How to Use Pattern in Interior Design to Accent your Home

This often overlooked design technique will elevate the design of your home beyond the traditional paint color and artwork route. By using pattern in interior design your home will take on a whole new feel, depth, and way light reflects around the room..

Pattern is defined as a repeating element or design that produces obvious directional movements and is a great way to accent your home. Patterns come in all shapes and forms, and can be applied in a myriad of ways. Everything from wallpaper to wall tiles, flooring to ceiling patterns, upholstery and art can incorporate patterns to add depth and interest to your space. 

Patterns add visual interest to a room, and when placed correctly, provide seamless flow so your eyes can travel around the room and admire it in its entirety. It can, however, be daunting as the rules of mixing and matching, along with varying trends, can shift or seem hard to tackle on our own. Here’s our guide to using patterns in your interior design—including unexpected tips and tricks.

Using Geometric Patterns in Interior Design

Linear patterns incorporating clean, sharp lines is one traditional way to utilize pattern in your interior design, and an option well-suited for larger areas and spaces such as the flooring and ceiling. This European Craftsman-style residence is a wonderful example. The great room just wouldn’t be the same without the stained wood linear lightboxes adorning the ceiling. It draws the eyes upward, creating an illusion of even higher ceilings and a larger space.

The linear ceiling pattern is contrasted by the tile floor, which juxtaposes square and rectangular tiles of varying sizes. It adds even more visual interest while also delineating the layout of the room, gently separating the bar area from the seating area, and the great room from the kitchen table placed in the corner. 

Other geometric patterns can also be used as bold design accents—as is the case with this beautiful wooden cabinetry. Contrasting stains of wood in dramatic diamond shapes energize the room and add an unexpected touch of personality and style without going overboard. Busier patterns such as this do well as accents as they could be overwhelming if they cover a larger surface area. We wouldn’t change a thing about this one-of-a-kind design with diamond moulding details on the faces of the doors and drawers.

Elevate with Ornate Patterns

Patterns can also take the shape of nature-inspired elements for a more ornate look. Leaves, vines, and florals bring a hint of the outside in. The bedroom in this Tuscan-style horse farm in Santa Ysabel boasts a stunning display of wooden panels carved with oak leaves and acorns. The repetition of the carved autumn leaf design evokes the feelings of relaxation, perfect for the bedroom. 

Nature patterns—and even patterns in general—aren’t just limited to smaller spaces. While they act as the perfect interior design accent for smaller rooms and areas, the right style of pattern can elevate even larger rooms. When incorporating organic patterns into bigger spaces, we recommend a larger, more open pattern with plenty of negative space. This prevents the design from looking too busy and crowding the room.

The curving wooden vines and flowers on the panels in this contemporary home theater in Rancho Santa Fe are the perfect example of large patterns at work. They’re intricate enough and full of detail to draw interest, but avoid looking too crowded due to the use of negative space. The rest of the room design is kept simple with solid blacks and subdued dark wood so the design is complementary rather than competing. Whether you use a 3D material or opt for wallpaper, you can liven up any room using this design tool.

Patterns to Accent Your Interior Design

Even the sleekest of rooms can be graced by a surprising pop of modern patterns, which have the power to enhance and enliven the design and energize the room. Keep the rest of the space’s design simple for a fresh and unique interior. Stick to the 60-30-10 design principle, which means dress 60 percent of the space in a dominant color, 30 percent in a secondary color, and 10 percent in an accent color—or in this case, pattern. The geometric-patterned fabric on the bench upholstery in this hybrid luxury fishing yacht in San Diego is the perfect accent. 

Keep in mind that the smaller and tighter the print, the busier it can look—these styles are best used in a smaller area, such as a piece of furniture, accent pillows, or in art.

Mix and Match Patterns for a Unique Look

While patterned accents can be exciting to use, they can easily be overused and overwhelming. So how much is too much? 

The interior design in this Indonesian-inspired abode in La Jolla makes great use of multiple patterns and design elements across furniture, accessories, wall tiles, and floor rugs for a curated, global look. To tone down on too much chaos between competing complex patterns, utilize visual breaks such as the white couch cushions and white walls.

Alternating patterns, such as the more spaced out, simpler linear design of the tiles behind the fireplace, provides contrast without detracting from the overall aesthetic of the room. 

Ask our Professionals for Pattern Design Help

Mastering the elements of design comes with knowledge and experience. The idea of selecting patterns for your home may seem daunting—know you don’t have to go it alone. That’s what we’re here for. Contact us today to learn more about elevating the interior design of your home for a look and feel that is uniquely yours.  


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