How to Use Pattern in your Home

1. Use in Moderation

The best way to think of pattern is like you would think of your clothes, a bold plaid pattern may be great on a tie, a scarf, or a purse, but an entire plaid suit or dress may be a little too much for the eye. At least a suit or a dress you can wear something different the next day, but a sofa you will have to live with day in and day out for years. So my recommendation would be to have your large pieces (your suits/dresses) be solid, then be bold with your accents such as pillows, accent chairs, ottomans, throws, or even paintings. Think of your home accessories like your clothing accessories, small accents that bring everything together.

Ashley Furniture has been on top of the trends, and a lot of the upholstery collections that they offer include bold accent chairs and accent pillows. The past few markets Ashley has come out with more and more of these collections. As a buyer for almost 20 years, that always tells me whatever they are making has been a hot hit with consumers, so they build on what is being successful.

2.  Mix and Match

Another helpful hint is to "Mix and Match' your patterns. Some patterns are bold and strong, while others are small and subtle, some are linear and geometric, while others are organic and natural. The point is you have a lot of choice, but always try to contrast them. For example, the opposite of bold is subtle, so putting a bold accent pillow with a subtle accent pillow in front of it is a great way to "layer" your patterns. If you put 2 bold patterns together it may be too much, while if you put 2 subtle patterns together, you may get little to no effect at all. Again like the clothing analogy, you wouldn't want to put a bold tie on with a bold suit. While some people can pull these combinations off, better to start off slow.

3. Keep in Mind Color, Texture, and Pattern

Mixing patterns is good, but also keep in mind the other design factors that help tie everything together. Do the colors in each pattern coordinate or complement one another? Do the textures complement one another? Is one pattern modern, while the other pattern is traditional? These are all other things to keep in mind when putting patterns together. Don't forget these elements when you are designing your space.

4. Don't Forget your Surroundings

Just as we discussed layering your patterns, your furniture layout in your home is also layered. Your sofa is layered up against the wall it is sitting against. If you have a solid sofa with 2 bold accent chairs across from the sofa, you may want to do a bold accent wall with a patterned wallpaper to balance the pattern showing in the accent chair. On the other hand, if your bold accent chairs are up against the wall, you may want to paint that wall solid or do a very small wallpaper print if any.


Patterns can be a great way to transform your boring "sea of solid furniture and walls" in your home, just remember to mix it up, keep it simple, and think of your furniture decorating in layers. I hope this article helps you in your new home makeover, and if you need any help with your home, feel free to come into our store and one of our sales associates can help you put the look together and get you on your way to a home that is updated with pattern.

Take a look at some of our Ashley Sofas on our website and then look at Related Products to see how the Design Professionals put the looks all together.

David Reyna
General Manager - Samministries Furniture For A Cause

**David has been the General Manager of Furniture For A Cause since November 2010. His prior background has been almost 18 years as a lead buyer, merchandiser, and designer for upscale furniture and home decor retailers and manufacturers in the industry. He has been involved in design projects for several local restaurants, businesses, and numerous residential projects.

He can be reached at


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How to Use Pattern in your Home
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Furniture for a cause was founded in 2004 as an additional source of revenue for SAMMINISTRIES , a non-profit agency that serves homeless individuals and families in SOUTH texas, our store and website offers both new and gently used items for the home to the general public at reasonable prices, 100% of our net proceeds are donated back to SAMMINISTRIES