Prints Charming...Print Mixing 101

Without question, one of my favorite parts of writing this blog has been hearing directly from you.  I love when you guys reach out with comments and questions, and one of the questions I keep hearing over and over is about mixing prints. I think a lot of people love the eclectic look but might not know where to start and are scared to try it in their own spaces. To be honest, there is no right and wrong when it comes to mixing prints. It is totally subjective and if you like it, go for it! That said, I tried to put together a mini tutorial explaining the process I go through when pulling together unexpected print partners.

Whether I'm getting dressed in the morning, or designing a new space, here are the guidelines I tend to follow when mixing my prints

Choose a "roadmap" print

A roadmap print will help to pull all of the colors and prints together. It's goal is to be the item that makes all of the other items "make sense". For the below bedroom, this floral printed pillow is my roadmap. The grey ties back to the upholstered bed and bedding, the teal ties back to the lamps, the yellow to the walls and accessories and the hint of black ties back to the gradient charcoal in the chevron duvet

 

It's all about Balance

We all know the saying that opposites attract, but they do more than just that, opposites can help to balance a space. If you're bringing in a really feminine floral, try to balance it out with something bold. Soft painterly prints look great near something more rigid and geometric. This helps to keep a space looking modern and fresh.

Stripes go with everything

Literally, everything. And yes, I mean literally. I dare you to find something a stripe doesn't pair well with. 

Leopard goes with everything

We all know Jenna Lyon's famous quote, and it really does ring true. Leopard is a neutral in the best possible way; it plays well with others. It has a way of adding just enough quirk and charm and can easily pep up any space and sit with any print. 

Case and point regarding stripes and leopard. These three prints might not be an intuitive combination, but I really can't think of a thing that doesn't work well with stripes and leopard

Case and point regarding stripes and leopard. These three prints might not be an intuitive combination, but I really can't think of a thing that doesn't work well with stripes and leopard

Play with Color

You guys know by now that I design with a lot of blue and white. It's such a classic color combo, and beyond that it is a perfect palette to start to mix prints with. Sometimes it can be really impactful to take a simple two tone color palette and mix prints only within those colors.

Focus on Scale

If you're still risk averse to mixing different prints, try mixing the same print in a different scale. The result can be just as dramatic as seen in this sweet bedroom nook. (And yes, that is my daughter posing in the bed. The cherries aren't the only dramatic thing in this picture!)

Don't take yourself too seriously! Take risks and have fun!

This I think is most important. Sometimes you need to take risks in design.  Some of the best combinations were born by taking seemingly dissimilar items and placing them together to see what it looks like. Sometimes it's a train wreck, but other times it is unique and special and amazing. Don't be afraid to push yourself a little outside of your comfort zone. 

 

 

Hopefully the above guidelines will give you a good jumping off point. I'd love to hear the print rules you live by as well! Drop me a note below or shoot me an e-mail here.

xx Kate