Mixing Patterns To Decorate Your Living Space

By Elana Goodwin on July 16, 2014

This article is brought to you by the Uloop Housing search service. Ready to make the move off campus? Search through the Uloop housing listings to find your next apartment, condo, town home, or house for rent.

When decorating rooms at school, making choices about colors, patterns, and how to mix the two can be overwhelming as you want to personalize your area without making it look too busy.

While many landlords include clauses in the lease agreement that state you can’t paint walls in your rented house or apartment, there are still a number of other ways to brighten up your space, put your stamp on it and make it yours.

Here are some ideas on how to mix patterns to decorate your living spaces, like a living room or bedroom, and make your home away from home your own.

Photo Credit: LivingEtc

1. Bold colors and busy patterns.

If you’re the type of person who likes vibrant colors and wants a room filled with splashy eye-catching decor, pick a few bright colors that you like.

Use your colors to decorate your room by choosing throw pillows and sheets or chairs and small tables in those colors and create a space in your home that will brighten up your day and make the place seem cheerful.

Then, pick a pattern — like polka dots, zigzags, stripes, etc. — and find a bedspread, couch, dresser, or other bigger room necessity or decoration that has one or more of the colors you picked in it.

This way, you’re mixing bright solid-colored decor with a few patterned items and uniting them by using the same sort of color scheme so your room doesn’t look like Bed, Bath & Beyond had a fight with Target which resulted in chaos.

You can even choose more than one pattern to go with your other bright solid-colored decorations by picking different kinds of patterned pillows to sit out on your bed or couch.

To further decorate your room, buy some art and decor for your walls that keep with your theme and pull the room together or put up some posters or wall decals to personalize your room more and cover up some of those white walls.

Photo Credit: Roland Bello

2. Muted tones and animal prints.

Love a good zebra or leopard-spotted print and want to decorate your room nature or jungle-style? Pick an animal print — or even two! — you want to use in your room and buy a bedspread, curtains, or pillows in those patterns.

Then choose a few more muted softer tones — like a light green, brown, or blue — to use as a transitional sort of color between the other wilder printed decor so as not to overwhelm the room.

By using muted tones, you let the animal printed-decorations be the focal points of the room and won’t overwhelm the space with too much pattern or color.

Remember to also spread out the animal print decor to keep the room feeling balanced and not looking like one side is hogging all the leopard spots and zebra stripes.

Keep the theme going by hanging some nature photography or a picture of a nice sunset on the walls to complement the room.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

3. Fun designs and simple elegance. 

If you prefer to keep your room more simple and understated, pick a fun patterned bedspread or sofa, like one with an unobtrusive design, and use that as the centerpiece of your room.

Use complementary colors or neutral tones when buying pillows, lamps, and other room accessories. For example, buy a flowery bedspread and then purchase throw pillows in different colors, picking up on those found in the bedspread, to create a fun flower-themed room.

Using more elegant and versatile supplements will keep the room feeling less cluttered and busy, with only one or two designed focal points.

Look for some abstract art, inspirational quotations on canvas, or hang photographs of you with family or friends on the wall as the finishing touch to transforming your room into more of a serene haven.

When trying to decide how to decorate your room, choose your “big design” piece first as it will help you build the rest of your room around it. Bigger items — like bedspreads, couches, rugs, chairs, or tables — and the pattern you pick for them should typically inform how you go about planning the rest of your room’s decor, even if you choose to mix patterns.

Don’t pick a pattern and color scheme that you’ll grow tired of but instead consider the fact that you’ll be seeing these things every day and they will help set the tone and feel of your room.

Also, remember to pick a couple of patterns or ideas and stick to it — keep with colors that complement each other and are in the same palette, don’t decide to just throw in one big polka dot pillow if your room has no other polka dot items or the like in it, etc.

Create a space that will serve as your home and comfort zone while at school and keep in mind any restrictions your apartment or house may have on your plans for whatever room you choose to decorate.

Make your next move easy by finding a place to live near campus using the Uloop Housing search service full of students needing Roommates and Sublets or people ready to rent you a great Apartment or House.

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