Playing with Patterns

Updated: Dec 10, 2021


Pattern is a principle of interior design prevalent in fabrics, wallpaper, tiles, and artwork. It is, in simple terms, the repetition of similar elements like line and shape. Patterns enhance visual interest, contrast, and depth in a room. Geometric patterns, for example, can be introduced to plain walls to enliven the space.

Patterns also direct the eye in a given direction. A collage of photo frames in recurrent arrangement on the hallway can lead the eye into the room and make the hallway appear longer.

Bold patterns create visual emphasis in a room by adding drama, even to a greater degree when used with colour and texture. A bold piece of graphic art or floral wallpaper can form a feature wall. A tribal rug can be the centrepiece of a neutral-themed living room. Simpler patterns on the other hand can easily be integrated and spread to adorn a space.

One may adopt a single pattern for their decor style but a mix and match of patterns makes more impact. Playing around with the multiple patterns can result in stunning aesthetics and showcase your creativity and sense of style.


Let's explore basic factors to consider when creating with more than one pattern.


Colour

Colour coordination is key to making the patterns look like they belong together. For neutral colours, use patterns of different tones to layer similar colours. You can also choose the most dominant print to be in a bolder colour and the others to be in neutral colours.


Interior Design Style

The effect of a particular pattern is felt most when correctly used with a corresponding interior design style. You can use patterns to bring together your home decor style. For instance, minimalism makes use of stripes, honeycomb, and subway tile patterns for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. Tribal prints are signature patterns for traditional interior design styles and stripes for modern organic designs. Nonetheless, any pattern can fit into any decor style as long as it is used artistically.


Scale

When layering patterns, consider the scale of the patterns. Busy patterns can be layered with complementary patterns in smaller items like throws. The busy patterns can also dress up a plain and large item by layering distinctive patterns that look similar.


Texture

The overall appearance of mixed patterns and textures is an artful luxe finish.


Here are some pattern combinations with which you can create amazing effects.

  1. Animal prints with medallion patterns

  2. Stripes with florals

  3. Mild floral with bold stripes

  4. Polka dots with stripes

  5. Tie dye with stripes

  6. Herringbone and graphics

It is important to stick to up to not more than four patterns. Even then, the patterns should look somewhat similar either in design, direction, or colour.

Alternatively, you can break the rules with the use of global-inspired patterns for a fun, bold, and bright appearance. This comes in handy for small spaces or spaces with a plain white backdrop. To avoid a chaotic look, stick to a specific colour palette.

With these tips, you can easily shop and mix patterns to spruce up your space.