pattern_roomIf you’re like most people, you may be hesitant to mix and match patterns in your décor. Unless you strike the right combination of patterns and colors, your interior design may not achieve the look you wanted.  A combination that’s too bright or too busy can look garish instead of gorgeous. But on the other hand, if it works, a skillful mix of contrasting patterns can add a dash of sophistication to your home. Try these five tips when mixing patterns.

Test first.

If you can, get sample fabric or color swatches and try them out in different combinations before you commit to a purchase. If you’re considering patterned wallpaper, or new upholstery, get a sample scrap and take it home to help you visualize how the pattern will look. Some computer programs can simulate the rooms of your home and can show you how your changes will look in your space. It might be wise to invest a few dollars and test out your pattern and color mix in the computer program before committing hundreds to paint or fabric at the home store. You don’t want to make a mistake, and be facing new wallpaper, or reupholstery!

Be conservative.

Start out small. Design experts advise that you shouldn’t make all your patterns bright and bold, or make them all the same size. If you’re going to use one pattern over a large surface, such as a wall or the floor, make it the most conservative color and pattern to avoid overkill. It’s easier to correct a look that’s a tad too safe, than to fix one that’s overdone.

Use complementary colors.

If you want contrasting colors, choose color combinations that work well together, such as blue and yellow, green and tan, or orange and brown. Here again, it’s wise to use color samples or fabric swatches to judge how the combinations will look. If you want to use very dramatic colors, such as red and black, use them sparingly.

Patterns can be anything.

You don’t have to limit yourself to the usual suspects when mixing patterns in a space. Pillows, rugs, wallpaper, and upholstery fabric are what people usually think of when mixing patterns, but you can also use an abstract painting, a wall mural, a hanging quilt, or even a mobile as one of your patterns. Anything with a bold dominant color or a detectable pattern can work.

Use a mix of textures.

If you’re not quite ready to put contrasting patterns together, you can still add a touch of sophistication to your home. Instead of mixing contrasting patterns, mix strongly contrasting textures in two or more items of the same color.  Pair a rough, nubby fabric with a smooth, silky one, or a knitted pillow with a velvet throw.

Try these five tips to create a smart designer look to your home. If you would like more advice about color and patterns, a furniture pro can help. You can get useful information about upholstery colors and patterns, reupholstery, and sofa delivery.