BHG Style Spotters

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5 Tips for Mixing Patterns




Hi everyone!  My name’s Lauren Liess and I write the blog Pure Style Home.  I’m a decorator with a shop in Great Falls, Virginia and today, I’d love to share a few tips with you on mixing patterns effectively.








1. Vary the scale of the patterns:  To keep a mix of patterns from feeling busy, use patterns of different scales together.  Multiple large patterns will compete with one another, but combining large, medium and small patterns allows the patterns to work together instead of competing.  If you do use patterns of the same scale, try to vary the pattern itself.  (I.e. an oversized ikat with an oversized floral can work well together.)

The large-scale botanicals on the wall mix with the smaller-scaled green leaf-print and even smaller-scaled blockprint paisley.


2. Mix different types of patterns:  I love to combine different types of patterns to keep things interesting and relaxed-feeling.  A floral, a stripe and a graphic pattern, for example, can work together beautifully, whereas three florals might feel like flower-power overkill or three graphic patterns or stripes might feel a bit intense and repetitive.

In my clients’ family room, I mixed a variety of patterns in the pillows on the sofa and in the rug


3. Be aware of your pattern to solid ratio:  We all have different preferences for how much pattern we like in a room.  Figure out your pattern to solid ratio by looking at photos of rooms you love and seeing what’s been done in those rooms.  If the sofas and chairs are typically solid in the rooms you love, and the curtains are patterned and the pillows are a mix of solid and patterns, you can create a similar feeling in your own home.  You’ll notice right away whether you’re drawn to rooms with more solids or patterns or those with an equal balance.  (My personal pattern to solid ratio changes with my moods so it’s easy to add more pattern in accents like pillows and/or throw blankets… but I do typically like an airy and relaxed-feeling room which typically has some large solid elements to keep things from feeling too noisy. )

The living room in my previous home. Photo by Helen Norman.


4. Don’t forget about walls, artwork and rugs:  Every element in a room can read as pattern, whether it’s an actual textile or not.  Patterned rugs and wallpapers are usually on the radar when mixing patterns, but artwork is often overlooked.  It can calm a room down or wake it up just like patterns.  Having more or less movement and a mix of colors causes it to read as a pattern and have an effect on a space just like a pattern would.  If you want to add more pattern to a room, and have done all you can with fabrics, consider your artwork.  Add pieces in with more movement and energy to make it feel like there is more going on in the room, or add a solid piece to calm it down.  Treat artwork like another pattern and consider your desired solid to pattern ratio when selecting it.

In my shop, the botanical specimens above the sofa create a grid that adds another patterned element to the room. Photo by Helen Norman.


5. Don’t be afraid to break any rules.  If you love something and it goes against conventional design wisdom, do it anyway.  (For example, maybe you feel you can never mix too many florals and that there’s no such things as flower-power overkill, then go for it.  Do what makes you smile when you come home.  Tips and “rules” are just guidelines for you and the very best homes are those that surprise and are extremely personal, which always requires a little rule-breaking.

A window seat I did with a lively mix of patterns that ordinarily might be thought of as “too much” ended up feeling relaxed and charming. Photo by Helen Norman.


Thanks so much to BHG for inviting me to be a part of their blog.  It’s been fun!!  Have a great day & take care,



39 Responses to “ 5 Tips for Mixing Patterns ”

  1. I absolutely LOVE your blog and your design style, Lauren.

  2. Thank you SO much Jaime!!


  3. Lauren, I enjoy your blog. What I like the most about the way you decor and style is they give a very serene and calm feeling to the space.

  4. You have a style I lean toward in my home…we moved here form CA and I feel like It is difficult in my large georgian style home in NOVA – I always feel like it needs to be more refined to fit the neighborhood – so it is a balancing act. You have the eye and talent to make even the most refined rooms look relaxed. I love your style…and recently sent your blog to my sister in NY and she too called to say – “I LOVE that Lauren Liess!”

    Any chance you can write a blog post about the balancing act of these big traditional homes and making them feel more relaxed????

  5. I was wondering where you found the large green botanical prints in the current issue of BHG. Thanks!

  6. I would love to know where to buy the wooden dining chairs found on page 28,March 2014 Better Homes And Garden.Thanks for any can share.

  7. Can you please advise where the ceiling fixture on page 28 of the March 2014 issue might be purchased/ Manufacturer?

  8. Lauren, I’m writing about your article in the March issue of BHG. I absolutely LOVE the olive green leather sofa you featured. Would you please let me know where I might purchase one like it? My present one is “brown” and it must go! I love your style and the “Outside come on in” is perfect for my Central FL decorating.

  9. Hello….I would love to know what the name of the yellow color was used on the walls in the BHG issue March 2014..thanks in advance.

  10. I too am looking for the manufacturer of the leather green sofa in the March issue of BHG. I absolutely love it and it would do wonders for my family room. Brown leather must go!!

  11. Wow, guess I am not the only one that loved the home in the March 2014 issue. I would really appreciate the name of the paint color on the front door. Thank you in advance.

  12. Hi Lauren – I would love to know where you found the wooden chairs on page 28 of the March edition. In the back is says at But I could not find them on that site.

  13. Lauren,
    Could you tell me where I could find the two wall hangings on page 28 of the March edition. They are exactly what I have been looking for.

  14. I was wondering if you knew where Katy Hollis purchased the desk on page 27 of the March edition. absolutely love it! she uses it as a sofa table. Thank you.

  15. I fell in love with the green leather sofa too! online searches have netted nothing like it. Would love to know the manufacturer.Thanks!

  16. I saw a dining light fixture on page 28 of the March BHG, page 28 that I like very much. It is an oval drum with dark metal hardware. Would you know who the manufacturer is and where I may purchase it?
    Thank you.

    By the way I like your style and comments. They are therapy for my decorator limbo.


  17. Like Sandra (3/3/14 post), I would love to know the name of the chartreuse paint used on the interior of the front door. Thanks so much.

  18. Hi Lauren! I really enjoyed what you did in the Hollis family’s home in this month’s BHG! I am looking to paint an old dresser in the same manner as the sideboard in Katy’s dining room (Chalkboard top and white front and sides). Can you tell me the shade of white that was used on the sideboard? Thanks! Danielle

  19. LOve the green leather sofa. Where could I find one like it. i have not seen that color anywhere.

  20. nice lining area. This colors are refreshing and go with out door , garden freshness

  21. Thanks to creative people, those of us who aren’t so gifted can manage some style. I would love to know the manufacturer of the light fixture over the dining table in the BHG March issue, p. 28. I’ve hunted unsuccessfully for it. I appreciate your talent!

  22. March 28, edition. I’m in love! Where can I buy those prints? I’ve scoured the web to no avail. Please help.

  23. Please,please, point me in a direction to purchase those prints of ears of corn!

  24. Would love to find the olive green leather sofa in the March 2014 BHG article.

  25. I have been looking for almost a year for a rug for my playroom. The one in Katy’s dining room on page 29 in the March edition of BHG is just what I need. Could you please let me know where to find it.Her whole house is fabulous- love all the prints!

  26. I too, love the olive green leather sofa, where can I find it?

  27. disappointed that BHG has not responded to all of the above inquires on the March 2014 issue. Are we missing customer service here? Outside come in in article, Jody Garlock, maybe we are in the wrong place, please be courteous and redirect. Thanks.

  28. Designer for this piece “Outside Come on in” March 2014 is Lauren Leiss,

  29. Looking for the dining room light fixture with the double hanging chain and oblong drum shade. Cant find it anywhere. Can you help?

  30. Where do I find the turquoise wallpaper on page 28 of the April 2014 issue

  31. thanks Lauren! your design work is lovely, and I am so inspired after many months of looking for an idea to spark our current remodel! Congrats on your well deserved recognition.
    enjoy your summer!

  32. I enjoyed the BHG Mar 2014 story of your home with the ‘green theme’. I too love green. Specifically, green with yellow undertone. Could you advise me how to also incorporate an entertainment center that is teal (blue green) with my chartreuse furniture. Thank you. Mary

  33. We are remodeling our dining room. In March issue of BHG there is an oval pendant over the dining table (page 28). Its beautiful and fits the style of our new dining room. Could you please tell where I can find it or a similar one and a manufacturer. Thank you.

  34. In BHG march2014 issue on page 28, I love the light fixture above the table, where can I find it?

    Thanks, love your style!

  35. Love your designs. Can you tell me where the fabric came from for the living room chairs in the March issue. Thanks Pat

  36. Was wondering where to find furniture on pg 26 love the ottoman and chairs

  37. I an wondering about that light fixture on p. 28 march 2014 also. I see from the above inquiries that that room was coveted. It is lovely.
    Can you till I don’t throw my favorites away?! Getting ready to complete my dining room.

  38. Just stumbled across these questions. The dining room light fixture is from Pottery Barn. The sofa table/desk in the living room came to my marriage with my husband! The front door paint color is Benjamin Moire Split Pea. The ottoman is a coffee table that we made into an ottoman. The green leather sofa is by Michael Weiss.

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