10 ways to mix pattern and prints

Love the idea of combining patterns and prints in your room schemes but not sure how to pull it off successfully? Follow these top tips for great results

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Introducing patterns to a space, whether that be a living room, kitchen or bedroom, is such an easy way to make it look full of design interest. But mixing different designs makes plenty of decorators nervous. If you’ve previously retreated to plains rather than risk an unhappy result, be inspired by these 10 ideas for successfully mixing and matching patterns and prints, which you can translate into your own home with ease.

This high-ceilinged room shows off a fabulous tropical print wallpaper up to picture rail height with an intricate design above. Picking up an accent shade from the leaf and floral design for the print above creates a colour link that allows the pair to sit happily together on one wall, while the all-over print’s textural appearance ensures it doesn’t fight with the pictorial design below. Love a bold wallpaper? Find more statement wallpaper design ideas.

Patterned wallpaper in a living room

Pindorama wallpaper in Navy; Ipanema wallpaper in Pink, both £18 per roll, Arthouse

(Image: © Arthouse)

2. Choose two opposing but toning colourways

If you’re looking for a super simple way to pattern mix, how about taking a leaf (sorry, couldn’t resist) out of this room’s book? The same print features on both curtains and wallpaper but, in two different colourways, making the look smart and modern rather than matchy-matchy. To repeat the effect, opt for the more subtle colourway over larger areas with the brighter shade in smaller doses. Discover more gorgeous grey wallpaper ideas.

Pink bedroom by Laura Ashley

Woodblock Leaves Raspberry curtains, £20 per metre; Woodblock Leaves Steel wallpaper, £20 per roll; Editions Sunflower Raspberry printed double bed set, £50; Editions Printed Stripe Steel rug, £75, all Laura Ashley

(Image: © Laura Ashley)

3. Be inspired by Moroccan interiors

Moroccan interiors mix patterns with ease, and introducing the typical designs can be a quick route to room scheming success. Stick to graphic motifs to get the look, but go for those featuring the ornate detail of decorative tiles – as on this wallpaper – as well as bolder and simpler versions to avoid making the overall effect too busy. Picking a range of jewel colours will also help give the room the right vibe.

Moroccan inspired living room

Shutters from £166 per square metre, California Shutters


(Image: © California Shutters)

4. Give traditional pattern a contemporary edge

Team a pattern that looks back in time with a second design with modern credentials and your scheme will look bang up to date. This romantic birds and blossom wallpaper – inspired by a 20th century piece – is right at home alongside a chevron rug in bold black and white.

Wallpaper by Little Greene

Loriini wallpaper in Dorian, £94.50 per roll, Little Greene

(Image: © Little Greene)

5. Contrast angles and curves

Opting for prints with sinuous lines alongside those with stricter geometry can soften a scheme to suit a room that’s made for relaxing. Pick designs that are equally bold in scale so the contrast is clear, and add in plains to give the eye somewhere to rest.

Bold and bright patterned living room

Printed panels in Opunita 120713, £30 per metre; Nuevo 120711, £30 per metre; Forma 111808 wallpaper, £41 per roll; cushions in a selection of fabrics, from £30 per metre, the Nuevo collection, all Scion

(Image: © Scion)

6. Mix florals and graphic prints

Teaming beautiful blooms and geometric motifs needn’t be a puzzle. Just look for patterns featuring the same range of colours and they’ll work together a treat. You can find your own design combinations or – even easier – look within an individual collection from a fabric house, as the different designs within it are made to look good together.

Floral bedroom with graphic print wallpaper

Blind in Pyramids fabric in Ochre; headboard in Nordic fabric in Ochre; duvet cover in Pomegranate Trail fabric in Ochre; large square pillow in Pomegranate Trail fabric in Ochre; small square cushions in Nordic fabric in Ochre; small oblong scatter cushions in Nordic fabric in Ochre, all from £21 per metre, ILIV

(Image: © ILIV)

7. Smarten up with a linear print

Give a traditional living room a tailored edge with linear pattern. Top-to-toe stripes could look as stuffy as a three-piece suit, bowler hat and rolled umbrella, so mix them with variations like the two sizes of chevron in this scheme, and show off dense colour against less solid hues. Be inspired by these traditional living room design ideas.

Living room by Sofa.com

Snowdrop two and a half seat sofa in Slade Stripe by Zoe Glencross in Anchor, £2,740; Bluebell regular footstool in Mottram Meadow by Zoe Glencross in Anchor, £600; Mottram Meadow medium rug by Zoe Glencross in Anchor, £299; Bollin Bird scatter 45 x 45cm cushion by Zoe Glencross in Pink Grapefruit, £95, all Sofa.com

(Image: © Sofa.com)

8. Get creative with scale

Sized-up pattern can turn a wall into a work of art, but featuring a design that’s this bold doesn’t necessarily mean going plain elsewhere in the room. Here the rug features a blossom trail print of medium scale, while a sofa cushion features a small-scale print so that each motif is perfectly sized to the dimensions of the piece on which it’s featured. Like this? Be inspired by more mural design ideas.

Floral mural in a luxurious living room

Kahrs Classic Oak Nouveau Charcoal Wood, £69.99 per square metre; Maestro Butterfly rug, £29.99, both Carpetright

(Image: © Carpetright)

9. Go bold with botanical prints

Foliage and botanical prints are bang on trend and will co-habit as comfortably in a room scheme as the real blooms and vegetation do in the Amazon. Give bolder colourways and medium to large sized designs a plain backdrop for a more traditional finish, or choose a graphic clash for a contemporary look. Find more beautiful botanical wallpapers for your rooms.

bathroom with monochrome patterned flooring, pattern clashing wallpaper, a freestanding bath and small side table with house plants

Vinyl floor tiles, Carpetright

(Image: © Carpetright)

10. Choose a neutral colour scheme

Want a room scheme that’s understated but still full of decorative detail? Put together pattern in neutral shades and gentle tints of colour. This room’s grey and yellow give the eye plenty to enjoy, but the overall effect is wonderfully calming.

Living room with a muted yellow colour scheme

Triple pinch pleat heading curtains in Shibori Light Pigeon, Saffron BORI-57-52, £49.50 per metre; sofa upholstered in Simple Ticking Detail Charcoal TICKING-38, £48 per metre; self-piped and zipped cushion in Origami Pigeon, Saffron GAMI-19-52, £49.50 per metre; piped and zipped in Origami Saffron, Pigeon GAMI-52-19, £49.50 per metre; piped in Charcoal PLAIN-38 £46 per metre; Calmsden chair in Shibori Light Pigeon BORI-57 £49.50 per metre, all The Artisan Collection, Vanessa Arbuthnott

(Image: © Vanessa Arbuthnot)

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