Mixing Patterns

One of the things that I had some trouble getting the hang of in design school was pattern mixing.  I remember being in a Kravet showroom, hugging a handful of samples for a color board, and laying them out for one of my instructors who looked at me and said, “Honey, these just don’t work.”  She explained to me all about dominant, subordinate, and neutral fabrics, and I just felt so overwhelmed.  Like, why can’t these go together?  Panic ensued.  How did I even have a future as a designer if I couldn’t tell that a large quatrefoil geometric pattern didn’t work well with a floral?

I got better at this, although I think this is something that I still have yet to master.  As a designer, there is a “feeling” you get in your gut when you get it right, though.  For anyone who is a designer of any capacity, you know what feeling I’m talking about.  We mean it when we say that the way something looks doesn’t “feel” right.  It literally tugs at us, and bothers us, and follows us around all day until we solve the problem that is nonexistent to someone who isn’t both blessed and cursed with an eye for design.  And so, for me personally, there is a lot of trial and error in what I do.  I usually can’t look at a pattern and say — “That will look PERFECT with x.”  Because of that, I save my receipts!  😉

Pattern mixing is tricky…  You don’t want this:

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.20.35 AM

Scary, gaudy, overwhelming

But you also don’t want this:

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.21.36 AM

Almost completely devoid of pattern altogether

What great pattern mixing  accomplishes is a layered palette of textures, colors, and interest that really gives a sense of who lives there and what they like, and sets the tone for the space.  Great pattern mixing tells a story!

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.22.26 AMTraditional Home

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.23.20 AM
Traditional Home

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.24.26 AM
Jennifer Davis Interior Design

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.25.36 AM
Tidbits & Twine

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.26.46 AM
The Design Chaser

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.27.38 AM
Design Manifest

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.28.34 AM

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.29.21 AM
Because It’s Awesome

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 4.30.10 AM
Tidbits & Twine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s