How to Mix Patterns Like an Interior Designer

Article by Ariel Okin

Venturing into mix and match territory can be intimidating – especially when it comes to where you catch your z’s. One false step can send you toward a riot of clashing colors and wily textures. Keeping it classic is the key here: that’s why solids and stripes look so nice. Below, LA based Homepolish designer Haley Weidenbaum gives her tips on mixing patterns like a pro.

S C A L E  I S  I M P O R T A N T

“I constantly mix patterns in the spaces I design, but the key principle in doing this right is keeping scale in mind,” Weidenbaum says. Making sure the patterns that you using are both large scale and small scale is the best way to mix fabrics without the space becoming too busy or mismatched. For example, if you’re thinking of a bedding set, consider “a duvet with a large pattern and sheets with small stripes, or no flourish at all. 

"And don’t be afraid to play with different silhouettes, too. Even though I layer pattern on top of pattern, they are always different in scale – which allows for the design to be harmonious,” she says.

S T A R T  I N  N E U T R A L

“Combining a geometric patterned duvet with textured and colorful pillows is a perfect way to mix everything together, but an important aspect is starting with a neutral and adding from there,” Weidenbaum says.

Consider starting with a neutral bed, sheet set or duvet, and then add in from there. This blank canvas allows you to explore pattern much more freely, offering options to add in through layers of pillows, sheets, duvets, rugs, and accessories.

P A I R  S O L I D S  W I T H  S T R I P E S

The best way to ensure you won’t go overboard? Rein it in a bit, and go with an 80/20 ratio of mostly solid, and some stripe. There’s a reason the combo is a timeless favorite – soft, striped sheets are never a design faux pas.

If you want to experiment with pattern, Weidenbaum recommends try a "ticking stripe." “This pattern never goes out of style and remains a timeless staple in any home,” she says. “From sheets to upholstery, a ticking stripe is a great way to explore pattern without being too bold."


K E E P  I T  C L A S S I C

Too afraid to take the plunge? No judgement here. Instead, consider a classic “hotel collection” style – with elegant piping on the edges and a crisp, clean and tailored look, your sleep shrine will be looking professional in no time.

Lastly, “don’t let patterns in your home be intimidating. Choose patterns that you genuinely love looking at, and you won't get tired of them so easily!”