Mixing Color & Patterns

Many people think that mixing color and patterns together are a big NO NO. I fully disagree. You have to be mindful on what colors you are mixing together and what style you are going for which brings me to my next topic. The 80/20 rule.  I don't know if it's as much of a rule as it is a guideline. I like to say, "in design there are no rules". Same thing applies with art. I'm also an artist and I love thinking outside the box, but still you want your overall piece to have fluidity and the same applies here for room design.

The 80/20 rule goes as follows:  80% of the design you choose needs to coincide. Example: Don't mix a Victorian theme with a Mid Century Modern look. If by chance you do want to explore these 2 highly contrasting styles then use the 80/20 rule.  Pick one like the Mid Century Modern style and accent your space with only 20% of Victorian. Does this make sense? 

Now to one of my recent projects. "The Mod Retro Inn," Airbnb.  Here I choose Mid Century Modern to be my dominate style.  For my accents (or the 20%) I choose Vintage Retro.  You will see I have taken a very small space (at whopping 1,000 sqft.) and made it POP!  I used wallpaper to give me my pattern and color throughout, and for those of you that know me I'm a huge wallpaper freak.  

This is the tiny living room and I have used a bold blue wallpaper with gold palm trees. When you add accent colors to your space be sure they coordinate.  The easiest way to do this is with a color wheel. I won't go into much detail here (maybe in another blog post) but there is a thing called color theory. It's extremely helpful when combining lots of colors like I have done.

My main color I choose to use in the living room is blue. To accent it, I used what they call a complimentary color which is orange. It's directly across the color wheel from blue. I then used analogous colors that are next to orange like yellow, tans, reds and pinks. 

*Wallpaper used here is from Hygge and West

Color Wheel


Here is a picture of a color wheel so you can see what I was talking about when referring to complimentary and analogous colors. 


Before & After Color


Master Bedroom

Wallpaper used here is from Walnut 

2nd Bedroom (Bird Room)

Wallpaper used here is from Hygge and West

3rd bedroom (Red Room)

Wallpaper used here is from Hygge and West

As you can see by the pictures above I have mixed a lot of pattern and colors in the bedrooms too. Again, keep in mind the complimentary colors on the color wheel. In the bird bedroom for example I stuck with blues, yellows and whites. In the red bedroom I choose to accent with green and where is green on the color wheel? That's right, it's directly across from red.


I choose to keep the bathroom very light and bright since it's the only one in the whole house. I wanted it to go with all of the colors so what goes with everything. Black and white does.  


This kitchen is tiny but why not give it some "pizzazz" with color and pattern. Keep in mind it opens up to the living room where I have the blue wallpaper.  This is why I choose colors that coordinate with the living/dining area.  When working with an open floor plan you need to make sure your colors compliment each other. 
*Wallpaper used here is from Walnut


Don't forget that when you have a design style going you should also carry it to the exterior of the home.  If you have a very traditional home out front and you have decided to go with a very modern look inside that's ok. We can't all just snap our fingers and renovate our house on a whim.  The great thing is a lot of people have back yards or a small exterior space that can decorate. Bring your inside style outside and have fun with it. 


There are so many more pics I can show you of the backyard space I created for my guests but for now lets keep on topic. As you can see from these outdoor pics I have chosen to use fun colors  and patterns again. Be bold with your design and have fun. The one rule is there are NO rules!

I'm almost finished with my New "Color Made Easy" E-Book.  It gives you my favorite paint colors from reds, to greens, to blues and blacks.  It has my top choices for whites (and as we all know white paint can be tricky to pick out).  Tips and tricks on painting french doors in a snap and lots more.  I'll share the download link on my next blog post and of course it will be on my website too. 










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