Clashing patterns - it's pretty scary, right? Well, we're about to hit you like a cliché fuelled train with 2 very important points:

  1. Life, or a striking interior, starts when you step outside your comfort zone.
  2. The bigger the risk, the greater the reward (within reason).

Every job has it's risks and clashing patterns may seem like the dangerous side of interior design, but we urge you to be daring and play with some patterns. In the words of Alan Alda (not remotely involved in interior design but has written some pretty good biographies), 'be brave enough to live creatively.'

Of course, you can't break rules without having some rules on how to do said rule breaking, so we have kindly listed some helpful hints on how to clash patterns responsibly. The question is, do you dare?


Layer textures

how to clash patterns Image credit: Adore Magazine 


Textures are great for breaking up patterns whilst still adding character and depth. Faux fur and shaggy cushions alongside patterned fabrics are the winning combination that you didn't know existed.


Keep patterns in line

clashing patterns like a pro Image credit:  The Interiors Addict 


Straight lines complement each other. We repeat, straight lines complement each other. If you are going for diamonds, hound's-tooth or geometrics then another linear-style pattern will integrate into the scheme nicely. Too many lines making your eyes go funny? Break it up with some florals.


Stripes are the new neutral

clashing patterns - stripes are a neutral
Image credit:  Style at Home 


Beige? So '2006'. All white? Too 'new build'. Grey? Very 'show home'. Introducing your new favourite neutral: stripes! Ok, so don't get us wrong, if someone said to us, 'I would like a very neutral living room', we won't wallpaper the walls, carpet the floors and upholster the furniture in all things stripe. However, if you're asking us what pattern is universally complementary of other patterns, we'd probably direct you to the dependable stripe.


It's all black and white (with all the rest)

clashing patterns like a pro
Image credit:  Kids Rooms Ideas


Already feeling pretty colourful and pattern heavy? Time to go back to basics with the trusty monochrome palette; a great way to tone down a pattern is to make it black and white to keep the understated style whilst still letting the existing patterns shine in all their glory.


Take a trip to the wild side

clashing patterns
Image credit:  Cuckoo 4 Design

Let us hear your best roar because animal prints are back! They're a long withstanding classic in fashion and interiors, with a slight slip up when Kat Slater made leopard print iconic(ally bad). Want to know how to work animal prints? Treat them like they're a solid colour as they're now populating the ever-growing neutrals section. This top tip works for your cushions and your clothes - that's right, we do more than design rooms!


Scale it up

clashing large patterns
Image credit:  Murals Wallpaper 


Still feeling a bit apprehensive about piling patterns, on top of patterns, on top of patterns? Don't worry, we've got your back. That's why our final piece of advice takes you a step closer to your comfort zone. All we ask, is that you take the same sort of pattern in one item and either supersize it or scale it right down for another. Trust us, it'll look fab and you will have achieved Level 1 in pattern clashing. Congratulations!


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