The design concept of mixing different patterns and textures can be quite intimidating for many. For clothes, it’s relatively easier because you can just remove one piece that seems out of place, and wear something else. Also, at the end of the day, you can simply take everything off.

However, when it comes to wallpapers for the home, you can’t help but be more careful. First of all, installing wallpaper is a much longer process. Secondly, you install wallpaper with long-term use in mind. If you end with such a busy-looking “wallscape,” you will just have to live with it for a while, which can be rather displeasing.

But mastering the art of mixing and matching patterns and textures for your decorative wall cover is not that difficult. There is an established formula that you can use to ensure visually appealing walls rich in color, texture, and attractive prints. Here are the variables of the equation.

1. Color Scheme

The first thing to identify is the color scheme that you want. Most of the time, you determine this based on the location of the room, who will be using it, and the kind of vibe you want the room to have.

Say, you will be making over the walls of your sunroom, light, and vibrant colors are the typical picks to accentuate the brightness and playfulness of the room further. If you want an office that looks sleek and sophisticated, deep neutral tones combined with classic textures and prints for the wallpaper make ideal options.

2. Large-Scale Pattern

Once you have established the color scheme for the room, choose wallpaper in big patterns that you can use in abundance. For example, big stripes or florals can be used for a feature wall. They are also great to use for the top portion of the walls that are instantly in the line of vision.

Important to mention as well that these large-scale patterned wallpapers are perfect to use for visual continuity in rooms. They can be used to decorate doors and even the insides of shelves and cabinets.

3. Complementing or Coordinating Solids

One of the best strategies when mixing prints and textures is to throw in a beautiful solid color. You can actually buy small strips of wallpaper in solid hues. These coordinating solids can break patterns for a more aesthetically pleasing overall look.

If you are not keen on using solid-colored wallpaper, though, make sure that your furniture and other large ticket items in the room come in complementing solid hues. They will perform the same job of making the room palette less visually arresting.

4. Small-Scale Patterns

When going for pattern-on-pattern for room wallpaper, the other pattern should always be much smaller. The most versatile small-scale patterns are pinstripes, polka dots, tiny florals, geometric designs, and paisley.

These small-scale patterns provide a richer appearance to large-scale patterns. But, more importantly, they make it easier to identify the true focal element of the wall design.

When choosing small-scale patterns for wallpaper, decorating experts advise either staying true to your established color scheme and opting for similar hues. Or, going in the opposite direction and opting for contrasting colors. Either strategy works and can achieve a visually satisfying result.

5. Your Instincts

Sometimes, it’s your unique design call that creates the wow factor. When you feel the need to break out of the standards, do so in a judicious way.

The smart way to do this is by putting all your choices on the table to get a full visual of the designs. Study them to see if breaking a few rules will leave you with a mix of patterns and textures that speak to you. If it does, just go with it confidently. After all, some of the best designs are the results of deviating from norms.

Examples of Wallpaper Combinations That Interior Decorators Love

Fiery Red Mix

This vibrant combo is composed of the following:

  • Large-Scale Pattern – The Red G2 Pattern from NGC’s Gala Collection
  • Solid – The Red Grain Emboss from the Patine Collection
  • Small-Scale Pattern – The Floral BB8 in Red from the Barbara Becker Collection, or the Stripes Blazer in Red from the Archives 1 Collectio

The Serene Blue Combo

This mix is ideal for classy beachside dwellings, and it is composed of:

  • Large-Scale Pattern – The Floral LL1 in Blue from the Alice Collection
  • Solids – The Cameo Plain in Blue from the Atom Collection, or the Plain SR1 in Blue from the Silkroad Collection
  • Small-Scale Pattern – The Stripes LL3 in Blue from the Alice Collection

The Tudor Green Ensemble

This color palette has a luxurious and old-world appeal perfect for country homes and manors.

  • Large-Scale Pattern – The G1 in Green from the Gala Collection, or the Antique Damasque in Green from the Villa Deste Collection
  • Solids – The Plain Grain Emboss in Green from the Patine Collection, or the Plain ND2 in Green from the Nomad Collection
  • Small-Scale Pattern – The Bosham Pattern in Green from NGC’s Highbrook Collection

Mellow Yellow En Masse

Yellow is a cheery color that is used abundantly in family homes. You can create a happy yellow abode using the following:

  • Large-Scale Pattern – The BB15 in Yellow (Pineapples) from the Barbara Becker Collection, or Nutley in Yellow from Danehill
  • Solids – The Plain Kaleidoscope 2 in Yellow from the Kaleidoscope Collection, or Healthcare in Yellow from BN Contract
  • Small-Scale Pattern – The Vinyl Intersect Ogee in Yellow from Textures

The lovely thing about these color-based combinations is you can easily throw in a single oddball hue to make them more attractive and interesting.

Master the Fundamentals and Get Creative

Once you have the design formula down, you can even throw in more patterns into the mix and not worry about your walls looking too crazy to behold. After all, the fundamental formula is all about making sure that there is an element (or a few features) that ties everything together.

And, after you have mastered the basics, you can gradually experiment by deviating from the rules or take more calculated risks to create standout rooms. You can start thinking about floor covers, drapes, and upholstery of your furniture as well. 


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers, and exporters of wallpapers, flooring, and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.