How To Mix Fabric Patterns Like a Pro

Updated: Sep 29

This is one of those frequently asked design questions that stumps even the most design savvy homeowners. How do I mix fabric patterns? Unfortunately, if you look online for articles and tutorials, the most resounding answer is "there are no rules!" or "rules are meant to be broken!" That doesn't help anybody....



Here are the rules I live by when choosing a suite of fabrics for my clients.


- Keep a common color. That doesn't mean you can only have 1 color, but it does mean that all of the fabrics in the scheme should have at least 1 color in common. Even if one of the fabrics has the tiniest hint of that color in it, you are still OK!



- Watch your scale. Scale is the size of the pattern and how it relates to other pattern sizes. And I have a rule of 3 that I like to apply when it comes to mixing scale. You need one large scale pattern, one medium scale pattern and one small scale pattern. Solids and stripes are freebies!

- Space it out. If you love 2 different patterns of the same scale and don't want to part with either one, you can still do it. Just space them out! Perhaps put one on the sofa with the other pillows and one on a chair or on a piece of furniture that is across the room.


- Solids and stripes are freebies! I said it above but I can't stress this enough. Solids and stripes kind of go with any pattern, as long as you are abiding by rule #1.


- Follow 60-30-10. Have you ever heard of 60-30-10? It's a pretty simple principle - keep the patterns layered so that one is 60% of the design, another is 30% of the design and the last one is 10%. This goes for choosing a fabric suite for an entire room including accent furniture, draperies and throw pillows. For example, if I found a pattern that I LOVE, I'd use it 60% and then layer in the others accordingly.


If you still aren't sure, check out my IGTV video... you'll be mixing patterns like a pro in no time!



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Charlotte, North Carolina