Decorating with patterns is one of the most complex and risky tasks in interior design. However, when the technique is mastered, the results reach another level, let’s see it!

If there is one statement that sums up the combination of design and elegance in a single sentence, it is undoubtedly the well-known: “Less is more”. Therefore, when a designer decides to go off the beaten path and combine different patterns, colors and shapes in the same space, he or she is taking a risk and, of course, leaving the comfort zone behind.

In addition to vision, talent and creativity, to combine prints in a professional way it is necessary to know some essential guidelines on how to do it successfully. Let’s start with a review of the most common patterns in decoration and see how they should be combined with each other, and with the environment, to achieve winning mixes. Will you join us?

Types of prints in decoration, from toile de Jouy to Ikat

Although it is impossible to calculate the number of patterns that exist in decoration, there are some patterns that are repeated over and over again when you are decorating with prints. So, taking into account those patterns that are repeated, imitated, improved and change colors to give life to new models, we can identify some main styles:

  • Polka Dots
  • Vichy
  • Tartan
  • Animal Print
  • Cashmere
  • Jacquard
  • Graph or grid
  • Houndstooth
  • Herringbone
  • Prince of Wales
  • Chevron
  • Toile de Jouy
  • Ikat
  • Pinstripe
  • Floral
  • Patchwork
  • Fleur de Lis
  • Fret
  • Ogee
  • Vermicular
  • Scales
  • Quatrefoil
 tipos de estampados

Once we know some of the most popular types of prints, let’s see what are the keys to introduce them in interior design to achieve stunning results.

Decorating with patterns beginner level

Those who are new to the art of decorating using patterns know that there is a safe option: decorating with patterns in the same tone. Choosing different patterns and mixing them is complicated, but if we mix them using the same tones, the importance of those patterns will be diluted and we will put the accent on what we want.

Here it is important to keep in mind the odd rule, which refers to how, when the number of patterns in the room is even, the patterns compete with each other. On the other hand if the number of patterns is odd the importance can be better distributed: grouping in pairs, playing with the size…

So, if we decide to highlight a print we can choose one with a larger pattern or simply use one of the following techniques.

In the cushions we can see how the importance of the pattern is diluted, as a result of combining different patterns but in very similar tones.

The same is true of this terrace, multiple patterns but with a sense of homogeneity created by the tones.

Choosing the protagonist of the room

Highlighting a print over plain colors or even other prints will be a winning option. The prints that will become the center of the room should occupy an important part of the space, or be eye-catching enough to attract more attention.

If a print is very striking or is occupying most of the space, combining it with neutral tones or a chromatic range will be a great option. In this way, we will achieve to enhance the effect of prominence without saturating the room.

When we are decorating with patterns, if we want to add more, without detracting from the main one, it is best to opt for simplicity in both form and color. Patterns that follow the line of the main one or, if they are very different, that the print is smaller. This way you can achieve attractive looks like these:

Can you guess who is the protagonist in these rooms?

The magic of complementary

When the least thought-out combination of prints works, it’s usually because the magic of complementaries is working. When it comes to combining flowers, stripes, dots and other freestyle prints, relying on complementary colors and ranges is the option to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Floral motifs, geometric, drawing… It is unthinkable that such a mix could work, however, it does.

Stripes, dots, striped dots, black and white, black and white…

The opposites always achieve a perfect balance, integrating all the elements of the environment.

Putting the icing on the cake

We love this proposal, vibrant colors crowned with combined prints of the same range. When you create a powerful base, it allows you to integrate different prints without overloading, that yes, you should opt for prints of the same type: different geometric motifs, different floral motifs. Our protagonist will be that wonderful color and the icing on the cake will be the range of prints.

Here, green and pink are the base for the different floral prints.

Extra daring proposals, why not?

For those who dare with everything, we have examples that show that, the grace of the interior designer to place each element in its place, is everything. That’s why, despite all the rules or techniques that may exist, we will always find extraordinary exceptions.

The rules are there to be broken, isn’t it fantastic?

Look at this patchworking applied to the overall room…

Impossible mixes…that work

Children’s rooms are a good place to experiment with more daring combinations…

Patterns of prints, stridencies in colors, combining opposite prints…

Floral mosaic on the wall, geometric flooring, bright colors… A dream or a marvel?

Let’s end with a recap…

  • If you want to combine different patterns and highlight one of them above the rest, use the odd number rule.
  • If you use an odd number of patterns, more than 3, place them in pairs and make sure their patterns have a different size to achieve a better result.
  • Decorating with prints, the one that is the largest or occupies the most space will be the most important. Define what you want to highlight!
  • If you want to use several prints without any of them standing out, choose the same tone or color for all of them.
  • With vibrant colors, varied prints but of the same type will provide a scandalous effect.
  • Break the rules! Explore your creativity and enjoy the process

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