25+ Ways To Wow With Pattern
One of the best ways to show off your personality at home is with pattern. Whether you prefer the classic look of stripes, or lean towards bold abstract designs, here are more than 25 ideas to help you take the pattern plunge.
1. Consider a graphic floor tile. Cement floor tiles, imported from Mexico, make a grand gesture in designer James Davie’s kitchen.
2. Use the same fabric on multiple pieces. Consider using a favorite fabric in a few different places. Designer Alison Pringle used 25 yards of this blue and white fabric, inspired by Tory Burch’s New York apartment, in this lively living room.
3. Try a wall hanging. John Baker and Julie Dost-Baker — the couple behind the popular Scandi-inspired design store Mjölk — hung a textile with a neutral pattern on the wall, which complements their rug.
4. Go bold with a wall mural. Canary yellow drapes and a graphic mural prove designer Victoria Webster and her husband aren’t afraid of color or pattern. “I felt ready to take a big risk. I don’t want my house to look typical or traditional. My husband and I love the energy of the mural’s vivid colors,” says Victoria.
5. Tile stair risers. Black-and-beige patterned tiles add a subtle Spanish touch to stairs, and nod to the eclectic rug below.
6. Use graphic tile on a backsplash. Using a bold tile throughout your kitchen might overwhelm, but restricting it to behind your stove makes just enough of a statement.
7. Ground a room with a patterned rug. A burnt orange and white rug by Madeline Weinrib brings Moorish style to a pale pink dining room.
8. Turn a structural wall into a pretty focal point. H&H‘s Sally Armstrong covered a structural wall with a blue and white mural wallpaper, which picks up on the other patterns in her family’s basement. “I don’t follow any rules for mixing color and pattern. If you like it, it should work,” she says.
9. Use textiles to create a global vibe. Mix exotic textiles, like a Moroccan Beni Ourain rug and bright boho throw, for an exotic, well-traveled feel.
10. Display a collection. A selection of vibrant wool blankets and vintage records provide visual oomph and a hit of pattern in an all-white space.
11. Embrace multiple quiet patterns. If you’re on the fence about bringing bold pattern into your home, take baby steps with subtler patterns. In this bathroom by designer Sam Sacks, striped hammam towels and a small hand towel pick up on the tiled floor’s varied colors.
12. Choose two colors to play off one another. Keeping your color scheme consistent allows you to mix multiple patterns in a single space, while maintaining a cohesive feel. Bold pink and pops of orange are grounded by white walls and a raffia headboard in a young girl’s bedroom.
13. Balance feminine and masculine. In this principal bedroom, pretty patterned bedding sits next to a high-contrast striped rug.
14. Know when to break the rules. Seasoned designer Sarah Hartill mixed fairytale-like Zoffany wallpaper with a buffalo check roman blind in this Ikea Kitchen makeover. Both patterns are quirky and fun, perfect for a young family.
15. Offset bolder choices with a quiet envelope. In this sitting room by designer Jenna Cadieux, the vibrant patterns on the abstract painting, armchair and throw pillows demand your attention, but the otherwise white space keeps the look from overwhelming.
16. Use a single pattern various ways. In this boys’ bedroom, a series of striped patterns — on the roman blind, bedding, rug, and union jack pillow — creates visual continuity.
17. Pull colors from artwork. Artwork gives you a palette to pull fabric colors from for the rest of your room. In this living room by designer Robyn Young, a canvas storage basket, ikat drapery and striped rug nod to the abstract painting’s vibrant colors.
18. Use pattern on hard and soft surfaces. A strongly veined marble is certainly a more permanent commitment to pattern but the impact is huge. For those less permanent touches, like runners, feel free to have fun with lively patterns like chevron — they’re easy to swap out at a moment’s notice.
19. Think small. If you prefer a more subdued look, small-scale patterns can be your best friend. Here, full-length white drapes with a subtle blue motif add life to an all-white bathroom.
20. Pair serious with playful. In Sarah Hartill’s basement, moody wallpaper with a light gold stripe is met with more lighthearted patterns, like irregular polka-dots.
21. Stick to neutrals. Buff Arizona limestone takes center stage around the fireplace in this living room by designer Montana Burnett. A patterned throw draped over the back of the white couch relates well to the limestone’s colors.
22. Don’t overlook smaller areas. A woven striped runner not only adds warmth and protects hardwood by the front door, but it gives guests a cheerful first impression.
23. Go with what you love. A mixed media portrait of Yves Saint Laurent and a delicate orchid wallpaper is an unlikely match in designers Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal of Les Ensembliers’ kitchen. “The link between our objects is not their style, but the fact that they have meaning for us,” says Maxime.
24. Try framing designs. Picture frames are a great way to bring interest to walls without committing to wallpaper. Here a framed robot design looks sharp against a wall painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Gray (242).
25. Remain gender neutral. For a kids bathroom, stick to colors and styles that brothers and sisters can both enjoy. A navy and white striped window shade and tree-printed shower curtain give this small space upbeat energy.
26. Get personal. To honour the homeowner’s Scandinavian background designer Jill Greaves chose a dramatic wall covering by Josef Frank. Instead of just going with a trendy of-the-moment pattern, look for something that has meaning to you.
27. Create decorating moments. Choosing a series of fun fabrics turns an otherwise ho-hum reading nook into a magical space where you can curl up with a good book and get lost.