Prints, Patterns, Pastels, & Primaries

Was the title of this blog post a way to challenge ourselves in the art of the alliteration? Maybe so, but it also brings up a valid point in terms of what we love most… DESIGN! Mixing various patterns can be one of the most fun adventures when creating the look of a space, but fair warning – it’s best to tread lightly if you’re a beginner. Combining prints and patterns of different variations and colors is not for the faint of heart, but it will come to you with practice, as you begin to train your eye to spot out where you want what, just how much is too much.

While designing lounges for weddings and events, it’s easy to opt for a more traditional aesthetic (we love a classic black-tie affair to feel fancy). However, sometimes it can be more exciting to stretch our muscles and try some crazy pairings that still keep with the same overall vibe. It may seem daunting at first with so many available options if there is no set vision in place, but that only means there’s more room to play! Here are some tips we’ve accrued over the years to make the journey to print and pattern paradise run a little bit smoother.

Begin by choosing your favorite patterns, and then narrow it down to three or four. Whether it be the sofa, a rug, pillows, or chairs — you ultimately can decide how wild you want to get. Typically, it’s best to have solid colors that allow the eye to rest so as to not be overloaded, and then stick to items within a similar color palette for the other pieces. Primary colors tend to not intermingle with pastels, while jewel tones and muted tones should generally keep their distance from each other. But, we LOVE to break all of the design rules!

Once the pieces have been established, arrange them in a way that logistically makes sense for the space. Now that you have everything in front of you, it’s time to play around with accent placement. Layering rugs and adding blankets are subtle inserts that do not go unnoticed as unique features. Vessels and greenery on tabletops are a nice way to break up textures of fabrics and make the area feel more interactive.

outdoor lounge setting with an orange velvet sofa

Photo via Love, The Nelsons

A Blake table with a glass bottle and flowers on it

Photo via Love, The Nelsons

A Risa coffee table with a flower centerpiece

Photo via Love, The Nelsons

A chair and a pillow in an outdoor lounge setting

Photo via Love, The Nelsons

two chairs, a sofa and a coffee table in a yard

Photo via Love, The Nelsons

If tackling this big of a project seems too overwhelming, another way to ease into pattern mixing is to start with the small stuff. Kitchens and dining areas have so many small details that it can be difficult to get them all to match anyway. So, why not try mixing patterns of napkins, utilizing different styles of dining chairs, and intermingling modern dishes with those you inherited from grandma?

The most important thing to remember when pattern mixing is to let your style take the forefront and use what you find to be beautiful and functional. Trial and error will perfect the process — and ultimately, a masterpiece will unfold right before your eyes!

mixed wooden chairs for an outdoor wedding dinner setting

Photo via Briana Purser

colorful goblets

Photo via Love Is A Big Deal

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