I'm dotty about pattern.
I get a lot of questions asking for help choosing the right cushion, which of course is an absolute pleasure as cushions are what I'm good at. I would always say that two patterns are better than one, and three even better. They dance with each other, become far more dynamic and add a personal touch.
There's a bit of a knack to it though and I'm going to let you in on the secret. And that secret is scale and proportion, folks!
Stay with me - I've packed lots of information into this email and hopefully it's useful. If you need more help, please email me at email@example.com.
You ideally want a mixture of small, medium and large-scale pattern - check out what I've done in the images above. None of those images would be quite so interesting if they were all the same pattern, would they? The mix of scale creates a lot of visual interest for that brain of yours and again, supports the well established interior design idea that groupings of three and five are just a lot more pleasing! You ideally should have at least one large-scale print. It's the sun around which the other planets (or patterns!) orbit. Our Big Hearted, Batik Floral, Paper Cutout and Yellow Tulips are great large-scale choices.You then throw in a couple of mid and small-scale prints. If the large-scale print has the starring role, these smaller prints are like supporting actors. Try our Blue Droplet, for example. You won't have much of a show without them but they add a lot more nuance to the story you're trying to tell. They're accents and create layers and depth to your overall decor.
It's also worth thinking about overall proportion in your room i.e. what else you've got going on pattern wise in your room. There are a couple of rules that are observed in interior design circles. First off, most people are comfortable with no more than 40-60% of their room being patterned - let's just say 50% for the purposes of this advice I'm giving today. So when considering the half of the room that you're using pattern with, you don't want it all to be the same pattern. You'd go for a mix of 60/30/10 pattern proportion or 40/30/20/5/5 pattern proportion. Let me explain. With the 60/30/10 example, you are considering three patterns to be used in a room. 60% of your pattern allowance might be a large geometric rug, 30% might be on a striped sofa and then 10% might be on some lovely patterned cushions. Or to use the 40/30/20/5/5 approach, 40% of your pattern allowance might be on floral curtains, 30% on a rug, 20% on the sofa and 5% toward a pair of cushions and the other 5% on a single large cushion. Have a look at the photo below from Megan (you can find her here on instagram) to see what I mean. and I've added some labels which hopefully help. You've got the striped rug (40%), patterned chair and footstool (30%), herringbone throw (20%), lampshade (5%) and our spotty ticking cushion (5%). It might sound like an awful lot of maths but the key point is just don't use the same thing everywhere. You want enough variety of pattern so that you don't get tired of it and so that your home feels wonderfully layered and liveable.
So...play with pattern. Mix a large scale floral with a mid scale geometric and a tiny block print motif and give your home some heart.