I am always using a combination of patterns and prints in my designs. The question that clients tend to ask as they pick up two of their favorite fabrics among the stacks of fabrics I have across my design table is "do these go together?" They love both fabrics, each for their own reasons—unique pattern, color, or texture—and they are hoping that both fabrics can be used together in the same room. Here are the things that I look for that make me answer “yes” or “not that fabric, but this one."
1- Color. Color is essential in combining fabrics. This does not mean that both fabrics have to be identical colors, or even in the same exact scheme, but they do have to coordinate and be in the same color family. Another bit of advice, choose two prints that share a single color. This will help unify the prints and rest the eye.
2- Scale. Mix prints of different sizes. I like to pair large patterns with small. But there is more to it than that. Large prints that are busy should be paired with simple, small prints and vice versa.
3- Stripes. A stripe is the game changer here. A stripe, in most cases, can be used as a neutral fabric and typically can be in a room with prints of all shapes and size.
4- Dominant and Accent Prints. Choose one print that is the star of the show. This will have the main color and the majority of the pattern. The dominant print will likely be in more places around the room or on the largest piece(s) in the room. Once you have the main print, choose an accent print that brings out your favorite elements of the dominant print.
5- Textures and Solids. You can break up patterns in two different ways. You can introduce texture (patterned or not) and/or a solid color. And, just in case you are not sure, when I say texture I mean leather, velvet, boucle, heavy weave, or anything along those lines. This keeps the room restful and directs the eye around the room.
6- Neutrals and Colors. Pair neutral prints with colorful prints. This is always a great way to bring in pattern without overwhelming a space.
7- Accessories. If you are not the kind of person who wants to commit to a large print on something like a chair, use printed accessories like throws and pillows for a lighter look.
Message me for more advice or with any specific questions!