12 great ways to work clashing patterns

Stripes and florals? Geometrics and botanicals? Or maybe spots and animal motifs? Yes, yes and yes. We walk you through the ways to make clashing patterns work.

bedroom with blue wallpaper and carpet flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

1. Mediterranean chic

The Mediterranean palette of white and blue is eternally chic - here, modern white furniture and accessories add a calming influence to the mix of bold patterns resulting in an interesting yet soothing space.

black and white floral themed living room with textured flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

2. Monochrome magic

All-monochrome schemes do run a risk of looking flat, so layering prints and patterns in different scales is the perfect answer to keep the look modern yet full of interest. Natural textures make for the perfect finishing touch.

dining room with yellow textured wall and dining table

(Image credit: TBC)

3. Choose your focus

Stripes and florals? Yes, you can achieve a balanced feel putting these clashing elements together. The key is to choose one as the main focus, then introduce the other in smaller doses just like you would an accent colour.

white bedroom with carpet flooring and bedside table

(Image credit: TBC)

4. Stick to your guns

The easiest way to approach mixing patterns is to keep in mind one consistent theme for your room. Here the Navaho trend is a clear inspiration, making all manner of Aztec and geometric patterns work together to achieve the final look.

living room with armchair and stairway

(Image credit: TBC)

5. The rule of three

The owner of this house has stuck to the design mantra of using only three materials or colours in a space –green, monochrome and hot pink are repeated for a cohesive feel despite variety of patterns and finishes.

bedroom with blue textured wallpaper and hanging lights

(Image credit: TBC)

6. A dose of symmetry

This bedroom zings with punchy colour combinations and eye-catching motifs, but the feel remains balanced thanks to the central position of the bed between two doors. It gives this space a natural symmetry, while the bold wallpaper makes a feature not only of the wall, but also of the bed positioned against it.

living room with sofa set and green armchairs

(Image credit: TBC)

7. The playful eclectic

This living room is fun and playful - a melange of styles, colours and eras, where vintage finds mingle with upcycled family heirlooms, designer touches and show-stopping wallpaper. How does it still feel harmonious? By sticking to the nature-inspired palette.

textured bedroom wallpaper with white curtains

(Image credit: TBC)

8. Geometry lesson

This modern bedroom features Grecian, Egyptian and Moorish motifs in glamorous copper and blush shades. It's proof that you can never go wrong with mixing multiple geometric patterns - keeping the colour palette consistent pulls the look together.

white living room with sofa sets and cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

9. Blank canvas

There's a real mix of textures and patterns in this living room but the white canvas of the walls and woodwork let the different fabrics - from geometrics to florals to Aztec - work together, without the overwhelming feel one might associate with clashing several patterns.

white bedroom with dark flooring and yellow bed

(Image credit: TBC)

10. Rules are made to be broken

Heard the design rule about never mixing spots and stripes?
Yeah, you can forget it right now. If in doubt, use black or white as your anchor colour, then go to town with your textiles - we guarantee it will all hang together nicely. Case in point is above.

living room with wallpaper and blue armchair

(Image credit: TBC)

11. Tonally speaking

There's florals, there's geometrics, there's stripes, there's abstract. While this room breaks the rule of three when it comes to multitude of patterns, it does stick to a harmonious, tonal palette that unifies the individual elements of this eclectic space.

blue textured living space with white chair

(Image credit: TBC)

12. Play with scale

Layering prints in different scales gives an instant sense of texture. Stick to a simple aquamarine palette for a sun-drenched look straight out of the Greek islands.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.