Prints are mix­ing up home dé­cor

The Progress-Index - At Home - - ANDREA HONAKER - By An­drea Hon­aker

These days, there’s no need to play it safe with home dé­cor. Peo­ple are be­com­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous when out­fit­ting their liv­ing spa­ces, and one way they are do­ing that is by merg­ing dif­fer­ent prints. Pat­tern mix­ing is one of the hottest trends in in­te­rior de­signs to­day, and for many, it’s a wel­comed change from the min­i­mal­is­tic styles of the past.

“I think peo­ple are re­al­iz­ing they can have a lit­tle more fun with their in­te­ri­ors,” said Libby Lang­don, a New York City in­te­rior de­signer, au­thor and makeover TV per­son­al­ity. “Peo­ple are learn­ing that they can mix a com­bi­na­tions of geo­met­rics, stripes. Flo­rals are com­ing back a lit­tle bit right now.”

While this isn’t a brand new trend, web­sites like Pin­ter­est, Houzz and In­sta­gram have been pro­vid­ing vis­ual in­spi­ra­tion that wasn’t avail­able be­fore, giv­ing peo­ple the con­fi­dence to try it, Lang­don said. She thinks pat­tern mix­ing is here to stay, and will con­tinue to grow as fab­rics and other trends change.

Lang­don of­fered these tips for com­bin­ing prints in your home:

■ Start with three col­ors: Too many col­ors can cre­ate an un­fo­cused, half-haz­ard feel. So, choose just three col­ors, such as green, blue and white. You may al­ready have an item with three col­ors, such as a bed­spread or paint­ing, to in­spire your de­sign. Then, find dif­fer­ent pat­terns that use those same col­ors. All of your items don’t have to in­clude the three shades. For in­stance, you might use a striped pat­tern with green, blue and white, but then have some­thing else with just a green geo­met­ric pat­tern.

■ Fo­cus on smaller pieces: Lang­don usu­ally picks a neu­tral pat­tern for the main el­e­ment in a room, such as the sofa. Then, she mixes pat­terns on smaller fur­ni­ture pieces, such as an ot­toman, side chair, din­ing chair or bench. This way, the col­ors won’t over­whelm the space.

■ Find in­spi­ra­tion in your fa­vorites: “Base looks on things that you love. If you love turquoise jew­elry, use that as a pop of color or some fun pat­tern in a space. When you build the room around the things you love, you’ll adore it,” Lang­don said. “It’s def­i­nitely just find­ing pat­terns that you think are re­ally stylish that you want to live with.”

■ Mix up your pat­terns: Us­ing all geo­met­ric shapes or all flo­ral pat­terns can look a lit­tle tired and old. For a fresh, new take, match dif­fer­ent kinds of pat­terns to­gether. You might com­bine an an­i­mal print with a stripe, or a medal­lion pat­tern with flow­ers.

■ Go bold or sub­tle: “A lot of times, you think of pat­tern mix­ing, and you think of re­ally bold, bright col­ors. You can still mix pat­terns that are neu­tral and soft and still get that dy­namic look,” Lang­don said. For ex­am­ple, you could pair a soft gray and white ze­bra pat­tern with a white and aqua stripe.

Great places to mix pat­terns:

■ Bed­room: This is one of the eas­i­est and cheap­est spa­ces to com­bine prints. With bed­ding, you can in­cor­po­rate a dif­fer­ent pat­tern for your com­forter, sheets and/or shams, break­ing up the prints with a solid-col­ored or plain white blan­ket. Then, con­tinue your color scheme in the cur­tains, a stool or chair.

■ Kitchen/din­ing area: Bring in pat­terns on a bench or chairs. As long as your wall­pa­per isn’t too bold, you can also choose fun pat­terns for cur­tains and drapes.

■ Foyer: “I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to have fun and make some bold de­sign choices, be­cause the foyer’s usu­ally a small place,” Lang­don said. Pick a great pat­tern for an ot­toman, drapes, or a chair with a pil­low.

■ Liv­ing/fam­ily room: With so much fur­ni­ture, this area is the per­fect place to mix prints. Plus, there are lots of pat­terned rugs, throw pil­lows and blan­kets out there you can add.

■ Kids’ ar­eas: While the three-color method works best in most rooms, chil­dren’s bed­rooms and play­rooms are ar­eas where “an ex­plo­sion of color and pat­tern” works.

Libby Lang­don

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