Mixing Patterns: How to Use Multiple Patterns at Your Next Event

Adding a pattern into your décor is an excellent way to bring new life to your event space. But why stop there? Combining multiple patterns can create a sense of excitement and energy for your guests, immediately establish your event theme, and allow your event planning personality to shine. It may seem daunting at first, but if you follow our tips for mixing patterns and prints, you’ll be decorating like a pro in no time.

Rules for Mixing Patterns in Decorating for Events

When it comes to mixing patterns in an event space, you want to strike a careful balance so that your guests are neither overwhelmed nor bored. An intentionally designed event space with mixed patterns should be your goal.

How you design your event space ultimately depends on your preferences, but these pattern mixing rules will give you some direction.

Use Two or More Distinct Patterns

Pick at least two patterns to use throughout the venue. Start by choosing a larger, bold pattern and then follow with a couple of smaller, more intricate patterns to complement it. The key is to choose patterns in coordinating shades so there is a sense of continuity throughout.

However, visual interest is also important, so as long as the patterns align with your color palette, you can vary the style. For example, if your first pattern is floral, look for a geometric pattern to go with it.


Vary Patterns by Size

By incorporating different sized patterns, you will create a cohesive event space. Think of both the size of the pattern itself and the size of the patterned object. The rule of thumb is to coordinate the size of the pattern with the size of the object—which means large items like rugs, drapes, and chairs should feature bolder patterns while intricate patterns should be reserved for small-scale items like throw pillows, decorations, and dishes.

Stick to a Color Scheme

The patterns you use on the table linens, flyers, cushions, and decorations should all complement the overall color palette for your event. Once you have determined a color scheme, incorporate those colors into aspects of each pattern. Then, even though you are mixing patterns throughout, they will all match.


You can use the same color in more than one pattern, use an accent color in one pattern as the base for another, or even use the same pattern with inverted colors. The opportunities here are endless.


Mix Simple and Complex Patterns

Using simple and complex patterns together will provide balance to the room as well as the contrast needed for visual interest. 

The first step is to determine if a pattern is simple or complex. There’s no hard-and-fast guide, so just take your best guess.

Does the pattern have plenty of open space with clearly defined lines? It’s simple. Does the pattern have very little base color showing and lots of crisscrossing lines? It’s complex.

Once you have decided under what category your patterns fall, you can mix them throughout the room. Mixing geometric and floral patterns is a perfect example of simple vs. complex. The ease of the simple pattern will balance out the busyness of the complex pattern. 

Incorporate Pattern Breaks

To give guests a visual break, incorporate neutral colors or solid pieces as pattern breaks. Not only will white or neutral backdrops allow your patterns to pop, but they also make sure colors won’t clash.


Feature Patterns Multiple Times

Don’t just use a pattern once; it will get lost in the mix. Instead, create continuity by using your patterns in many different places throughout the venue. This repetition will make your event décor look well-coordinated. 

Think Outside of the Box

Patterns can go on more than fabrics. You can both use the venue space or decorations to inspire your pattern choices and incorporate your patterns into the larger space. For example, if the venue has unique wallpaper or lighting, use those shapes or stripes in your patterns. Or, if your patterned items are made from natural materials, carry the theme further by choosing rustic lighting.

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Event Décor 101: How to Mix Patterns

Now it’s time to start mixing patterns in your event space. Here’s how to get started.

01 Determine the Event Theme

The first step is to decide how you want your guests to feel when they enter the event space. Your color and pattern choices need to reflect your larger event theme, branding, and design. The theme you choose will impact every other event décor decision you make.

02 Select a Color Scheme

Once you’ve established a theme for the event, choose a color palette that complements it. You might be inspired by the season (warm vs. cool tones), host (corporate branding), or even the venue itself (garden pastels). Regardless, don’t forget that a color palette isn’t just a main color and a few accent colors—you can also incorporate different hues and shades of each color.


03 Choose Patterns and Prints

Now that you’ve determined the event theme and selected a color scheme, you can choose patterns and prints to mix and match. 

Think of how your patterns will fit the theme and color palette. Start by choosing one large, bold pattern as the main attraction and then select at least two small or medium patterns to go with it. Remember that when it comes to mixing patterns, consider how the complexity, size, and colors of each pattern will work with the others.

04 Place Patterns Throughout the Event Space

Finally, distribute the patterns evenly around the venue. You can print your patterns on chargers or napkins as part of the tablescape, on rugs or drapes to brighten the space, or on paper materials like invitations or place cards to establish a visual sense of continuity. Make sure you include a few neutral or solid pieces to really allow those mixed patterns to pop.

Mix and Match Patterns at Lola Valentina to Take Your Event Décor to the Next Level

At Lola Valentina, we are ready to help you decorate your event with unique table linens, runners, napkins, chargers, placemats, and more. You can shop our revolutionary design house to mix and match our selection of original designs, or you can work with our team of in-house designers to create a custom pattern. Visit our design bar to explore color and pattern combinations until you find just the right look for your event.

All our items are environmentally conscious and proudly crafted in the United States.

Are you ready to bring your event design ideas to life? Talk to a designer today to get started.

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Lola Valentina is an upscale tabletop decor company offering custom and collection-driven designs printed on decor placemats, table linens, runners, napkins and more.