Anyone who’s met Annie or taken a spin through her catalogs or websites knows that she’s a die-hard pattern lover, and likes them even more when they’re paired in unexpected combos of color and shape. And while we’ve written about pairing patterns before—in the bedroom, on the floor, and even on the sofa and chairs –“How do I mix patterns without making my favorite rooms look like a circus?” is still one of the most popular questions we get. So today Annie’s breaking down the concepts of pattern pairing in just a few simple steps that we can all duplicate at home.
- First, choose a high-contrast, two-tone color palette. This helps take the guesswork out of figuring out which colors go together, and gives the room a streamlined, modern look. White and a seasonal solid are the perfect starting point.
- Select a focal pattern. In the example she used here, Annie went with a quilt and shams in a bubbly, sixties-inspired pattern and an on-trend slate grey and white.
- Consider scale. Take a step back and look at your focal pattern. Is it large, medium, or small in scale? If it’s large, you’ll want to pair it with two to three additional, smaller patterns. The reverse is true for a small focal pattern. For a medium-size pattern, such as the quilt Annie used here, it’s best to pair it with one pattern of a similar size and up to two additional, smaller patterns. Thus she chose one decorative pillow in a medium stripe, and an embroidered throw pillow and sheets in a more delicate motif. Which brings us to . . .
- Remember that embroidery, applique, and banding count as patterns. Because these decorative elements are often used in just a few spots on a textile, with the rest of the textile in a solid color, this is a sneaky way to work in a small pattern without tipping the balance.
- Offset the patterns with solids. Got a patterned quilt? Layer it with a solid matelassé or duvet cover, shams, a decorative pillow, or throw in one of the colors from your two-tone palette.
- Add in variations on the theme. For a more sophisticated effect, chose a few items that are in the same color family as your focal pattern, but not exactly the same shade. To finish off this look, Annie chose a plush, geometric wool rug in a paler shade of grey and ivory, plus a throw in a woven stripe in similar, lighter hues.
Love the look? Let’s go shopping: