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Three’s Company

Combining two patterns in your bedding is a piece of cake, right? Pick a main print—say, a splashy floral—then pair it with a more delicate design, like a pinstripe, in the dominant color from the print. But we can’t get enough of a good thing, so we’re advocating that you let loose your decorating dervish and mix it up with three (or more!) prints. It’s a fresh way to show a little character, and it’s a whole lot easier than some people think.

Print master Annie shares these tips for mixing patterns:

1. Choose a large, exuberant multicolor print for your primary pattern; this will help you organize your color scheme.

2. Add smaller-scale coordinated prints and two-tone prints in same color palette. In the top photo, for example, the green and white link-print pillow picks up on the grassy color in the bright garden-design quilt. In the bottom photo, the blue-on-white and white-on-green branch-print linens take their cues from the seafaring colors of the duvet.

3. Stripes are a great, linear counterpart to bold prints. Larger stripes are easier for the eye to “read” on bigger pieces like covers and shams, like the wide pink-on-pink stripe in the top photo,while daintier stripes work best on sheets and boudoir pillows.

4. Use solids in luxe fabrics and the same palette to tone down the bold print. If your cover is smooth cotton, for instance, mix in a brushed-fleece blanket, a velvet throw, or some ultrasuede shams. We love the crisp cotton linens and the textured matelassé in the bottom photo.


What would you add to or change about these beds?

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