We’ve all seen children who have dressed themselves in a jumble of colors and patterns. Cute as it is on a kid, the look doesn’t work for adults—and it certainly doesn’t work in home decor. But that’s not to say you can’t embrace the trend of mixing patterns in your home.

More than any other room, the dining room provides endless possibilities for pattern mixing. Just think of all the opportunities when selecting table linens, let alone the upholstery on your dining room chairs, the area rug and even the drapes.  

Not sure where to start? We have eight easy ways to mix and match patterns—without looking like a toddler decorated the room. To create a cohesive look, be sure to choose:

8 Tips to Mix Patterns in the Dining Room

  1. Like colors. A Swiss dot tablecloth and striped placemats pair beautifully when they’re in the same color family.
  2. Patterns of different scales. If your area rug has an oversize paisley pattern, steer clear of drapes with thick stripes. Instead, pair a more delicate pattern with a large-scale print.
  3. A solid, too. Even in the same shades, some patterns can seem overwhelming together. But throw a solid color into the mix and the look magically comes together. 
  4. A pattern that can be treated like a solid. If you’re too timid to combine bold patterns, select a small-scale print that looks like a solid from a distance.
  5. The same pattern in different colors. Crazy about chevron? Mad for plaid? Pick pieces with your favorite pattern, but in complementary colors.
  6. Similar themes. Go wild and combine cheetah print with zebra stripes, or sail into style with nautical stripes paired with an anchor print.
  7. Entirely different patterns. Who says chevron and houndstooth can’t go together? Sometimes creating tension with two totally different patterns creates a beautifully bold look.
  8. What you love, rules be darned! It’s your home. Make it a reflection of you and fill it with pieces that make you happy.