Do you want to know how to mix colors and patterns on a table?
Something that makes a person stop and think. Almost as if they are wondering “how” it works. Because they can see that mixing it all up works, but they don’t know how or why.
I love mixing up colors and patterns. Something that isn’t expected.
The thing though, is you can easily screw up mixing colors and patterns.
You know it when you see it.
It’s not about mixing stripes and polka dots ~ which look great together.
It’s more than that.
It’s garish and obnoxious. That doesn’t work.
So what does work?
How can you successfully mix colors and patterns in a table setting?
Well, let me share with you …
How to Successfully Mix Colors and Patterns on a Table
Start with Your Inspiration
When you want to mix colors and patterns for a tablescape, it’s best to start with an inspiration piece.
What do you want to build off of?
Is it a tablecloth or a patterned plate?
In this example, my inspiration was my tablecloth. I LOVE this tablecloth!!
I bought it in France with my husband, and I carried it all around Europe in my backpack until we came back to the states.
I love its blues and yellows, and its pattern with flowers, lemons, and geometric shapes.
Gad! It has everything, lol!!
I thought it would be fun to mix up other colors and patterns with it.
Which is why I used a yellow plate rimmed with dark blue, and topped it with a blue and white print plate.
Don’t they look great together!
Next, use similar colors
Build off the colors in your inspiration piece. What is/are the dominant color(s)?
Then find other items that incorporated those main colors to add to your table setting.
If you are starting with a tablecloth, add dishes or placemats with the same colors.
Check out this table runner with large, bright flowers.
I added a plate that had flowers of the same color but made by a different manufacturer.
They weren’t made to go together, but they do.
Then mix different pattern sizes
The key to mixing different patterns is to use various size designs.
You don’t want to use all large patterns or all small patterns. If you do, your eye will have a hard time focusing, and you won’t know what to look at.
Blend simple and complex patterns. Combine a stripe with a floral. Mix polka dots with plaid.
Just be sure that all of the patterns follow the same color story.
Below you see a large print tablecloth with a geometric print dinner plate. At first, the two fight each other. Then I added a salad plate that had a different geometric pattern, and VOILA – together, the two reflected the pattern in the tablecloth.
Doesn’t it look striking?
It’s all about staying cohesive with your colors and altering the size of the patterns.
Finally ~ Layer when you mix patterns, color, and texture
By layering your patterns and colors you are adding visual interest.
You are essentially building a story.
Below you can see how I layered a place setting.
I started with a woven white placemat which I then added a textured light grey dinner plate.
And I topped it with a delicate floral and butterfly salad plate.
The textures and patterns, layered together really pull these pieces together.
Can you see how the grey in the butterfly is pulled out by the dinner plate?
Yet, the grey plate is subtle that it doesn’t fight with the floral plate. It actually enhances the floral plate.
Don’t be afraid to mix colors and patterns on a table.
Play with what you have. You will surprise yourself with what you come up with.
Live on the wild side!
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