How To Personalize Your Space With Patterns

Decorating with patterns is no easy task, but they are integral to incorporate into a home to create a cohesive design. As you curate a collection of prints for every room of the house, you will establish a visual order that flows throughout the space and keep it from looking flat. Whether you already have a few existing pieces with patterns, are looking to add more, are starting over, or just beginning, by reading this article, you have unlocked the next level in your interior decorating. Partnered with the right decision, you can give a unique touch to any space with diverse patterns.

Any surface you decorate with shapes, lines, angles, or dots helps personalize the home. "We use pattern as a form of expression, to make connections with other times and places, but also to reflect the character of the owner," John Loecke, interior designer at Madcap Cottage, told House and Garden. Explore which patterns and textures you prefer for your interior,r as there is a world of combinations sure to fit any interior style. But there is a science to incorporating prints, and we're here to tell you just how to personalize your space with them.

Be confident and unique when picking a pattern

When decorating your dwelling, what does the interior say about you? Rather than fill the home with what's currently trending (unless you like it), pick patterns that are more "you." By focusing on what you like rather than what's "in," you can decorate a space with a sense of personalized belonging. Don't limit yourself to just one color scheme, shape, or surface, as patterns are as diverse as personalities.

Incorporate a few patterns to characterize the household — don't be shy. "People are so scared of mixing different things in case they don't go, but if you have the confidence to put together what you like and what your eye feels comfortable with, then it'll work for everybody else, too," Penny Morrison, a fabric designer, told Homes and Gardens. When it comes to what pattern goes, the answer is whatever you can live with! Have your walls, ceilings, and floors represent how unique you are by choosing geometric, floral, or striped designs that are one-of-kind — just like you. Confidently choose distinct combinations of several subtle and bold patterns to find the perfect balance for all the personalities combined under one roof.

Use similar colors together you actually like

Choose motifs that utilize some of your favorite colors when personalizing your space with patterns. According to Colors Explained, color reflects one's personality and can often affect the energy in any given space. Pick patterns in colors that speak to your demeanor and depict you most. Are you intense, laid-back, caring, spiritual, or creative? There is a color for it.

When designing spaces, a blend of concentrated colors inspires the best interiors. "An easy way to approach mixing patterns is to start with a multicolor design as the jumping-off point and then select additional pops of color from that fabric," interior designer Sara Gilbane told Architectural Digest. "You do not need to match each color represented, however. What makes it interesting is the slightly off-kilter additions you bring in." Whether you gravitate toward warm shades, cool tones, neutrals, or bright and bold combinations, introduce complementary hues that represent your personality. If the pattern you love has several shades, choose a dominant color from the design and pair it with supportive shades in lighter or darker hues. Use color schemes in the same tonal range to help create an aesthetically pleasing design.

Pick a few of the same prints

Just as you want to include patterns in the same color family but vary in shade, you also want to introduce a mix of prints that look the same but vary in detail. Use this interior design opportunity to add a personal touch and highlight which parts of a specific pattern you like best throughout the room you are decorating.

Focus on picking a few of the same patterns, like in the image above, with the repeating diamond pattern. "When mixing patterns, one method is to select more simplified versions of your primary fabric. If you love florals, make your primary fabric one that combines several different types of flower, then use secondary patterns with only one or two similar flowers," John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, interior designers at Madcap Cottage, shared with House and Garden. If the main pattern you are splashing across the room is "showy," pair it with calmer variations. You can also create variety by choosing similar patterns but in different colors or sizes.

Switch up the scales

One way to make the room appear more visually interesting is by playing with the scale of the patterns in the room. This blend will ensure that the prints don't compete with one another. "You need to have one statement pattern to start with, and then go from there," interior designer Edith-Anne Duncan told The Washington Post. Opt for an assortment of small, medium, and large-scale patterns, which will help guide your eye as it circles the room. If you didn't vary the size of the prints, the overall design would feel a bit dull.

Choose a pattern scale that complements your room's design. Consider if the pattern has small or large details, uniformed or scattered lines, distinct shapes, vibrant colors, or organic features. Secondary to considering the design is the room size. Larger rooms can handle large scaled designs, while smaller areas benefit from smaller or medium patterns (via Stephanie Weitkamp Interior Design). While you do want to add different proportions of patterns to the decor, you don't want to do so in such a way that you lose sight of yourself.

Know what won't work for you

One of the main components of decorating is commitment. Commitments are made all the time — to color, texture, dimension, depth, shape, and all the pieces that make a home your own. Not everyone's level of commitment is the same, so before adopting a pattern based on someone else's interests or trends, decide on which compositions you know you definitely don't like and leave them out of the running.

According to Celeste Jackson Interiors, you want to try to select a pattern that resonates with you. But sometimes, narrowing down what you like can be difficult, so instead, cross out what you definitely don't like. Do you dislike polka dots and feathering? Maybe you dislike a '70s motif. Do you cringe at florals and nature designs? Perhaps you like more modern things. Knowing which patterns you strongly dislike will help you simplify the process. This will allow you to focus on the ones that reflect your taste the best. 

Roll out fun accent rugs

The key to telling which patterns are meant for your space and match your personality is to choose ones that draw you in, in unexpected ways. While pillows, curtains, and blankets with patterns are popular choices, another way to integrate patterns is with rugs. Whether you have beautiful hardwood flooring or carpet, choose to lay out a statement rug. They feel soft under the feet, reduce noise, and add a layer of personality to a room.

Based on your specific tastes and current room furnishings, you want to select an accent rug that elevates the room and what's inside it. As per House Home & More, different patterns are meant for different personalities. While most of us are "playing it safe" with neutral carpets in beige, gray, and cream tones, there are many styles to fit every temperament, from light and airy florals, Moroccan or diamond styles with symmetrical lines, themed oriental varieties, or free-flowing abstract designs. The accent rug you select will help define a living room, dining area, or bedroom, while a fun pattern displays your spirit and personalizes the flooring area.

Find your direction up and down the walls

Venture a bit off course and elevate your space by adding patterns on the walls in the bathrooms, kitchens, or hallways. Before you go wallpapering all the walls in your home, contemplate what paper is suitable for the space. Not all wall coverings are the same (much like personalities), so there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. As the decorator, you must consider not only the wallpaper's overall design and colors, but the room itself, and how it will be used and by whom.

Decorating with wallpaper is a mixture of personal preference and strategy. If you want a room (like a bathroom or hallway) to appear taller, try using a vertical stripe or ornamentation to enhance its visual appearance. If your goal is to present the illusion that the area is larger (such as in a living room or bedroom), decorate the flat surface with a horizontal pattern to widen the gaze across the room. And for those just looking to make an exciting statement (like in an office or den), select an outrageously bold mural to be the focal point (via Graham & Brown). While there has been quite a bit of headway made in terms of materials and application processes regarding wallpaper, you want to be sure you select one that can withstand the conditions of where it's being placed. For example, bathroom wallpapers might be different than bedroom options.

Make a statement with bold furniture

Patterns are an important decorating tool. Whether you prefer them to be quiet or loud, every space should have some that let your personality show. When filling a home with patterns, try picking out prints based on your interests, such as fashion choices, favorite restaurants, or vacation spots. For example, choose furniture with Moroccan or Indian patterns if you love to travel. If you love the beach, go with nautical stripes or palm motifs.

Bold patterns on smaller accent furniture can have a major impact on an interior. "I think most people think patterns need to match, or that you can't have too many in a space, and my approach is completely different," interior designer Anthony Gianacakos told HGTV. "I think the more patterns in a space the more personality it has. I think the pattern needs to make a statement in a space! When someone walks into a room and sees a gorgeous armchair in a bold pattern, they need to be blown away!" If you are thinking of adding bold floral, geometric, or striped furniture to a room, don't be afraid to go for it! Mix more than one style and vary the scale of the design per furnishing rather than have them all coordinating.

Stick to your base

One of the simplest ways to decorate with patterns in any space, from mid-century to farmhouse, is by sticking to your base — base color palette, that is. Since patterns are known to shift the mood in a room, you want a basic surrounding to help ground the print's effect. Find inner peace with neutral tones that keep your space from feeling too chaotic.

One way to do this is by adhering to a neutral wall base color. Try shades like beige, gray, or white since they're timeless. "Having beige walls allows key pieces of furniture in the room to really stand out, whether it's a luxurious, jewel-toned velvet sofa, or an armchair in a bold pattern," founder and creative director at Kelling Designs, Emma Deterding, told Homes & Gardens. The simple background is highly versatile and allows a decorator to add any style of pattern that suits their persona. Express yourself through patterned pieces by choosing a color scheme that doesn't compete with the busy furniture designs you're incorporating into the interior.

Decorate with throws

When decorating with patterns at home, it is important to spread the designs around the room, so the visual weight is in more than just one place. Not every room benefits from adding more furniture, so opt to take up less square footage by decorating with throw blankets in patterns you love instead. Whether you're decorating a bedroom, living space, or entryway, you can elevate the design with throws that add an instant pop of character.

When accessorizing your interior with blankets, choose something lightweight. "There are so many options that everyone can find something that suits their style and their home," the founder of, Heather Kaminetsky, told The Zoe Report. "There are the standard throw blankets, which are generally lighter in weight and are utilized more commonly as decor accents. These can be colorful, printed, and fun to add interest to a room." Scatter your favorite blankets with stripes, polka dots, plaid, or any other pattern on the sofas, beds, baskets, and armchairs that invokes a textured, personal touch. Make your home personally stylish by decorating with chunky knits and quilt-like coverings that give you warmth and maintain coziness.

Spruce up the bathroom shower curtain

You could create a bathroom that is as interesting as you are. Choose to make a statement and bring your bathroom to life by hanging a stunning shower curtain that is anything but basic. Shower curtains not only help keep water inside but can be pivotal to adding personality to this space, whether it's a master or guest bathroom.

Shower curtains with large designs or scenery can be a tasteful contrast in an otherwise sterile bathroom. Inject a bit of your personality into the bathroom by adding a botanical-inspired shower curtain (like this one at Pottery Barn) or one with floral designs for a more whimsical vibe. Perhaps you prefer a more modern geometric or abstract design that suits your personality better. Whether you have a boldly painted bathroom or one that is more neutral, the right patterned shower curtain can ground the decor and help divide up the space in an inexpensive and renter-friendly way. 

Inside of drawers

Incorporate little pieces of your personality in your house by lining the dressers, nightstands, kitchen, and bathroom drawers with patterned wallpaper. You can create a customized delight for anyone (including you) that opens the drawer. Regular or self-adhesive wallpaper (like the ones offered at Spoonflower) is ideal for lining drawers as they are entirely customizable. Since the wallpaper is removable, you can always switch the look to fit your current mood. When placing the paper, flip the drawer upside down for accurate measurement of the insert (via In My Own Style). While it may not always be a necessity, it definitely makes opening the drawer more of a pleasure.

From the bathroom to the kitchen and all living areas in between, you can express yourself through patterns on multiple surfaces. The color, application, and type of pattern you choose all show a different side of you. We're big believers that your home should represent who you are and the others who reside there, so pick prints that really speak to you. With some individuality, imagination, and inspiration from this article, you are well on your way to personalizing your space with patterns.