Mix and match printed fabrics is really an art. In decoratingwithfabrics.com we do not believe in those posts that say “Five tricks to combine prints as a pro”. We prefer to offer tips, photos and inspiration to push you out of your comfort zone and start playing with the prints, not only on cushions, also on curtains, upholstery, headboards … Who knows? Maybe we awaken that decorator we all have inside…

Mix and match printed fabrics multiplies the decorative interest of any room. Via: House Beautiful

Color. Choosing a single color for all prints can make even the most unmatched patterns look like they are made for each other. It is the easiest and most basic way to get it right by combining different fabrics. But if you want to go further and introduce more colors, you can benefit this advice that is not so obvious: Work with the same intensity of color. Stripes, ethnic prints, pictures or floral will work together if their colors are kept within the same hue. Don’t mix muted colors with bright tones, or put together pastel colors with primary colors.

printed fabricsA single color is the easiest way to combine different pattern fabrics. This fabrics are by Serendipity Fabrics

Odd numbers. It seems that odd numbers, especially the number three, make things work best when combining different pattern fabrics. With three prints we have enough to make an interesting combination, but not so many that the result seems too chaotic.

Choose three or more patterns. Via: House Beautiful

Balance between prints. The prints you choose need to complement one another. If one is mottled, the other should be lighter. To start working, choose a print that you are passionate about, and use it as a link for the others you add. This way every print will have something of this fabric that you like so much.

The intensity of the prints must be balanced. Via: Katie Hodges

A touch of chaos. Kathryn M. Ireland, one of the most recognizable American interior designers, says: “Don´t go for matchy-matchy-matchy. If it doesn’t go, it goes.” Her fantastic interiors and the millionaire fees she earn prove she is right. Take a look at her website to check it out.

Interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland is renowned for combining striking pattern fabrics.

Room scheme. You have to consider how differents prints will be distributed in the room. Avoid putting all patterns together on one side. Solids and prints must flow throughout the space.
Distribute solids and prints throughout the room, as in this bedroom decorated by Amber Interiors Design.

The rule of 60-30-10. We already talked about the 60-30-10 rule in another post. It works in many aspects of interior design. If you want to mix and match printed fabrics, implement it as follows: 60% of your favorite pattern, 30% of a second pattern, and 10% of a third pattern that works as an accent.

Consider the rule of 60-30-10. Via: House Beautiful

Take advantage of professionals. Combining fabrics of different prints is tempting, but it takes time and dedication. Good news: many textile editors have made this process for you. Look for those catalogues of fabrics with different prints that work very well together. Normally they group fabrics by colors, mix solids and patterns, and add textures. All you have to do is decide the color palette you like and you already have a harmonious combination of different prints.

printed fabricsSome textil editors create catalogues with “companion fabrics”, prints that work very well together,  as these from Serendipity Fabrics.

Check other posts for more info: Five upholstery fabric colors or Home decor fabrics