20 Spaces That Will Inspire You to Play with Pattern

Plus, get designer tricks on how to do it, straight from the pros.

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August 18, 2017
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Go Graphic

Designer Noz Nozawa serves up some serious style in this eclectic, pattern-clad living room. Her advice for playing up patterns in your space? Nozawa says, "When it comes to patterns, I love to go bold with big graphics and geometrics, so that they really present as a pattern from wherever you are in the space (smaller patterns can sometimes can get lost). I also like to include pattern on large surfaces in a space, such as wallpaper or a bold area rug. If the pattern feels daunting, I reccomend thinking of pattern like pops of color: add bold pops of pattern via low-commitment pillows and throws!"

Moody Mix

This moody master bedroom, designed by Laura Umansky, features textiles and pieces inspired by the sweeping abstract painting positioned behind the master bed. Recreate this romantic, mysterious setting in your own home by layering luxe fabrics (think: velvet, satin, silk) with rich, saturated furnishings.

Risks Reap Rewards

Go off the beaten path, pals. Rather than playing it safe with a couple of patterned pillows, take risks and have fun in your interior-design adventures. This master ensuite features a lotus flower mosaic, effectively proving that patterns are capable of elevating design in the most unexpected places. The results? Jaw-dropping.

Be Intentional

Are you swooning over this white-on-white, pattern-packed nursery right about now? Us too. Interior designer, Kerra Michele Huerta, encourages us to think strategically when adding prints and patterns to a space. Huerta says, "The key to incorporating pattern in spaces is to use pattern strategically. If you have low ceilings, try a vertical pattern to draw the eye up; in a narrow room, go for horizontal patterns to elongate the space. Pattern can be monochromatic, like white on white, and still give the desired effect, so you don't have to fear it!"

Mimic Molding

Use the bones of your home to inspire the patterns you bring into your space. This geometric gray-and-white wallpaper is an exciting, yet neutral, design that mimics the structure of the wainscoting below. We adore how the papered, paneled walls add interest to the space without drawing attention away from the vibrant, kelly green vignette.

Pattern Proves Personality

We asked the interior designer of this saturated and spectacular living space, Anthony Gianacakos, to share his top tips for playing with pattern in your home. "I think most people think patterns need to match or that you can't have too many in a space, and my approach is completely different," says Gianacakos. His advice? "I think the more patterns in a space, the more personlity it has. I think the pattern needs to make a statement in a space! When someone walks into a room and sees a gorgeous armchair in a bold pattern, they need to be blown away! My only caution with using a lot of patterns is to be mindful they complement and/or coordinate in color."

Custom, Coffered Ceilings

Use pattern to invite visitors to look up! A custom, geometric coffered ceiling above the island in this neutral, white kitchen dresses up the space and offers immediate design pay-off.

Build Off a Neutral Base

We asked Brooke Wagner, the interior designer of this outdoor living space, to share her secrets on how to successfully incorporate pattern. Wagner says, "We love to use neutral-based upholstery pieces and play with pattern in layered pillows, accent chair fabrics, draperies, etc. A neutral base plus pattern layered upon it are always a winning combo." From the looks of this picture-perfect, pillow-clad lounge area, we can't help but agree.

One-of-a-Kind Finds

Seek out special furniture pieces with patterned or textured appearances. We're swooning over this large storage cabinet that features a carved, patterned door. Replicate this in your own home by adding a patterned piece to your collection. The best part? You'll be able to move it from room to room and reap the pretty, patterned benefits from any space in your home.

Make a Statement

A tip to remember: small doses of pattern offer large design pay-off. Case and point? This neutral master bath. The royal blue patterned tray ceiling adds interest, dimension and a striking pop of color. Subtlety is key.

Wow With Wallpaper

The design team at J & J Design Group shared that their No. 1 tip is to incorporate pattern into a space with wallpaper. (We adore how they used it in this darling nursery, don't you?!) They say, "We love the versatility of wallpaper, and there are so many great places to apply it. It adds a sense of texture and depth to a space, as well."

Off-the-Wall Design

Add a funky, one-of-a-kind wall installation in your space with a pattern all your own! We love the idea of using small figurines, as seen here, for a teen's room. Other ideas include silk flowers, textured hats or wicker baskets.

Add a Print

Use a flat, matte wall color as the backdrop for patterned throw blankets, large-scale prints and textured wall hangings alike. Lover of fiery hues? Copy this design by opting for cool-toned wall paint for a guaranteed beautiful contrast.

Reclaim Forgotten Spaces

Use pattern as your secret weapon to reclaim the overlooked, under-styled areas in your home. Example? Scraps of reclaimed wood are set in a herringbone pattern for an unexpected twist on a tile wall in this butler's pantry.

From: Jamie House

Tone on Tone

Monochromatic design more your style? Take note from designer Amy Elbaum. "I love incorporating patterns into my designs as a way to add depth and interest," she says. "Pay attention to scale when selecting multiple patterns for the same space. Make sure there are variations in the sizes and patterns you are using to prevent things from looking too busy. If you're feeling hesitant about using patterns, try tone-on-tone design with varying textures. This will give the space some dimension without creating too bold of a look."

Find Your Balance

Worried about losing your footing with too many patterned pillows? Fret not, friends! Position patterned pieces in a balanced, symmetrical order. This will bring order to even the busiest (and most beautiful!) blue velvet sofas.

From: Clara Jung

Art Inspired

Let treasured artwork set the tone for your space. This dining room features upholstered chairs inspired by the modern, graphic painting displayed behind them. The end result is a design that feels cohesive, curated and intentional.

Pastels + Bold Accents

This pastel bedroom is positively dreamy. Recreate this design at home by using a blend of soft, pastel patterns on the soft landing spots, like the bedding, the pillows and the rug. Then, add structure to the sea of muted floral prints, by utilizing bold, inky-black accents throughout. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is pattern, perfected.

Up the Drama

Save the drama for your mama... literally. Feeling adventurous and want to try out a bold design? First, try it out in a less-frequented space in your home. (Ahem, the guest room!) Hate it? No big deal, since you won't have to see it all day, every day. Love it? Feel free to let that bold look sweep through the rest of your home. If you're looking for a room muse, copy the kaleidoscope pattern of the dynamic geometric ceramic tiles lining the walls and ceiling to bring your guest bathroom to life.

Plan It Out

This gorgeous, eclectic living room demonstrates that there are no limits on the number of patterns you can play with in a space. The key? Plan ahead and consider the layout of the space and the colors within each pattern. Opt for a structured layout featuring furniture with sleek design, and find a common hue to harness the varied prints and patterns.

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