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A Guide to Mixing Patterns in Your Home

Mixing patterns in fashion happens all the time (I’m always a fan of stripes and florals), but people seem to shy away from doing it in their homes. I mean, other people tend to shy away — not me. I’m a pattern mixing fool, so today I put together a guide to doing just that. Huzzah!

I think of Photoshop as a decorating tool, just as you would consider a designer’s measuring tape or sketchbook. Seeing how everything comes together digitally has been the best way for me to get a good idea of what will work in a space, and I love putting together layouts for you. Below is the guide I’ve created, with 27 patterns matched to perfection.

A Guide to Mixing Patterns in the Home, from Making it Lovely

• You can find the links to all of the patterned chairs and pillows used in the graphic above on my Pinterest board.

The trick to mixing patterns is to start with a bold scale. I like accent chairs in oversized prints, so I begin there. Pick something like this one in pinstripes, or maybe something a little crazy like this one in raspberry ikat or my floral grandma chair. It will be easier than you think to make it work! For example, my chair may seem limiting at first, but there are so many colors in it that it’s easy to find a match. (In my home, that match is of course pink. And now coral too.) Next you add a contrasting pattern. In my case, the next thing would be my pink zigzag rug.

You can stop at two patterns, but you don’t have to. I certainly don’t! Vary the scales enough (something large, something significantly smaller, and then maybe a teensy ditsy pattern), and everything will look fine. This corner of my living room, below, has a whole lotta pattern going on. Bold floral fabric on the chair, a zigzag rug beneath, wallpaper in the room beyond, a textured (read: patterned) side table, art above, a patterned throw, and a patterned pillow. But it all works.

A Guide to Mixing Patterns in the Home, from Making it Lovely


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Look Hoo I Found

I’ve had a vintage owl cookie jar for a few years, and I move it around the house from time to time. Sometimes it’s in the living room on an end table, sometimes it’s on the buffet in the dining room. Other times it’s hanging out in my office or in the library upstairs. (It gets around.) Oddly enough, it’s rarely in the kitchen and has never been used for cookies.

Owl Cookie Jars

If you want a little owl friend of your own, you can usually find some quirky old ones on eBay, but it can be hard to find a simple, white one. I noticed this new one though, and I think it’s a good stand-in for a vintage find. Maybe it could even fulfill its intended purpose and safeguard your cookies?

Some Affordable Bathroom Update Ideas

I’ve been sort of planning a little redo for our main bathroom. Not in any real, concrete way, mind you. More of a “gee, we’ve lived here for five years and have never touched the space, aside from hanging up a shower curtain” kind of way. (I’ve never even showed it properly, other than this shot.) So I’ve been looking at affordable updates, and I put a whole roundup together of bathroom decor under $50. I think a new shower curtain may be in order at the very least.

Sources: shower curtainBotticelli Angel paintmirrorwall vaseswashing machine hamperbath matcartmore here

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