Design

My Formula for Mixing Patterns in our Home

February 16, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Recently we had somebody make a comment on Instagram about how our home is feeling so cohesive, even though each room is so different – and how?? The truth is, none of this is by accident. We are very intentional about how we design our spaces, and even though yes, the rooms are entirely not the same, it works because we’re repeating a few design elements throughout our home – one of them being patterns. Patterns!! (It deserves more excitement, imo). When it comes to mixing patterns in our home I stick to a simple formula…

But first, let me take you back to a time where your DM’s were flooding in, because of some controversial pattern mixing, in a home that wasn’t even our own.

 

Does this bring back any memories? We were given the opportunity to makeover this bedroom, and we did not hold back in the pattern department. You definitely let us know how concerned you were for us haha. This home was in a quaint, mountain surrounded town, and we wanted it to feel cozy and familiar – enter in a floral quilt, layered over an ornate rug and a striped lumbar. It’s not a combination that works for everyone, but those more traditional elements really complemented the clean lines, and cool paint color and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the finished result.

Mixing patterns in our home is similar. I have adopted the “modern cottage,” style, and in relation to pattern, I repeat geometric and floral prints throughout. This repetition is one way that we have married modern and cottage together. Let’s take a look shall we?

Faye’s Room

Geometric – ceiling paneling, box trim, window pane, sheets, quilt

Floral – wallpaper, pillows, mirror

 

Girls’ Office

Geometric – ceiling treatment, pillows, plaid rug

Floral – wallpaper, dried hydrangeas

 

Greta’s Room

Geometric – sheets, blanket, striped wallpaper (looking in from the playroom)

Floral – wallpaper

Polly’s Room (in progress)

Geometric – ceiling wallpaper, wall paneling, plaid pillow, quilt

Floral – curtains, sheets

The photos really speak for themselves, but can you see how it all flows together? You can make this work in your own homes too. I would think of the overall style you want for your home and then break that down into patterns. Maybe you want more of a mid-century modern style, then you could repeat geometric and abstract patterns throughout. The mix of floral/organic and geometric really keeps everything feeling fresh and it also makes the design process less stressful when I think, “Oh! time for a geometric!”

Stripes and plaids are clearly my go-to, and even the paneling we have added to a lot of the ceilings and walls add a stripe effect that I love so much!

Textiles are a great place to start when incorporating patterns in a room. The curtains in Polly’s room were custom made because I fell so deeply in-love with that fabric, but curtains don’t have to be custom. There’s so many options out there but we wanted to put together a round-up of geometric and floral prints to get you started on your pattern-mixing journey. 

1. Gray Plaid Room Darkening $39
2. Windowpane Grid Blackout $42 (these remind me of our closet curtains!)
3. Floral Semi-Sheer $45
4. Marcum Plaid Room Darkening $58
5. Darby Curtain $78
6. Exotic Garden Blackout $83
7. Kelmscott Tree Blackout $83
8. Blackthorn Blackout $83
9. Birds Blackout $83
10. Kealan Curtain $118
11. Marie Curtain $128
12. Embroidered Gretta Curtain $128
13. Riviera Striped Linen Blackout $159
14. Thea Print $159
15. Emmaline Print $179
16. Trevin Pinch Pleat $232

 

 

What do you think?

  1. Victoria says:

    I have curtains #3 in my bedroom, and they’re so cottage-y and cute!

  2. Colleen says:

    How did I not see this before? Once you see it, you can’t unsee it!!!

  3. Colleen says:

    How did I not see this before? Once you see it, you can’t u see it!!!

  4. Aimee says:

    I think you nailed it!!! I LOVE your style and the pattern mix makes it feel elegant yet not stuffy

  5. Julie S says:

    Yup yup yup! I don’t like *much* pattern in my home (lean toward texture instead) but it’s always some combo of stripes or grid/plaid with some leafy/organic pattern. I did a real floral in my girls room but it’s basically leaves and stripes on my sofa and bedroom accents.

  6. saba KHAN says:

    The purple room reminds me so much of the schitt’s motel room. The same purple and floral curtains

  7. Laura says:

    Love to how you think about these things and how intentional you are when choosing things to fit your home style! Do you have any resources (like a website quiz, etc) where I can figure out my own home decor style name like you did with the modern cottage one? We have a mid-century home with a personal transitional style but it’s hard to shop & decorate with that in mind so it’s starting to veer towards a farmhouse vibe (not the direction we love).

  8. Lauren says:

    Julia, I’m always blown away with how you put things together and make it look so chic. You have an eye for design that I sadly wasn’t born with and struggle to develop. I would love to see a post about how you mix warm and cool tones in a room. You have a knack for how to put colors together in such a fresh way. For example, in Faye’s room I never would have though to do mustard curtains with the blue/gray paint- if I make a bold design choice like wallpaper I always thought everything else had to be pretty neutral and you’ve proven thats not true and it is so beautiful. Teach me your ways!

  9. Kim says:

    Great post. However, I’d love to see how you would decorate without florals – like for a boys room. Could you do a “masculine” version of this post for those of us with boys?

  10. Amy says:

    This post is so helpful! I love a guided plan for designing. If I was doing a Modern Cabin (think organic feel) what types of repetition would you incorporate? Thanks!

  11. Renae says:

    Love patterned curtains and it’s so difficult to find quality at an affordable price! Just a heads up, I ordered #8 months ago and the print is extremely pixelated. It was an affordable option to get William Morris in my home but the quality is not what I was hoping.

  12. Kaitlin says:

    Wound you be willing to do an example for a boys bedroom? Thanks!

  13. Nicole says:

    I loved #6. When I clicked on the link it was surprised to see the artists. I have 3 of their prints in my hallway. I love the moody look!

  14. Joanna says:

    I can’t believe that I am contemplating PATTERNED curtains but I am! This just goes to show that you should never say “never.” Haha.

  15. Sharyn says:

    How would you suggest adding floral to a boys room?

    • Julia says:

      I don’t think it necessarily has to be a floral, but an organic shape like leaves, trees, branches–anything that’s NOT geometric–would work!

  16. Sharna says:

    I love that you’re taking on the modern cottage style! Everything feels so fresh, calm, and homey.

  17. Jenny says:

    I’m a huge fan of mixing geometrics (usually stripes, plaids) and floral. Looks great!

  18. Katie says:

    How could you possibly know that I have been wishing you’d post recommendations for curtains!! Thank you for this insight into your thought process, so helpful ❤️

  19. Love all the pattern mixing and it’s absolutely working! My favorite of all time is the girl’s office- it’s so so good!

  20. Jodi says:

    Can I just say I am thankful to see your bold and beautiful designs? I love pattern and color and the all white and cream designs, while beautiful, are just not what I like to live with! Constant inspiration here!

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