3 Steps to Mixing Pattern in Pillows

Well, it's a brand new week! I'm feeling rested from the weekend. My guy and I went to lunch at the same spot we had our first date, which was so sweet! We also went to a museum down town for a fun afternoon. After church on Sunday, I took a little nap and got some work done to get ready for the next week. Sunshine is on the forecast, so I'm a happy girl :)

I find one of the hardest things for people to pull together in their homes is how to mix patterns; specifically in pillows. Pillows are an essential part of the sofa (side note: I had a professor in college who corrected us every time we said the word "couch". Apparently, the proper term is "sofa", so that is what I call it now! It's be ingrained in me...) They provide texture, color, pattern, and a cozy feeling that make people feel invited to sit down. So when you have multiple pillows touching each other, the patterns obviously have to mix and play well off of each other. Here are my 3 steps for mixing patterns and a little peek into my own sectional sofa with my new pillow covers made by my amazingly talented Grandma. We run an Etsy shop called Lilac & Grace where you can by ready-made pillows or get us to help you find custom fabrics for your home!

1. Emphasis: use more of one fabric, making it dominant, and use supporting fabrics to accent. In this case, my dominant fabric is the floral pattern. It's bold and graphic, so I have one on either end in larger pillows.

2. Character: styles of 2 or more patterns need to be compatible in the following ways:

* Color: hues within patterns should be similar (not exact!) or should be complimentary to one another. Repeating colors within patterns helps unify the look.

* Scale: If you have three different patterns for your sofa, they need to be of varied scales. One can be your large scale print (my floral pattern seen in the photos), the second can be half the scale as the largest print, and the third can be a complimentary color palette to the first to and either in a small scale or a solid fabric.

My combination is this:
 - Large-scale graphic pattern for my dominant fabric.
- More subtle, slightly smaller scale geometric print for my supporting fabric.
- Solid sea glass color fabric for my third fabric.

3. Consider patterns that pair well: It's crucial to pair patterns that work well together. Typically floral and geometric prints pair extremely well together (and create visual harmony!) Here are some other favorite pairings:

- polka dots and organic graphics (florals)
- polka dots, stripes, florals
- plaid and paisley
- ikat and polka dots
- chevron/herringbone and floral
- animal prints and fabrics with a tactile texture

I'm really excited about my pillows, and hope this visual and a few tips will help you pick patterns that mix well together for your sofa pillows!

Let me know if you have any tips down below in the comments!

For more tips and styling tricks like these, register for The Bloom Workshop in a city near you.

Happy Monday!


  1. Loving this post! I feel like I've been bookmarking all of your posts lately as I get ready to decorate our house!


  2. I adore that seaglass/aqua colour! It's so restful. Love these tips - my last 'professional' job that I did before getting pregnant and vanishing off the face of the interior-design-earth was doing a seminar thing about mixing patterns so this brings back memories... I agree with all your points. My basic rule of thumb was organic + geometric +small scale/plain. And one of them had to be large scale... basically exactly what you've said. Hmm I will keep an eye on your pillow shop for when we finish our bedroom :)


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