Ask Estee: Are You Mixing Patterns Incorrectly?

_promo (34) Q. How do I stylishly mix patterns in my décor? Mixing patterns in design can feel overwhelming to the beginner, but when done correctly--incorporating an array of patterns in various scales, hues, and textures--it adds depth and character to any room. To avoid a jumbled mash-up of colors and designs, stick to three basic rules to mix and match like a pro.
Tip #1: Good Things Come in Threes: Everything looks better in threes, especially in design. Either when choosing groups of accessories or the number of patterns to incorporate into a room's styling, odd numbers are usually more appealing to the eye than even numbers. Tip #2: Vary the Size of Your Prints: I find it best to pick three different patterns, in varying scales, some large, some smaller, in complimentary colors. Adding a solid or textured fabric into the mix will really bring everything together. When choosing the solid fabric, pick a color you really love from one pattern and make it the emphasis. This will help the entire look to be more cohesive. Tip #3: Bring in Complementary Accessories: Once you've selected the patterns and palette that work in your space, bring in some decorative accessories that incorporate the fabric colors you've selected. Whether through flowers, books, candles, or stacked decorative boxes, mirroring the same colors in other areas will help the variety of fabrics and patterns look more unified and well-thought-out. Have you successfully incorporated multiple patterns in your home? What are your tried and true tricks? estee-signature-layout Photograph: Justin Coit