Pattern-clashing maximalism - the ultimate how-to guide! | homify

Pattern-clashing maximalism—the ultimate how-to guide!

Chloe Hines Chloe Hines
CASA MARQUES INTERIORES Modern style bedroom
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We get it—patterns are interesting, if not addicting. Whether it be bedding, clothing, a new carpet or a digitalized pattern graphic print, patterns keep us interested and captivated by their beauty and intricacy. Most of us keep things solid and allow patterns to infiltrate our homes via smaller accessories—pillows, throws, art, etc,. However, we want to help you reach a state of 'maximalism' rather than minimalist with this ideabook by using patterns in all shapes, sizes and colours in the interior of your home, and perhaps even the same room! 

From patterned sofas and couches to chairs and wallpaper, when it comes to combining multiple patterns you have to be strategic and savvy!  Below we have listed eight ways to help when you've decided it's time for more patterns!

Decide on a colour palette

First things first: you have to decide on a common colour palette that all of your patterns can fit into together. No matter how many items you decide to include patterns on - couch, pillows, rug, etc; you need to make sure there are at least two or three colours that are pulling them in together for a great overall composition.

This living room is a perfect example of utilizing a common colour palette to tame down the extravagances of patterns.  The light grey walls and darker grey shades were a great design choice because almost any colours can match shades of grey. The three colours in this living room palette are grey, dark red and green—and as you can see, in one way or another, all the colours work with each other.  The green pillows and chair pull out the greens in the patterned couch, and the inclusion of a simple red pillow on the green chair reminds us that these items are working together, rather than as separate entities in the living room!

Don't be afraid to mix large and small patterns

One of the easiest ways to mix patterns is to mix patterns of different sizes.  A general rule is that the larger the item, the larger the pattern. Leave smaller patterns to pillows and even chairs.

This living room combines severaldifferent patterns to create the illusion of a landscape that is forever changing and transforming. In a situation where you might choose more than one type of pattern, having a larger, solid piece of furniture in the room as an anchor can be necessary—and the designer here chose to use a neutral, solid couch.  The mass of the couch provides a settling and neutralizing effect to this space—making it work quite well together.

Tip: Find patterns in the same family and choose from the larger and smaller patterns out of the same collection!

Draw inspiration from art and life

When it comes to colour schemes and matching items, consider using art and life as your inspiration and idea board for choosing patterns. If you were the owner of this living room, you could easily pull the deep reds and greens from the large-format art work to use in the rest of the room and, as these are larger art works, using smaller patterns would work in your favour.

If you decide to use seasonal patterns, keep them on pillows and small furnishings so they're easy to switch and change around as the seasons and weather become your inspiration!

Check out how baylayge and ombré have been the inspiration for this kitchen tile pattern! You truly can find inspiration anywhere!

Use unique patterns from unusual sources

If you've ever travelled near or far or been to an interesting cultural/art museum, then use these places as an idea board. 

Like to keep things simple in your living room, yet found a great Native American print? Pull these types of prints into your living room! Love Persian rugs and handwoven Navajo throws? Find a way to add similar styles and patterns to your space with smaller decorate accessories as seen in this example.  The bold and bright pattern on these pillows definitely adds a statement piece to this space!

Limit patterns to a maximum of four

We are discussing maximalism here, but even maximalism has its limits. As a general rule, we suggest you keep your patterns to a maximum of four and if you must go over four, we suggest you keep the patterns small, and on smaller items.

This living room is absolutely wonderful in that the stark white walls and mahogany-coloured floor provide a strong base that can handle lots of patterns. Yet if you look at the art work on the wall, the patterns on the couch and arm chair and the pillows—you will not notice more than four patterns working at any given time in this room.

Tip: Why does this room work so well with four patterns? A proper colour scheme was decided upon before randomly adding prints!

Take texture into account

Most homeowners don't realize that textures can be taken into account when looking for additional patterns to add to a home. If you're (understandably) a bit weary of aggressive and bright patterns, but wish to add an interesting visual atmosphere to your home, then consider textures as a great alternative!

This living room, on first glance, looks as though it has several patterns working within it, yet when you take a second look you notice that it's actually the textures of the fireplace, couch and pillows all at work here!

Use textures on your couch, chairs and pillows for a great look—and even consider adding a rug as well!

For another alternative venue for patterns, why not use interesting flooring!

Treat animal prints like neutrals

Animal prints and throws have been around forever and for good reason. They bring a sense of comfortability and cosiness to almost any space. In this minimal living room, the animal skin rug acts as a neutralising agent, yet at the same time it adds a hint of both colour and texture to the space. 

Using items like animal prints as a neutralising factor is a strategic design move and allows for you to bring more items into the room while maintaining a calm and cool effect. When you view this minimal living room, you will actually notice in the details that there are several patterns at play here, yet the simplicity and elegance of the minimalism still shines through as it should.

Use wallpaper for a quick pattern update

For the fastest and easiest way to update patterns in your home, choose great wallpaper! Wallpaper is fabulous in that it is almost unlimited in colours, patterns and even textures and can be easily purchased and installed in one weekend. 

Perhaps the most temporary or changeable item on this list, wallpaper allows you to test and try out different patterns in different rooms with little worry of damage or permanence. Luckily, this designer chose a great, neutral wallpaper for this bedroom that would allow the homeowner to add bright colours to the bedding and accessories if they would like. 

Tip: When using wallpaper as a way to bring more patterns into your home, choose neutral patterns like the one seen here. That way, you can add patterns with pillows, etc; for a truly maximalising effect!

For more DIY inspiration, check out this Ideabook on making your own fabric wallpaper!

Have you utilised multiple patterns in your interior design? Tell us more by commenting below!
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