Choose Three or More Patterns
Odd numbers, especially the number three, just seem to make things work, whether you're combining colors or planting shrubs. Three is the minimum number of patterns you should use, and the key to successful mixing is to vary the scale, from small to large, of the patterns.
Pattern 1: Pick this pattern carefully because it will make the strongest statement in your room, says designer Shari Hiller from Room by Room. It should be a large-scale pattern.
Pattern 2: Select a very different pattern that's half the scale or size of the first pattern. If your first pattern is a large floral, the second pattern could be a plaid or geometric shape that has some of the same colors.
Pattern 3: The third pattern can be similar to either of the other patterns and use two or three of the colors in the other patterns. A smaller floral would work well, for instance, with a larger floral and a plaid.
Pattern 4 and more: Shari suggests that a fourth pattern, such as a tiny check or a printed texture in a small scale, could be used as a complementary pattern. Bedroom design by Erinn Valencich