Patterns can break up an otherwise monotonous look, adding depth and texture to a space. When done incorrectly, not planning your patterns can create quite the design faux pas. Marilyn Menesee, owner of Details Design Studio in Hartland provides a few tips on mixing and matching styles and patterns.

Regardless of the looks you're pairing, Menesee suggests maintaining a single, unifying factor throughout. For example, tie different patterns together with a single, unifying color as an accent tone. (The color should be one from within the patterns.) This central color can also breaking up the use of patterns by incorporating a more texture focused fabric versus a patterned one. Also, be sure to cap the number of elements in your look to three to five.

So, how should patterns be paired? Scale is important. Smaller prints should be contrasted with a larger print such as a mini floral with a larger floral print. Also, each pattern should maintain the same feel as the others. For example, a blue and white striped fabric should be paired with a similar pattern to maintain the "crisp" feel that stripes create.

When in need of inspiration, take a look at a color wheel to find complimentary colors. Not that most people need an excuse to do so, but hop onto Pintrest to see what others are pairing together for looks.

As with anything, patterns and looks go in and out of style. But to avoid completely outdated looks, "you really do need to update your look at least every eight to 10 years," says Menesee. She assures that it's OK to keep the things you really love, but not everything.

"If it doesn't fit in your scheme and you don't absolutely love it, it should go."

And, let's face it, updating your home is a great opportunity to declutter.

For more information and tips, contact Details Design Studio at or by calling 262-367-9050.     

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