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.

blue and white living room how to mix patterns in space

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 took TONS of blue and white photos over the weekend and I want to share them all with you.

how to mix patterns with pillows and rugs

how to mix patterns with blue and white decor

How to mix patterns in blue and white

1. start with a neutral

See this living room? There are a LOT of different patterns going on in this space.

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 Robyn Robyn

    Where do you buy your pillows? I do a combo of turquoise and navy with white/off-white. I love pillows that give a little pizazz!

  2. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Great words! Blogging definitely requires a thick skin! I’m sure you have heard your fair share of opinions! Decorating can get quite heated!😂. If we aren’t careful it can take the wind out of our sails! You are a good example of what it means to be kind!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      I was also thinking that decorating bloggers need thick skin! For the most part, KariAnne's commenters seem to be kind but I've seen some downright rude comments on other blogs. It's like people forget that there is a real human with feelings writing the post. Karianne, I'm s-l-o-w-l-y pulling together a living room refresh and your thoughts are so helpful! I may also end up buying one of the same rugs that you have. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

  3. Image for Katy Ford Katy Ford

    Great article with good supporting visuals to explain your thoughts!!! Thanks as always for great content and such creative ideas! You provide fresh, timely and interesting ideas! So glad I found you!!! ;)

  4. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Me, I love blue and white. In our living room, we have two beige sofas, lots of brown wood in different tones and a beige carpet. I brought in blue patterned pillows, blue print ottoman and tons of blue and white ceramics including my beloved blue willow. The blue elements repeat around the room. And I hung a Shinto wedding kimono in cream, embroidered with brilliant flowers on the wall. It works for us. And makes us happy. I'm somewhere between a minimalist and maximalist. I like fun objects to look at but need breathing space to rest my eyes.

  5. Image for Donna Donna

    Love the low blue container with flowers in the first two photos. . . .a youtuber I follow always looks for low planters for succulent gardens. Blue and white can be mixed and matched and has stood the test of time. How did the mentoring go over the weekend?

  6. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    You are the best and truest person, thank you so much for this post it is most helpful.Blues and whites are the loveliest colors.

  7. Image for Michele M Michele M

    No one does blue and white like you do, KA. That room is just amazing. I'd love for my sister to do up her lake house something along that line. I am always sending her links to your beautiful taste. I think your advice is spot on perfect too. Have a fabulous week. Big hugs.

  8. Image for Nita Nita

    No doubt about it, I absolutely love your blue and white living room!!! Doesn't matter that you could have 15 patterns in it, it all blends together and looks great!! Blue is my absolute favorite color.

  9. Image for june june

    Love all the patterns! I find myself second guessing but have gotten so much better at mixing patterns. Such a serene room.


    You are such a fabulous teacher, KariAnne! Your pictures are always so beautiful -- as is your home! Blue and White is my absolute favorite and I enjoyed seeing how you mixed the pillows. I am definitely going to make a few pillows with stripes. I have never thought of using this but after seeing how you have, it looks great! Thanks, once again, for your wonderful posts. They are always so informative and helpful. Have a wonderful week! Bless you!

  11. Image for Kelly Kelly

    I'm a blue & white, pattern mixer girl too! My living room has neutral walls, sofa and actually brown chairs, one woven and wood and one leather. But lots of blue patterns in pillows, art, accessories, etc. But the one thing I don't have right now is a rug and that one in your living room would be perfect! I would love to know where you got that rug. That will warm my new floors for the fall. My colors will still be mostly blue and white during the fall & winter.

  12. Image for Nancy Ingram Nancy Ingram

    I am curious about the mortar and pestle. I have one similar to it. May I ask where you found it? Thank you! Nancy Ingram

  13. Image for Mirtha Mirtha

    So grateful for your inspiration and sharing. I am learning so much from you. Love the layers, patterns, textures that can of course be applied not only to white/ blues but to any other colors. It's the idea !

Comments are closed.