The concept of using living room patterns is applied in several ways, depending on the style of your living space, the size, and how you plan to use those patterns to create your interior design. Whether you incorporate patterns through your living room furniture, the layout of the room, decor and color, or other means, using patterns helps you to identify and showcase your unique personal interior design style more clearly. Here are some examples of what living room patterns are, different types of patterns to consider, how to include them in your home, and a few living room design ideas that’ll inspire you to try using an assortment of patterns in your own living space.
What Defines a living room pattern?
A group of objects, shapes, or colors are what makes something a pattern, but that doesn’t mean that everything has to repeat itself in exactly the same way. When it comes to your living room, this concept can include grouping several furniture pieces in the same general style and/or finish together. You can also create combinations of different decorative items like vases, wall art, and soft accessories , including throw pillows, area rugs, or curtains in a similar style. The use of color also plays a vital role in living room patterns. For example, warm and neutral tones play well together, while bold contrasting colors of black and white can also create their own distinct pattern in a living space.
How you mix and match different textures and materials is another way to define a specific pattern style. Wood and metal work well together, while fabric and glass both go beautifully with almost any other type of textural object. Of course, visual patterns are also an integral part of a living room’s aesthetic. Whether it’s through your wallpaper, flooring, or upholstery, you can incorporate an incredible variety of patterns into your home decor, depending on your favorite style. From modern and rustic to classic and contemporary, the possibilities are endless. Adding patterns creates visual interest and a feast for the eyes. This simple design update can easily turn an otherwise drab, boring living room into a dramatic and striking space.
Popular types of patterns
Before discussing how you can include patterns in your own living room, here are some of the most common and popular types of patterns you’ll find on fabrics, wallpaper, and more.
- Stripes: Whether they’re vertical or horizontal, stripes lend a simple yet elegant touch to a living room. Thick or thin stripes bring a bold component to any room, and they can be used to trick the eye into making a space feel larger than it is.
- Floral: Inspired by botanicals, floral patterns add a sweet and whimsical organic-inspired vibe to your home. Choose smaller, dainty florals for a traditional or rustic living room, or add wallpaper adorned with oversized flowers and leaves to create a more modern and bohemian-inspired space.
- Geometric: From circles and squares to triangles, geometric patterns instantly bring a modern vibe to a living room. You can easily incorporate this geometric pattern by adding an area rug, a large work of art, or even some flooring that showcases an assortment of geometric shapes.
- Complex patterns: If you prefer something more detailed, a complex pattern could be a great option to spice up the living room. These intricate patterns are usually found on wallpaper, curtains, upholstery, or area rugs and feature a vast range of different colorways, shapes, and styles.
- Animal: Whether it’s leopard, cheetah, or zebra, animal patterns add an exotic flair to a living space. This pattern is easily incorporated into modern, bohemian, and tropical-inspired living rooms depending on the color combination, type of pattern, and how it’s used.
Tips for Using Living Room Patterns
Several factors contribute to designing a cohesive space for living room patterns. Here are some tips to help ensure that your pattern choices work well with your design goals.
- Use horizontal stripe patterns to make a small living room look wider and appear larger. Vertical stripe patterns add height to the room and can create the illusion that your living room has a high ceiling.
- Avoid using complex patterns in smaller spaces since they can make the living room feel cramped and small. But feel free to incorporate some complex patterns in a large or open-concept living room to add dramatic effect.
- Prints are always a fun addition to a living room, but make sure you don’t combine them together. In other words, a large-scale animal print beside a smaller cheetah pattern will clash and look confusing rather than harmonious. Stick with a print you love and make that the main attraction in the room.
- Break up busy patterns by adding something in a different color. A floral area rug can look less overpowering with a sofa placed on top featured in a solid hue of a darker or lighter contrasting shade, for example.
- You can utilize a decorative item, various fabrics, or a piece of furniture with a unique pattern to serve as a living room focal point. If the rest of the features in the room are plain or solid, choose something in a fun pattern to bring in a visually interesting touch that draws attention.
- Incorporate patterns via small details like a tiled fireplace, playful curtains, or a uniquely patterned area rug. Keep larger items solid, like furniture, walls, and flooring, to help the patterns stand out.
- All of the colors you choose don’t have to match perfectly, but they should be harmonious. Try to keep cool and warm tones together or stick to primary colors or neutrals for a beautiful visual flow. Try the 60-30-10 rule for color which means 60% of your living room features the most prominent hue, 30% has the secondary hue, and the boldest or most dramatic color accents 10%.
- Instead of the standard white walls, make your living room pop with a feature wall boasting a unique pattern with wallpaper, tile, or a dramatic wall mural to incorporate patterns into the space.
Examples of Living Room Patterns
You don’t need to be a professional interior designer to play around with patterns. Here are some helpful examples and easy living room ideas to inspire you to try adding patterns to your living space.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns. Use a large-scale pattern as the primary feature, then add small-scale patterns on accessories or even as furniture upholstery to create an eye-catching contrast.
- Decide which interior design style you like best for your living room ideas, design it, then bring in some patterns that you love afterward. This way, you don’t overwhelm the space with too much or too many different patterns initially. You can always bring in some patterns through décor like a throw pillow, area rug, curtains, or wall art later.
- To create a contrasting effect, use various patterns in the lightest and darkest colors possible (i.e., combine something in bold navy blue with light pastel blue). This creates a beautiful visual balance between heavier hues and lighter colors while allowing you to mix and match some pattern styles.
- Size can also be used to help create different patterns. Group large pieces of furniture together and then bring in something slightly smaller, like a coffee table or ottoman, to help provide balance. You can also do this with artwork. Choose a large main piece of art to hang on the wall surrounded by smaller pieces for a unique design.
- Before you bring in a permanent pattern through tile, paint, or wallpaper, try it out with something temporary, like a piece of fabric or wall art. This gives you the chance to visualize how it will look on a larger scale and will help you decide whether or not it’s an idea you really want to keep.
- Herringbone patterns exude glam and elegance, while geometric patterns have a modern aesthetic. Incorporate the pattern that works best with your living room style so it melds nicely with everything else in the room.
- Small pieces like a comfortable upholstered pouf, a playful framed print, or a vase in a bold color make it easy to bring in some fun patterns while following the 60-30-10 rule.
- To help your patterned accents stand out, stick to some neutral wall and floor colors for a simple color palette. This creates a blank canvas and makes it much easier to switch things up if you ever change your mind. Add bold living room decor accented with a lively pattern to give the room a fun focal point.
- Upholstery and fabrics make it easy to incorporate all kinds of different patterns. Bring in some patterns you love through throw pillows, curtains, and rugs instead of through wallpaper or flooring.
- A funky gallery wall can be a pattern all on its own. Choose the largest living room wall and hang lots of different artwork in various themes, shapes, and colors to embolden the space.