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Mix and Match Patterns to Add Wow to Your Rooms

One of the best ways to introduce visual interest to a room is to mix and match prints. Whether you choose plaids and paisleys or florals and stripes, it's possible to achieve aesthetic bliss with different patterns. Here are a few tips to coordinate a varied design.

Work in Odd Numbers

Three is the magic number when it comes to decor. Odd numbers capture your gaze, forcing your eyes to then move around the room. Another trick? Stick to the 60/30/10 approach. The largest percentage of the room's prints should be in your primary pattern, 30 percent in your second pattern and the last 10 percent in your third pattern. Think of it as decorating first with the walls, then with upholstery and finally with accents. Gracie, off North Stemmons Freeway, is a great choice for finding hand-painted wallpaper in beautiful patterns. The Bright Group, off Slocum Street, offers custom upholstery. As far as accents, consider patterned artwork such as the pieces from Tatum Art Advisory off North Stemmons Freeway.

Pair Quiet with Loud


Graphic prints can make a statement all their own, so bring in organics to complement them without overshadowing. For example, try replicating the values of the natural world by balancing lights and darks throughout the room. When you hear organic, picture "growing" florals, vines, curves, scrolls, etc. Geometric, on the other hand, evokes manmade prints such as checks, circles, zigzags and the like. Duralee, off Slocum Street, has unique textiles in both styles. 

Maintain a Similar Scale

Consider the purpose you want the space to serve. If you want to establish harmony, pick large patterns like those gracing the floor tiles at Horizon Italian Tile off High Line Drive. Does your room have a focal point such as a fireplace? Layer smaller patterns on the mantel. Busy patterns such as the artisan wall tiles at Artistic Tile, also on High Line Drive, bring energy into a room like a kitchen while simple patterns create calm in your bedroom or study. Just stick with one scale per room to avoid throwing your decor off balance.

Find a Common Color

Your combination is more likely to work if you use three or more different patterns made with colors from the same dyes and in the same hues. Luckily, many fabric companies, including Kravet Fabrics on Slocum Street, do the heavy lifting for you. They develop coordinating patterns with different fabrics so all you have to do is pick a color palette.

If the idea of mixing stripes and toile still isn't in your comfort zone, try a solid with texture. Tone-on-tones, jacquards and moires create interest in the room without overwhelming the senses. But do consider taking a chance on print and pattern combinations. Your results may not be what you expect, but with the help of the showrooms in the Dallas Design District, they’re likely to be even better!

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