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Mixing Patterns in the Living Room

Martha Stewart Living, April 2014

If you want to try mixing patterns in the living room, here are some tips for pulling off the look.

Think of a group of patterns as a team, says Kevin Sharkey, Living’s decorating director. First pick a captain: one superstar print, such as a big multicolored floral. Then choose a few smaller players: supporting patterns, like a stripe, check, or geometric print. Add a solid to unify the group. Stay within one color scheme, but switch up the scale. Large patterns work best on decorative accents, such as curtains, pillows, and chairs. Soft furnishings are typical spots for patterns, but don’t forget about other opportunities to add patterns around the room, such as rugs, wallpaper, and paint techniques like stenciling.