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How to Mix Fabric Patterns Like a Pro – Back to Basics

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Selecting fabrics for home decor is one of our most favorite things to do. Today we will share how to mix fabric patterns like a pro.

We are back this month with the fabulous ladies of Back to Basics. This is probably our favorite theme to date. You can see all of our past posts and topics HERE. We can’t wait to share with you how to mix fabric patterns like a pro.

Walking into our favorite discount fabric store sets our hearts aflutter. This shop is chockfull of gorgeous fabrics for upholstery, drapes and more. Inevitably the creative wheel starts churning and we are designing an entire room or house for ourselves or a client. One of the most often asked questions that we are asked by friends, readers and clients is “how do you mix fabric patterns”?

Design Fear

We get it – pattern mixing can oftentimes be a scary venture. There is so much to consider between pattern, color and scale. The stakes are even higher because sometimes fabrics can be expensive, so instead of making a decorating mistake – no decision is made at all. Being in design paralysis is way worse. We’ve got you covered! This is our tried and true method of how to mix fabric patterns like a pro.

1. We typically use 3 patterns in a space and vary the scale.

  • Floral/Organic (solid)
  • Geometric –  a few examples – Herringbone, Chevron, Greek Key
  • Stripe/Polka Dot

2. Start with a large scale pattern that you love.

Typically when we walk into our favorite fabric store we are drawn to a beautiful fabric like a beacon. This is our jumping off point to our room design. As an example in the photos below, we fell in love with this bold fabric and made drapes for Jenn’s living room.

The drapes were paired with coral paisley fabric pillows and aqua textured pillows.

3. Use colors of the same intensity.

Make sure if your color palette is pastel that all of your fabrics are pastel. Or if your first fabric is bold and intense in color that your two coordinating fabrics are also bold and intense. Otherwise this would throw off the balance and flow of the room.

4. Trust your instincts!

Not everything has to match perfectly, but the fabrics should create a look that is pleasing to the eye and to you. Lay your final choices on a table and leave them there for a few days. If you still love them, you have a good mix!

5. 60/30/10

Consider the 60/30/10 approach. Stick to 60 percent of a favorite large print pattern, 30 percent of a second pattern, and 10 percent of a third as an accent. Try three patterns in a range of scales, such as a bold floral, a mid-size geometric and a narrow stripe. Include solids in supporting roles on a sofa or the floor.

Just for fun, we put these fabric patterns together. We offered you a great mix of classic, modern and neutral design ideas. You can do the same thing to when you are thinking of decorating a room in your home. Also remember to visit our friends below to see how they mix fabric patterns!


Don’t Forget to Pin this to Your Favorite Pinterest Board!

One Comment

  1. Such a great step by step and real-life way to explain how to mix prints and patterns. You both are amazing at working in beautiful colors, textures and patterns in any space. Everything you’ve picked out is really pretty. Hugs, CoCo

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