“One of the secrets to successful pattern mixing,” says New York designer John Chadwick, “is continuity in the colour palette. Having one shade in common and others that are similar is what ties them together.”
A dining room he recently designed for a client has a large, meandering flower pattern on the walls and plaid curtains at the floor-to-ceiling windows. While completely different from each other, they work together because leafy green and red dominate both.
Chadwick completed the scheme with chair upholstery and a rug in a dusty gold that references the walls and curtains. Woven with a raised check effect, it adds texture as well.
Designer Cindy Raby favours deep, richly coloured patterns for dark rooms: “They add drama, warmth and comfort.”
But she also likes the way light colours and textures give rooms a crisp, airy feeling.
“Dark or light can be right,” she says. Grounding and balance Also important when using patterns is “grounding” them with large swaths of solid colour, says Chadwick — “perhaps a rug, wall or sofa, so the eye has something to focus on.”
Los Angeles-based designer Joe Nye tends toward sisal and seagrass floor coverings. “They unify things, and having a casual quality produce a pleasing juxtaposition with a lot of upholstered furniture,” he says.
Sometimes he repeats patterns in two adjacent rooms for “a nice bit of harmony.” And it’s key, he says, to “distribute patterns evenly throughout a room so it doesn’t appear lopsided.”
“One of the secrets to successful pattern mixing,” says New York designer John Chadwick, “is continuity in the colour palette. Having one shade in common and others that are similar is
what ties them together.”