How to use and mix 7 common styles in your residence

Pattern adds immediate dimension and identity to a space, but it is a minimal scary when wondering about where to commence.

“Pattern-mixing calls for some talent, and like picking out a paint colour, folks are frightened they are going to get it completely wrong,” suggests Cheryl Luckett, an inside designer in Charlotte.

We see inside designers expertly mixing designs on Instagram and in shiny journals, but how do you do it in your house when you never have official training or a professional eye? There are some standard regulations for obtaining several designs to coexist harmoniously.

Start out by choosing a most important motif that will established the tone. “You need to have one statement pattern to start off with, and then go from there,” claims Edith-Anne Duncan, an inside designer in Blacksburg, Va., who suggests applying a floral or chinoiserie wallpaper or fabric as a launching level.

Then layer in supporting designs. “Pattern-mixing is a refrain, and you need to have altos, sopranos, tenors and a bass line,” Luckett says. She advises mixing designs with significant and smaller scales, juxtaposing motifs that have motion (florals) with types that have construction (geometrics), and embracing repetition by a cohesive coloration scheme.

The very best way to see how styles interaction is to experiment. “Just try out matters and be a small more bold. In many cases, you’ll be amazed,” says the Los Angeles-primarily based designer, artist and photographer who goes by the title Dabito. “For me, sample truly just results in so a lot depth and visible fascination. It can enable give a uninteresting area some life.”

There are a handful of basic styles that are go-tos for the execs. Here, Luckett, Duncan and Dabito share some of their favourite motifs and how they like to use them.


Drawing inspiration from Asia, these scenic patterns selection from flora and fauna to imagery of people today and dwellings.

One of Duncan’s favourite chinoiserie designs, Brighton Pavilion by Schumacher, is a floral and fowl motif that she prefers as a wallpaper in dining rooms and bedrooms. Wallpapering an entire home can be a expensive venture, though. For the spending plan-mindful, Duncan endorses framing two panels of the paper and hanging them on the wall. “You can seriously get some affect that way,” she suggests.

Duncan also likes to use Brunschwig & Fils’s Xian chinoiserie as an accent pattern on window shades or an armchair, and she suggests pairing it with a geometric style. In her Blacksburg property, the designer upholstered a chair in the fabric and juxtaposed it with an animal-print wool rug and two sofas protected in a medium-scale geometric pattern.

Chinoiserie also works for wallpaper in a small toilet. “Powder rooms should be a exciting and remarkable position to do a daring wallpaper,” Duncan suggests.

Dabito has been embracing his enjoy for chinoiserie as a result of antique art deco Oriental rugs that integrate florals and birds. Ranging from minimalistic and subdued to far more energetic, the vintage flooring coverings make a great statement piece. “I could include my overall residence in rugs,” Dabito says. “It truly grounds a room.”


Designers like to use daring floral chintz when they are in search of a extra animated or energetic appear.

“There is motion to florals that is very satisfying to the eye,” Luckett suggests. “That style of sample lends a thing to the mix that many others simply cannot. It has a fluidity and commotion.” Her favorite is Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock chintz.

“People who are scared of coloration can uncover a chintz pattern that is refined,” Dabito says. He endorses making use of the female florals as a bed coverlet, headboard upholstery or shower curtain.

Chintz also performs very well with other styles. “You want a further cloth that is structured, so there is contrast among the two,” states Duncan, who suggests pairing florals with a striped, plaid, gingham or other geometric pattern.


“Plaid straight away adds an air of sophistication,” Luckett states. Tartan, tattersall and glen plaids evoke a refined and masculine truly feel, best for a official residing place or examine, when madras has a casual affiliation that can set the tone for a extra laid-again room.

In her office, for case in point, Luckett paired a vivid technicolor plaid pillow with jewel-tone velvet textiles and a black-and-white chevron rug. And lately, for the A person Space Problem layout occasion on Instagram, she built a rustic dwelling space with a big-scale brown Thibaut plaid on an accent wall.

For a further house, Luckett accessorized a grey sectional by mixing relaxing grey plaid pillows with smooth eco-friendly velvet and greige ikat textiles. “It had a rustic feel with the leather and weathered wooden,” she states. “For me, pattern has to converse to the house and the people.”

Whilst plaids may possibly have a more masculine or traditional come to feel, Luckett states you can transform that by dialing up the color. “That’ll modernize it,” she suggests. “Change the vibe of a really standard sample.”


A uncomplicated look at can be introduced by upholstery and ornamental touches. Duncan’s go-to is Schumacher’s Bermuda Verify, a basic gingham. “The scale is excellent for smaller sized items, say a side chair or accent chair,” Duncan states. “Or it would be a great lamp shade.”

You can mix the look at pattern with a statement floral, chinoiserie, bigger-scale geometric or a good in the identical color as the look at, Duncan suggests.

“Mixing scales is often the very best selection,” she claims. “You could even combine a significantly more compact gingham sample with the medium-sized Bermuda Test.”

For greater-scale items, Luckett suggests the buffalo look at pattern, which initially was produced in a black-and-crimson checkered wool. “It’s familiar, and it has a refined truly feel to it,” she says. Aside from the preferred lumberjack plan, look at other shades. Luckett lately employed a coral and product buffalo examine to upholster an ottoman in a minimal girl’s nursery, paired with floral draperies.


Stripes pair perfectly with fluid motifs, these as florals and chinoiserie, but they also do the job with busy geometric styles.

“My most loved pillows occur in stripes and distinctive hues and weights,” Dabito states. At dwelling, he is a enthusiast of decorating with Southeast Asian Hmong textiles in linear layouts. “They are incredibly easy, and I use a great deal of them,” he suggests.

Duncan recommends Brunschwig & Fils’s new striped material, Bayeaux Velvet. “It’s a velvet that has the structure of stripes, but has motion with shading and a gros-point texture,” she states. If the linear design and style is dynamic and energetic, like with Bayeaux Velvet, it can be made use of by itself as a foundational pattern in substantial purposes, including in furniture upholstery or draperies.

Animal prints

The acquainted, neutral coloration plan of zebra, antelope and wild cat patterns pairs effectively with a variety of colours. For illustration, in a bedroom, Luckett made use of a dusty blue and cream floral-patterned headboard with cat-print pillows and Greek crucial-bordered shams.

Luckett, who is known for her ample use of coloration, says she virtually normally involves an animal print in her patterns, and that they are an anchor stage for her. She endorses modernizing them by deciding upon an unexpected hue. “Try it in navy blue or blush,” she indicates for leopard prints.

For grounding a space, she favors a speckled antelope-print wool rug. But if you aren’t completely ready to consider the plunge, check out animal prints in small touches, this kind of as with trays, coasters, picture frames or vases.


Geometric designs, including Greek crucial, present day hexagon, artwork deco arches or a uncomplicated chevron, perform nicely with chaotic landscape and floral motifs, due to the fact their composition offsets the fluidity of those patterns.

Luckett likes to use geometrics to insert cultural affect to spaces and to enable clientele embrace their heritage. “We aim to reflect the cultures of the purchasers we provide, and traditional prints like batiks, ikats and mud cloths make it possible for us to do that,” she suggests.

In her Charlotte property, the designer gave her area an “Afro Southern” really feel by mixing standard chintz drapery with mud cloth textiles. “I’m African American, but also really Southern, so I want that to be mirrored in my dwelling,” she says. “You can explain to that about myself just by the patterns that I’ve employed. Those seriously talk to who I am.”