There’s something so pretty about a room that incorporates prints, and yet for many, embracing pattern feels like a major design risk. While it does require an understanding of scale (and helps to have an eye for color), armed with a little knowledge, anyone can start to explore ways to bring pattern into the home. To help those who might be ready to take a plunge into prints, we asked Dallas, Texas-based interior designer Caitlin Wilson—who also creates beautiful patterned pieces for the home—to share her expert advice. From where to start to how to create a successful mix, here is her expert advice.
Know where to get started. Ready to embrace your inner pattern enthusiast? There are a few places in the home that Wilson says are particularly good places to start. “I love making a statement in a formal living room, where it makes sense to utilize unique wow-factor pieces,” she says. “A powder bath or laundry room is always a great place to pop a really special wallpaper up as well.”
Pick a “hero” print and build from there. When designing her collections, Wilson always starts with one “hero” print, which informs the rest of the line. The same approach applies to her work with clients. To keep them from becoming overwhelmed while designing a whole room, Wilson recommends that clients find the pattern they are most drawn to, and then start building from there. “Working around a hero print will help the design come together as you get more comfortable with the palette,” she says. “Keep a swatch with you in your bag so you can always be on the lookout for other pieces and accents to layer into the space.”
Be strategic about size. When considering scale, Wilson says to think about using one larger-scale pattern balanced by a mid-scale and smaller repeating pattern, which will create interest and keep the eye moving. “I love to contrast pillows with pattern against a more simple, solid or trimmed pillow, and then pop a unique embellished or monogrammed pillow front-center,” she says.
Look to designer lines for inspiration. Wilson’s floral prints are best-sellers for a reason: according to the designer, they are an easy way to create a color palette for a space. As an added bonus, her coordinating prints and colors make the process of layering prints straightforward for the pattern-averse. Her website is a wonderful place to browse for inspiration those who want to get a sense of how to mix and match—while you’re there, be sure to browse her portfolio in addition to her products to see these tips put into practice.