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The truth is, patterns are scary. Trying to coordinate different colors and patterns into your aesthetic is a harrowing job. But fear not! With the assistance of this guide and a bit of inspiration,  you’ll walk away being able to master any pattern. 

My first tip? Choose the pattern, then build the room around it. 

Design: Ashley

Generally, there are two kinds of patterns. There are simplistic, patterns that tend to be plainer, then, there are complex patterns. However, when you’re entering a room that’s already styled perfectly, adding any kind of pattern can throw the aesthetic of the room completely off. 

Remember; a room doesn’t have to be an eclectic style for complex patterns to work. Here are a few examples of how we can build modern living rooms with intricate patterns.

Complex & Contemporary

Design: Ashley

For matching this contemporary piece, pay close attention to the colors that stand out the most.  This chair is especially unique because it mixes cool and warm tones, the red-orange bleeds directly into the navy blue and green colors. For patterns that are multi-layered like this one, choose just one of the tones, warm or cool, and play into that. This can go one of two ways;

Playing Into Cool Tones

The duality of an accent chair that can work with warm and cool tones is both modern and unique.  When focusing on the cool tones, try deep greys that are more typical of minimalist furniture. In the image below we have a three-seater sofa with upholstery that would serve well with the patterned seat above. Play with other neutral tones like light browns to accent the chair’s undertones, and use industrial-inspired furniture to tie it all in. This would look lovely in a room with a lot of light or open space. 

Design: Ashley

Highlighting Warm Tones

On the other hand, are the warm tones of the chair. The red-orange colors in the pattern could become the centerpiece of the room. This will create a living room experience unlike any other. The bright fresh tones of this orange sofa will mesh perfectly with dark toned wood furniture and brown decor. 

Design: ESF

Modern Marvel

If you’re trying to maintain a more modern look, go for a simpler and more geometric pattern. These kinds of patterns create a contained loo as they offer a sense of predictability. The colors are neutral, and the pattern is easy on the eyes. All of this makes for a digestible and easily matched piece in a modern minimalist room. 

Design: Ashley

This chair has a sleek silhouette that is perfect in modern styles. The clean lines and dark faux wood legs create an elegance that is rooted in dark colors and simplicity. The armless chair is a contemporary shape that works well in conjunction with larger couches like the ones below. 

Design: Ashley

This pair of loveseats would work well to contrast the busy pattern of the accent chair. Add in a couple of matching pillows, and keep to neutral tones to break up the heaviness of the pattern — the solid cream-colored rug is a perfect example of this. Together, the coffee and side table do a great job of creating open space that the pattern doesn’t have, all while matching the geometry of it. 

This pattern, and patterns of this nature, are the easiest to work with, and in the end, the results are simply stunning. 


Complicated Geometry

Another geometric shape, but one that is far more complex, is this glasswork inspired upholstered chair. The multitude of blue tones mixed with the subtle maroon and gray creates a fresh and intricate pattern that is perfect for any living room. 

Design: Ashley

Subtle & Sweet

For a more subtle style, as previously showcased, this armchair would work wonders paired with a navy sofa and light neutral tones. These colors would highlight the ones in the glasswork design while maintaining that modern contemporary look that is highly sought after.  However, that’s not the only option. 

Design: Ashley

Risky Red

If you’re going for a more eccentric, out of the box look, or even just trying something bolder, this accent chair would pair beautifully with one of deeper maroon tones. Like the sofa below. This plum tone three-seater couch would highlight the lesser part of the accent chair featured here. Sticking to neutral tones in other decor of the room will keep the pattern and color from overstimulating your guests, and create balance. 

Tips to Remember! 

Okay, so we’ve seen our examples, we’ve seen the furniture that pairs with it in these neatly styled rooms. Now comes the hard part — and the fun part — executing the style yourself.

Here are three things to look for when choosing a patterned accent chair. 

Design: Ashley
  1. Pattern: The pattern is the first and most important choice you’ll make. Find a pattern that says something about who you are. Are you bold and complicated with a lot of tiny details? Or perhaps you want your pattern to say you’re made of soft edges and cool calming tones? For an office space or a more sophisticated look, try for a more rigid, geometric pattern to convey intelligence and focus. Whoever you are, or want to be, there’s a pattern for you, and here’s a good place to start!
  1. Color: This goes hand in hand with choosing a pattern. When picking your perfect design, think of the space you want to decorate, how much light does it get? How large is the space? All of this plays into the colors you choose. If you’ve got a windowless room, you’d want to stay away from overusing deep, or dark tones, and overly complex patterns. On the other hand, a room with plenty of light and little to no contrast in colors may come across as one-note. 
  1. Neutrals: You’ve got your patterned accent chair, and you’ve figured out the color(s) you want to accentuate, now you need to pair it with neutral tones. The reason I recommend finding neutral tones to go with your pattern is to create a contrast. Your accent piece should do just that, accent the room, but that’s only possible with fitting complementary tones. Master this, and your eye-catching piece will blend seamlessly. 

Ultimately, patterns are intended to add fun, flair, and style. Go for what catches your eye, and use these tips as a guide for you to feel confident in your design. Build what speaks to you, and it will come to life!

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