

    smiles to you.


  12. I just love it! I like the personality and balance! It feels fresh yet well travelled, great images!

  13. You obviously know your stuff -- I wish I had all that knowledge and skill. These rooms are perfect choices to use for this topic! I love these Carmen Lopez rooms. And the Jeffry Bilhuber dining room is fantastic!

  14. Great post, I love John Robshaws fabrics, he is such a talent with prints! Good luck with your technology woes!

  15. This is a great post! It's all about balance and these are great examples of that. :)

  16. This kind of mixing and balance is what I consider talent; it's what I aspire to. Neutrals feel like a safe zone to me & I lean on them because of that, but these interiors have a conversation going on before people ever enter the room, & I love that. Great, informative post that I'm bookmarking for future reference. I have an attic room that is sort of a family hangout space & I would love to give it this look one day soon.


  17. I love all of these rooms, they are truly artful and full of fabulous color and design!

    Art by Karena
    Giveaway by Splendid Sass

  18. I love John Robshaw's designs! Great post, I too, love to play with pattern and color.
    How are YOU my friend?

  19. Fun post Julie! It's comes natural to us gals but you gave really great advice for the people who aren't crazy like us!
    Happy Friday,

  20. I am such a fan of mixing it all in. And you are spot on with size, scale, color! When it works it REALLY works, and when it doesn't, well ... not so good!! Have a wonderful weekend! xo

  21. Great post Julie,
    I love mixing patterns, my favorite part of design, besides color!! Great examples and you did a great job of teaching how to do it!!

  22. Hi, Julie -
    Hope your computer is all fixed up. Wonderful post! Informative, pretty and fun!! I just returned from a trip to Scandinavia. Visited the Marimekko store where patterns were everywhere! Bold, colorful and graphic patterns. I now know why it all works: the resting place. In that store were lots of white surfaces separating the patterns. Enjoyed this ~
    x Loi

  23. Love this post. It's so personal I feel, but I do love a good mix. I love a bed that beckons you to come jump in it; fluffy, full comforters, pillows, layers,textures...love a good bed.
    xo nancy

  24. Oh my goodness! This is truly amazing! I was totally surprised and speechless while looking at each of the photos. Darn, I feel like wanting to have a makeover at our living room with that of course for an inspiration. Too bad, we just finished it last month. I feel like crying!


  25. This was a very informative post. I have never thought about tackling interior design in this way. I like that one part of the room just needs to be simple so that everything else can play off of it. Thank you for posting this and the awesome pictures.


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