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Pattern Mixing...can you do it?

If you've been hanging around fig & farm (at home) for a while you already know one of my TOP recommendations for elevating the look of your home quickly and inexpensively...DITCH the couch pillows. You know the ones? The ones that come WITH your couch when you bring it home from the furniture store. Although those pillows are becoming increasingly more interesting and dare I use the term 'stylish,' they still gravitate toward generic. Why? Because the couch manufacturers are appealing to the masses. They want to sell couches and having generic pillows on their couches appeal to a broader range of potential buyers. The manufacturers are no dummies. By removing potential road blocks to a sale, they, wait for it...make more sales!

Shop these pillows: 1. No longer available. 2.

Ditching the pillows that come with the couch when you buy it and adding pillows that are more inline with your personal design style creates an opportunity for adding personality and nuance to your home in a way that reflects your story and character. But how do you do it, and more specifically how do you mix and match pillows on a sofa (or on a bed) when different patterns and textures are involved?

5 guidelines for mixing patterns and textures in pillows

1. Start with a color palette: Creating a home that looks cohesive and flows seamlessly room to room starts with a color palette. Carrying that color palette onto your couch with the throw pillows is an easy opportunity to continue reinforcing the cohesive design of your home. Identify your color palette and the key players: your foundation color, your primary accent color and any secondary or tertiary accent colors. Keep these colors in mind when shopping for pillows.

2. Choose an anchor pillow: When using throw pillows with pattern on them, choose one pillow to be your anchor pillow. We can think of this pillow as the big bossy sister who likes to keep her siblings in line. This pillow doesn't have to be the biggest, but if mixing and matching patterns, should likely be the loudest. Each pillow you choose for your couch or your bed will essentially need to check-in with the big bossy anchor pillow sister in order to get permission to stay. In other words: the pillows that you choose to cohabitate with the anchor pillow will need to have some element that can be directly seen in the anchor pillow (i.e. color).

3. Use the rule of odds (three or five): When adding multiple pillows, add them in odd numbers. Not all of those pillows should be a pattern, though they could. Using a highly textural pillow from your color palette will help provide a negative space (even if the pillow is colored) for your eyes to land between all the pattern. The easiest way to do this is by choosing a solid colored, highly textured pillow with the same foundation color in your color palette.

4. Look for repetition: Repetition is the key to great design. It's the glue that holds the room together and creates the appearance of a room looking cohesive or pulled together. Repetition, however, does not and should not stay in the area where your throw pillows are. Look around the you see the colors that are in your throw pillows elsewhere in the room? If you do, fantastic, but if you don't try remediating it by adding something in your room of the missing color. Better yet...make sure you can see the missing color at least three times within the room.

Shop these pillows: 1. 2. 3.

5. Fail-proof pattern combos: Does the thought of mixing patterns still feel you could easily cross the line from 'looks great' to looks garish and a bit clown-like? Try these combos:

a. large scale pattern with a small scale pattern

b. geometric pattern with a more fluid pattern

* By shopping some of these products I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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