One of the biggest challenges in any room is how to add pattern to the space. Here are some simple tips on how to mix patterns with blue and white.

how to mix patterns with pillows and rugs

Did you know that there is never going to be a type of decorating that every single person loves?

Never. Ever. In the history of ever.

It took me a long time to understand that.

You can post a room online before and some people love it and some people say that there are too many patterns or not enough pattern or not enough color on the walls or that the walls are too boring or there are not enough accent colors.

And on and on and decorating opinion on.

I get it.


But here’s the thing. While those opinions are valuable and important and amazing, they are other people’s opinions.

Not yours.

That’s why you have to decorate with what makes YOU happy. That’s why you have to create rooms and spaces and places that fill YOU with joy and sunshine from the moment you put your big toe in the doorway.

So today?

I want to ENCOURAGE you in your decorating journey. Your home is BEAUTIFUL. Your home is LOVED. Your home is special and full of joy and amazingness and it’s one of a kind.

Just. Like. You.

And now? Let’s talk blue and white and patterns and mixing them.

Grab a beverage. I have TONS of blue and white photos and I want to share them all with you.

blue and white living room how to mix patterns in space

How to mix patterns in blue and white

1. start with a neutral

Here’s the thing with learning how to mix patterns.

It’s a lot like those Flock of Seagulls bangs and Aqua Net hairspray.

A little goes a long way.

That’s why you need neutrals to ground it. Notice that the walls are white. The ceiling is white. The couches are khaki. In fact, most of the furniture in the space with the exception of the striped chairs is either white or neutral. That neutral background allows the pattern to stand out.

If you want to introduce pattern into a space, pick one area for it to shine. For example, if you want a patterned rug? Let your walls be neutral. If you want patterned couches? Let your pillows be more neutral.

Choose where to put your pattern and apply it wisely.

how to mix patterns with dishes

pillows and blue and white and how to mix patterns

2. When mixing patterns, layer your designs

There are four different basic types of patterns:

  • neutral (little or no pattern)
  • smaller-scale pattern
  • medium-scale pattern
  • larger-scale pattern

Here are my pillows on one of the couches.

That’s some neutral mixed with some medium-scale mixed with some larger-scale together.

Pillows are a great place to start with learning how to mix patterns.

It’s just a little commitment.

It’s kind of like watching the trailer to a movie.

Pop a pillow on the couch to decide if you like the direction before you commit to the mini-series.

living room with patterns and how to mix them

how to mix patterns

3. When mixing patterns, incorporate other surfaces

Sometimes when we think of mixing patterns, we typically think of textiles.

But truly?

There is are patterns everywhere.

Here are some examples of mixing patterns in this room:

When thinking of pattern for your spaces, it’s important to remember you can add pattern into a room with different surfaces and accessories.

4. The more varied the pattern, the smaller the color palette

This is one of my favorite decorating words to live by.

Notice that in this room there are basically two colors.

Blue and white.

I added color with the flowers and the artwork, but the rest of the room is decorated in shades of those colors.

It makes it so much easier to layer in patterns if you have a smaller color palette to work with.

5. Choose the patterns that work for you

I know I’ve said this before.

But like a pattern–it bears repeating.

When mixing patterns, choose the patterns and the type of patterns and the style of patterns that YOU like.

Patterns that work for you.

If you like big florals with tiny stripes and hot pink shag carpeting. YOU GO GIRL.

If you like simple khaki neutral polka dots with linen monograms and greige walls. YOU GO GIRL.

If pattern makes you shiver and you want to decorate with solides. YOU GO GIRL.

If you like to break the rules, then I encourage you to break all the pattern rules and choose what makes you happy. The world needs more pattern rule breakers.

If you take nothing else away from today’s post, remember this. Be true to who you are and what your house tells you it wants to be.

No matter what you see on Pinterest.

Or see on a blog.

Or read about in a magazine.

There is only one you and the home you create with things that you love will be perfect.

Decorate with your heart.

And let your patterns (and your bangs) reach for the stars.

PS I have an amazing blue and white pinboard with even more inspiration.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Here’s the dress link (affiliate): It’s SO FLATTERING on! Ties in the front with a panel that’s attached to the dress! It runs true to size!

  1. Image for Lana tanca Lana tanca

    Where did you find the white pillow with navy “tassels”? I don’t see it in the pillow grouping. I love your blue and white! Thank you so much for inspiring us!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Lana, I actually bought all those years ago---but I found a couple that are similar on Amazon including this BEAUTIFUL pillow with raised embroidery that's blue and white (look closely on the pic how pretty the raised embroidery is)! There are two pillow covers for under $23!!!! Linked here (affiliate): happy day!KariAnne

  2. Image for Lana tanca Lana tanca

    I just left a comment about where you found your tassel pillow but just found that you made it. I’m going to give it a try. Now…where did you find the one with a medallion like design( the one next to the tassel pillow in the photo above?)- lol Thanks!

  3. Image for Lyn Lyn

    Dress details, please! You look fantastic! I started making the transition to blue/creams/whites a couple of years ago. We had our entire interior painted soft yellows, and creamy whites. All our furniture was neutral so that was great. I purchased a large area rug for our family room in soft blue, creams, beige, and a couple other soft colors. I used that as my jumping point for color selections throughout the house. One of our favorite no cost touches came from our garden. We have quite a few purple allium that after blooming they turn a beigey/brown when they dry. My husband spray painted them in blues and white and we have them on our mantel. These have lasted about 5 years. I put them out for the summer, and store them the rest of the year. I have been shopping for blue and white ginger jars, but no luck yet. I spent a couple of hours in a massive antique barn last weekend, but not one to be found. I'll keep searching!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Here's the dress link (affiliate): It's SO FLATTERING on! Ties in the front with a panel that's attached to the dress! It runs true to size!

  4. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    I love blue and white. Your posts are what I love. Where did you get the blue bowl on your coffee table? Blessings

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      I got it from Lamps Plus as a Christmas gift! It’s actually on clearance right now! Here’s the link (affiliate): It’s so much bluer than the pictures on their website! happy day! KariAnne

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Mary Ann, I got it from Lamps Plus as a Christmas gift! It's actually on clearance right now! Here's the link (affiliate): It's so much bluer than the pictures on their website! happy day! KariAnne

  5. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Great advice! My favorite thing is that navy pillow with the white embroidery that is sitting in the striped chair. It's also funny how we all look at the same photos and everyone seems to have something different that speaks to them. "Where did you get this? and that?" etc.

  6. Image for Kris Kris

    You forgot to add that the homeowner can coordinate her outfits to her decor. 😉 Thank you for your sage advice, KariAnne. Trends will change in a hot second but, at least for me, what I truly love sticks with me for years and years.

  7. Image for Karen Mary Miles Karen Mary Miles

    Such pretty inspiration! I've been searching for a stool (to use as a step stool and to sit on). Where did you get that pretty little stool with the pillow on top of it, next to the fireplace? Thank you!

  8. Image for Jodie Filogomo Jodie Filogomo

    And that's the motto I try to live by and promote with style and fashion too Karianne. In fact, my favorite saying it it's called personal style for a reason. It's P.E.R.S.O.N.A.L. Loved reading this so much! XOOX Jodie

  9. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Love me some blue and white master bedroom and bathh are blue and white. 😉 but your room is just beautiful. The light in that room makes everything seem even prettier. Have a great day.

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Your home is so sweet. I feel like I just drank a big ole chocolate milkshake and have a belly and a heart full of happiness❣️ My home is similar to yours with the blue and white plus a little bit of spring green sprinkled in here and there. I love your blogs and your Wednesday shopping videos. I’m like a kid in a candy store when I read your emails/blogs and watch your cute videos!! Keep ‘Em coming! 💖

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