Five Easy Tips for Choosing Patterns

You should never be afraid to add pattern to your design scheme. Think for a moment of a room decorated without any pattern whatsoever. You can imagine it being rather boring and flat. Pattern gives a room interest and creates activity in the space.

You should think about pattern in exactly the same way as you would when considering colour and texture in a design. If you feel you’re not confident enough to work with patterns, why not start with only one or two patterns? Perhaps a subtle stripe or geometric? Pattern doesn’t always have to be bold and colourful to add vibrancy and interest to a room.

Here are my top five tips on how to introduce pattern with confidence:

1. Take a look at the colours within the pattern.

This is a very easy way to confidently introduce pattern into your design scheme. As long as there is a common colour that runs through your different patterns, you can easily mix different florals, stripes, ikats and other motifs.

To keep things simple, try using colours that are of the same intensity. For instance, don’t mix pastels with bright colours. It's easier to make different patterns work together if they're of the same hues.

Cushions are a great way to introduce pattern into a neutral scheme. How great are these patterned cushions on a neutral sofa?

2. Don't ever be afraid of using large patterns in a small space.

For me, the old rule of never using large patterns in a small space is definitely one to ignore. Using a large repeat wallpaper on the walls of a small space will usually make that space look bigger and feel more luxurious. I love a bold patterned wallpaper in a small cloakroom!

3. Try centring the pattern

Where you're using a large patterned wallpaper on a wall, you should always try to install it with the pattern cropped equally at both sides. I know this is not always possible, but it will make a big difference and the room will look bigger.

4. Make sure you place patterns evenly throughout the room.

Imagine a room with lots of patterned cushions on a striped sofa at one end, maybe in front of floral curtains, and a sofa in a solid neutral with neutral cushions at the other end of a room. This will make the whole space look and feel unbalanced. It's important to distribute patterns evenly throughout the space.

5. Use a solid colour in between the patterns

It's important to not use too many patterns on top of each other, it will become very cluttered very quickly. If you place a solid colour in between the patterns, it will bring the patterns together, create a sense of balance and give the eye something to rest on.

And remember, patterns don’t have to be full of wild and different colours. A pattern with neutral colours and shades will still add visual interest and character.

Pattern is definitely making a comeback in should give it a go!

Photography by BEN LISTER PHOTOGRAPHY, apart from the OKA cushions image.