Get Creative with Patterns

In this fun and simple ‘how to guide’ Bernie reveals how to pair colours and mix patterns. It’s not as daunting as it seems when you stick to these basic rules, and when you get it right the results are spectacular! Read more

Mixing patterns in a room and bringing in colour gives it personality and depth says Bernie, so don’t shy away from experimenting. Like anything the more you practice, the better you will get at it. Here are some useful tips to get you started.

1. Stick with odd numbers:

When grouping patterns, three is a good place to start and you can go from there if you’re feeling confident.

Patterns 1

Pattern no. 1 has to be something you absolutely adore and should make the strongest statement. It’s good to go with a large scale pattern.

Pattern no. 2 must feature a couple of the same colours found in the first pattern and the size of the pattern should be a tad smaller.

Pattern no. 3, here Bernie recommends choosing a complementary colour or a neutral textured piece. The scale of the pattern should be smaller again.


2. Break up patterns with texture:

Too many patterns on top of each other is overwhelming so break them up by placing solids and textured fabrics between them.

Pattern and texture


3. How to play with colours:

Bernie recommends avoiding mixing primary colours with pastels, or jewel tones with muted colours. It’s best to stick to the same colour tones and intensities.

cushion image

4. Getting the balance right:

To create a sense of unity, make sure that the whole room is in the same colour palette. Alternatively, place bright patterns against fresh white walls – they will really pop!

Patterns 5

5. Pattern Pals:

There are endless possibilities when it comes to the types of patterns you can mix together. Polka dots work with textures and graphics. Damask, floral and stripes are lovely together too. Ikat patterns can also be placed with paisley and polka dots. So, head down to your local fabric shop and have a play.

Missoni – The Pattern Masters:

Missoni - interior

Missoni 2

Italian designers, Rosita and Ottavio Missoni are renowned for their colourful patterns and stripes. As you can see by these photos of the Missoni Home Collection they are gifted at mixing and matching their bold designs to create a vibrant, striking look.

Missoni - fashion

If you’d like further inspiration Bernie recommends looking at fashion. Designers are bold when it comes to mixing patterns and colours in shirts and ties, and scarves and skirts.

If you’d like help mixing patterns and colours in your home please ring Bernadette Ferrari on 0417 088 602 or email

Click here to return to April Ferrari Living Articles