What is the best way to mix prints like a pro in your home?

When I think of mixing prints, I am reminded of the heyday of florals and stripes in the 90’s. Everything was pink, peach, and pale blue with touches of burgundy for a formal setting and splashes of soft turquoise to keep things light. Although terribly outdated now, this laid the foundation for many interior brands who kept building on that to bring you an abundance of patterns thrown together in a very structured but seemingly random way. I struggle to mix patterns in fashion – I have to have a particularly good self-esteem day to pull it off. But in interior design, I throw patterns together with reckless abandon! Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you want to mix prints like a pro in your home. Use it as a guide, and then throw all caution to the wind. Play a little this spring -what’s the worst that could happen?

1// seek inspiration

There are few places I go to for my patternal inspiration (yes, I just made up that word – but it works!).

  1. Missoni
Missoni Home Emme Collection

The mother and father of textile prints, this family-built design house is synonymous with mixing things up. I wrote about Madame Rosita Missoni’s talk at the Design Indaba Conference 2 years ago and was so inspired by this matriarch’s fierce passion for pattern. Here’s a designer that is truly fearless!

2. Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley Living Wall

I started my career with this amazing brand, and will forever love their homeware! They have been throwing together prints since post WWII, and doing so fabulously. Their online catalog has some serious pattern eye-candy! And while they are quite traditional, they do also have amazing contemporary ranges.

3. Anthropologie

Anthropologie Medina-printed Rivona Chair

It’s no secret that I have a huge design crush on Anthropologie. They have this way of doing a crazy mix of colour and prints and making it all work.

2// find a common thread

Voutsa for Anthropologie

Whether you choose a colour, a scale, a pattern, or a texture, as long as there is something tying everything together, it will work! Maybe everything has some botanical element in it, or there is a touch of blue in all of them. It could also be that you have a large painting, rug or wallpaper that is the unifying element in all of it.

3// play with layers

Liberty For Anthropologie Feather Bloom Shams

Start with an item and build from there: this will usually be a big piece, like a carpet, or curtains. Then gradually layer on top of that. A bedroom also offers ample opportunity to play with different layers of pattern. Use curtains, or a duvet cover or quilt, as the starting point. Then add a different print with pillows, followed by accessories like a throw or a scatter.

4// vary the scale

Anthropologie Edlyn Sofa

If everything is the same scale, things can get pretty hectic, pretty quickly. Have large patterns mixed with small patterns and dense prints with more spacious prints. White space or negative space is also very important here: there has to be some quiet in all the busyness to give your eyes a rest!

5// jump out of your comfort zone

Old Brand New

Unless you plan to redo all the walls with an imported wallpaper and have floor to ceiling curtains made, the risk in throwing prints together is actually quite small. There is no right or wrong: as with anything in your home, if you can live with it and it makes you happy, then it works! Buy a few cushions to start with, and see if they work together in your current living room. If they don’t, you can always take them back 😉

Happy decorating!




Laying it on – Our top 9 TIPS for playing with pattern

You see it everywhere: clashing prints on scatters, paintings with no apparent common denominator hanging together beautifully, a mish-mash of patterns making a stunning, cohesive statement.

There is a big trend for layering patterns, but doing it successfully can be a daunting challenge. Too much and it’s ghastly; too little and the effect is lost. Here are our top 9 tips to get that balance JUST RIGHT.

1) Choose a colour palette

pick a palette

InteriorISH & Style At Home

Whether it’s blue or red or both: if all of your prints are within 1 or 2 hues, it will work beautifully.

2) Go Contrasting

colour contrast 2


Red and Green, Blue and Orange, Yellow and Purple. Contrasting colours are always a fun and vibrant combination.

3) Pick a Common Colour

 colour lines

Plush Palette & Brit.co

As long as all the patterns or prints have a single colour linking them, it will look great.

4) Choose a type of pattern

pretty prints


All floral, all geometric, all fluffy animals found in forrests – whatever works for you!

5) Start with a focal piece and work from there

hail the hero

Hi Sugarplum & Mint

Taking a really busy scatter cushion or printed rug as your first point of inspiration is a great way to make sure everything will work together in the end. As long as each pattern works with the feature, the whole will work. Just take care to keep the feature piece as the hero and not to let it get lost behind everything else.

6) Play with Scale

pattern repeat

Pinterest & VISI

Combine big and bold with smaller versions of the same pattern. That way, the patterns don’t compete with each other.

7) Pick a theme

pick a pattern

House To Home & Superdom

French, Botanical, Scandinavian, African. All of these themes or styles have very distinct patterns within them to play with.

8) Colour Blocking with Pattern

pattern block

Apartment Therapy & Casa Hip

Give colour blocking an update by combining solid colours with fresh, white patterned surfaces in the same shade.

9) Throw all caution to the wind and PLAY!

create your own

Scandinavian Chic

It’s your house and if you love whatever you’ve put together, then enjoy!

Happy playing with pattern!


Patterning through April

“Patterns and colours are an endless game to play” – Rositta Missoni


I had the privilege of seeing this wonderful woman on the stage at the Design Indaba 2015 Conference and if there is anyone that can speak with authority on the use of pattern, it is Madame Rositta Missoni. As the matriarch of Italian fashion house Missoni, she has taken her brand through more than 7 decades of intensely passionate and vibrantly colourful pattern and their new homeware range is a testament to that.

missoni 2

 The moodboards of their Collezioni 15 are so inspirational that we have decided to devote an entire month to pattern. The mix of vintage pattern with modern colour and trends are an homage to their brand, remembering where they came from while still leading the way.

missoni 1

Missoni is one of the leading patterned textile designers in the world and with their guidance we will be looking at the patterns around us and invite you to play with the patterns in your life, both subtly and fiercely.

Watch out – it’s everywhere!