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Nebraska Furniture Mart | December 12, 2018

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How to Mix and Match Shapes & Patterns Like a Pro

How to Mix and Match Shapes & Patterns Like a Pro
Rayme Wells

How do you feel about mix-and-match patterns? Do you like polka dots and stripes together? Plaid and floral?

Two or more patterns may clash when combined, or look too “busy”, or even make people think about clowns… and no one wants to think about clowns. Of course, it can be done successfully, but it is not easy! On the other hand, shapes and patterns are frequently mixed – and circle shapes are especially flexible when it comes to adding patterns.

Far from clashing, circles can look elegant with flourishes, filigree, floral or vine patterns, and other designs such as Moroccan patterns, damask or lace. It recently struck me that I may be drawn to these combinations because they remind me of my favorite designs by the prolific Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. He created some of his better known pieces with circles or arches incorporated into the background, and highlighted with some added swirls or flourishes — sometimes in the form of a woman’s flowing, curling hair.



A terrific example of a circle and pattern combination is the beautiful Orian Mardis Gras Ceramic Layers rug, which is thoroughly covered with patterns and circles but still looks relaxed, and not overwhelming at all. This fabulous rug design led me to look for similar mashups of circles and patterns.

Ornamental bowls are a simple way to add a new design feature into your home. Bowls are often accented with textures or patterns, and the Sophie Glass Bowl in White and Blue-set of 2 is a perfect specimen. Another way to add this kind of combination is to use circular mirrors, which will also quite easily lend themselves to decorative patterns, as in the Audrey Round Mirror Frame in Pewter. An elegant mirror can draw attention and make a fresh visual impact, without taking up space.

If you prefer a bigger impact, a bedding set like the Sausalito 12-Piece King Comforter Set in Tan and Ivory is another fine example of circles enhanced with a pattern. These combinations work well for bedspreads and quilts, with minimal colors.

If you like these pattern and circle designs as much as I do, be sure to watch for some similar items that will work for you when you are shopping for home décor, to give your place a classy new look!

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