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  • Writer's pictureBren Petrunick

Perfecting Patterns

Patterns are the spice of interior design, adding depth, character, and personality to your living spaces. They weave their magic in various forms—organically through natural materials like marble and wood, or boldly as geometrics, florals, abstracts, and stripes, adorning everything from wallpaper to upholstery. Patterns also emerge through creative installations like herringbone tiles or diagonal hardwood.

However, the real challenge is knowing how to harness their power effectively. When is it too much, and when is it not enough? Where should you use patterns, and how should you use them? As a designer, I'm here to share some time-tested rules to help you navigate this intricate world of patterns.

light red plaid with blue pattern pillow in cottage design by Simply White Interiors

Finding the Right Balance

Achieving balance is the key to great interior design, and patterns are no exception. When diving into the world of patterns, consider starting with three different motifs, each varying in scale—small, medium, and large. This combination provides visual interest without overwhelming your space. If you're feeling adventurous, you can experiment with five patterns, but be cautious, as too many can create confusion and clutter.

Embrace Variety

Variety is the spice of life, and it certainly applies to patterns. Mix and match different styles of patterns, such as geometric motifs, florals, stripes, and organics. Remember to play with the scale of patterns as well; you can incorporate large, medium, and small-scale prints within the same room. Here's a tip: don't forget to incorporate solid colors in your design schemes. Solids offer a visual respite and create breathing room amidst the busier patterns.

lake house sun room, with blue furniture, upholstered with blue plaid

Harmonize Colors

Regardless of the variety in your motifs and scales, ensure color consistency throughout your design. If one pattern features pastel hues, maintain the same color palette across all chosen patterns. Similarly, if vibrant or jewel tones are your preference, stick with this theme throughout your decor.

Strategic Placement

Just as you wouldn't concentrate all your focal points in one corner of a room, distribute your patterns evenly to create a harmonious visual flow. Evaluate your space during the decorating process and pinpoint natural focal points like architectural features (e.g., fireplaces or windows) to introduce patterns. Patterns have the remarkable ability to infuse life and warmth into a room, so strategically place them in areas you want to highlight.

guest bedroom, light patterned quilt, custom pillows and drapery

Let Your Personality Shine

While there's a method to decorating, remember that it's also about having fun and expressing yourself. Your home should be a reflection of your personality, showcasing your interests and aesthetic preferences. A touch of pattern offers a glimpse into your soul, and without it, a room can appear dull and lifeless.

Patterns are one of the most enjoyable ways to inject personality into your living spaces. My advice? Mix it up, be daring, and let your creativity run wild. Think about what captivates you when you step into a stunning home or browse your favorite interior inspirations on social platforms. It's seldom a plain, unadorned room that catches your eye. You'll find that a dash of pattern, coupled with some expert design guidance, can elevate your space to new heights.

So, go ahead, have some fun with patterns and create a home that tells your unique story.

Brenda Petrunick of Simply White Interiors, at her desk with patterned fabrics on the wall behind her like a mood  board

Interested in a Design Consultation with my team to help ensure you've perfected your patterns? Contact us HERE.

Bren Petrunick

Creative Director,

Simply White Interiors

Niagara on the Lake



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