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Decorating With Color

How To Mix Patterns in Your Home

Combining prints brings excitement to a room—but how do you make it work? Set small patterns against large ones, limit your palette, and include one big solid (on sofa, floor, or wall) in the scene. Go ahead: Do try this at home.

Zigzag and geometric patterned room
Roland Bello

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Zigzag + Scroll + Geometrics

You can load up a room with graphic black-and-white patterns if you include softeners, like scrollwork pillows, a rich cocoa sofa, and hits of juicy jewel tones (purple, teal, even the emerald green of a plant). A crazy wallpaper works best on just one wall, rather than four, and should be behind the main seating area. You want to enjoy it on your way into the room but not stare at it all the time.

Minaret wallpaper, about $195 a roll, Osborne & Little, 877-322-7420. Kent sofa in Kravet 288646 fabric, $4,390, for info. Fabric for swirl pillows: Swash Stripe FD251, $148 a yard, for showrooms. Velvet Geo pillow (brown) with down-and-feather insert, $195, Fabric for geometric pillow (right): Betwixt, $106 a yard, for showrooms. Tutti Color throw in turquoise (similar to shown), $55, Zachary coffee table (left), $399, Geometric horn stool (right), $1,800, Eldridge lamp with white silk shade, $450, Abstract Composition 22/10 (screenprint, left), by Rinaldo Paluzzi, $2,400, for info. Abstract Painting (1964) (above sofa), by Mary Perminger, $2,500, The End of History, 212-647-7598. Calypso St. Barth Tile Jaipuri rug, $1,500 (9 by 12 feet), 866 422 5977.