“To mix or not to mix”, that is the question.  With the shift to “Maximalism” my eyeballs are getting a work out!   Patterns, colors, and “stuff”…….oh my!  I am a self-professed minimalist and I always will be.  However, I absolutely love, love, love, exquisite textiles.  Bold, bright, embroidered, printed, woven…..you name it.  I love the detail and admire the patience behind the process of making a well-made textile.     So, with this new wave of pattern and color washing over us, the questions that comes to me often are “Can I mix patterns?  Will this work?”  “Will I grow tired of it?”  The answer is yes, yes and nine chances out of ten, yes!  On that last yes, by the time you are tired of the pattern, it most often times will be so worn out that it will ready to be replaced.  So, it works out in your favor.

So, how do you put patterns together?  Start will a few basics.

  1. Choose “the driver”. Which pattern are you crazy in love with and you know it has to be in your design scheme? That is “the driver”.
  2. Now that you know who “the driver” is, you need to select the supporting players. Start by making sure you have enough of small, medium and large scale patterns.  Use odd numbers for your final count.  I like to choose 5-7 patterns in one space.  The small could be a polka dot, ditzy dot, a tiny floral.  Typically, the small pattern is an overall pattern.  Then select your medium scale pattern.  These usually show themselves as a check, plaid or floral.  On the large scale patterns which usually are large oversize florals, toiles, foliage, stipes, plaids, etc.
  3. Be sure the undertones of your patterns are the same. Undertones come in many differing hues. Yellow, green, blue and pink are just a few.  You need to stay consistent with the undertones throughout your palette.
  4. Do what you love! This is your home, your domain.  Have fun!