If you know me, you know I am a lover of blue and white everything, with a little bit of leopard. Also, if you have ever seen my house you would also know that I am HUGE lover of pillows. I sometimes even buy them without even knowing where I’m going to put them all.

Mixing and matching patterns may seem daunting, but if you follow just a few rules, you can get the look you see in magazines at a fraction of the cost. My philosophy, and it’s not shared by some designers, is to use the same colors in all the main rooms of your home. Not only is it easier, but it allows you to move your soft furnishings from room to room for a completely different look. It literally expands your decor and the possibilities are endless.

For example, instead of investing in a rug for one room, you will be buying a rug that you could possibly use in every main room of your home. In my case, I have the same colors in my living room, dining room, sitting area and kitchen. It does help to have an open concept, but if you do not have an open concept home using the same colors throughout, creates a flow from room to room.

Follow these few tips to help you select different patterns, colors and how to make them work together


Every space, or home, has two primary colors. Pick the two colors you want to tie in the most, and stick to these colors.  Believe me, I know how tempting it is to throw in another color…and you could, but not when you are just getting started. It helps for these colors to be on your biggest pieces, like sofas and rugs. This can change a little bit if you have patterned or colorful accent furniture pieces. In my case I have two large accent chairs that have navy blue, white and hints of gray. So my two colors are navy blue and gray…and my neutral is white.


This is where your own style will come in so just choose what you love. The only rule is to stick with the two colors you chose in step 1. Some examples of patterns are florals, stripes, plaid, geometric, checks, polka dots, chevron, yarn texture, animal print……you get the picture. So once again, my patterns are leopard, stripes and texture. Something to keep in mind, if you have accent chairs, you may want to keep your colors limited to two, and throw in one wild pattern that you use frequently throughout your space. 


This chosen fabric will be what makes all the other patterns work together. Use it wherever you can along with the other patterns that you have chosen.


Your patterns should be different sizes. For example if you have a very wide stripe, use a smaller floral pattern. If you are using a large buffalo check, use a smaller stripe such as ticking. Don’t use all stripes…or all florals. Got it?


Try to mix it up a little without over-thinking it. At the end of the day, if you fall in love with three large scale patterns, and they follow the color rule, chances are they will work just fine. I honestly pay more attention to color than scale. If I fall in love with a pattern, I tend to use it whether it follows all the rules or not. The one rule I don’t break is keeping with my two main colors, with one exception. I do add seasonal colors. In the Fall I bring in browns and oranges…and at Christmas I add reds and greens.