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How to be bold when mixing print within your decor scheme

Layering colour, print and texture is a signature part of our design process that requires flair, intuition and confidence

By Megan Murray

Mixing patterns can instantly enliven any room, and the eclectic curation of prints, colours and textures is a cornerstone of the Soho House aesthetic. It's something we like to think adds a unique depth to our spaces.

'Print definitely plays a prominent role when we're designing the Houses,' says Soho House Senior Designer, Alicia Meireles, who has spent the last three years working across our clubs in Rome and Paris.

The prospect of layering several bold designs in one room can be intimidating, but the key is to think big and be playful. 'We often find that what doesn't make sense on paper can actually work brilliantly in action. In order to put your stamp on a home, it's important to be brave and try new things,' explains Soho House Founder, Nick Jones.

There are a few golden rules you can follow, though, if you're not feeling that confident. With tips on where to start, the colours to use and the areas of a room to hero, our interior design experts explain some of the ways that we mix patterns in our Houses.

Let one standout piece inspire the whole room

There are different ways to approach working multiple patterns into a decor scheme, but we find that if you fall in love with one fabric, everything else just falls into place. Then, the pattern can define the room: the colours you pull out from it, the mix of furniture, the era or style you want to emulate.

Soho House Interior Designer, Vicky Charles, says, 'We often use the pattern in a rug, fabric or wallpaper to influence the room we're designing. Once, I was desperate to include a sofa that was covered in a very bright and tricky fabric. In the end, we made the decision to go for it, and the rest of the decor just had to work around it.'

Make your choice: walls or flooring

If you have dreams of a parquet or terrazzo floor, then Meireles recommends keeping your walls free from pattern. 'When designing a House, we tend to use print on either the walls or the floor, not both. A statement floor is usually our choice, as wallpaper can be divisive,' she says. 'Some people love it, while others hate it. So, I would only use it as an accent and not for a whole room.'

Mixing scales

There are so many ways you can mix pattern, and part of that process is intuitive. But avoiding two same scale patterns next to each other is a simple rule to stick to.

'Always place, for example, a cushion with a large-scale pattern next to one with an intricate one,' says Soho House Lead Designer, Severine Lammoglia. 'It's about mixing the size and busyness of the patterns, as much as anything else.'

Choose a uniting colour scheme

Selecting which types of patterns work together can be tricky, but Soho Home's Interior Style Manager, Candy Murray, suggests switching your focus to colour, instead of design.

'An easy way to mix print is to focus on an overarching colour palette and stay within that,' she explains. 'For example, if you like a cushion with a floral pattern that has a pink tone running through it, you could place it next to a checked or striped cushion in the same pink. It's about picking out one subtle colour and using that on other pieces.

'If you highlight that colour again somewhere else in the room, like in a lampshade or on a rug, then you get that feeling of harmony. It's that Soho House look: curated without being too matchy.'

Think about perspective

If you've chosen a patterned fabric that you're ready to splash all over a sofa or on some statement drapes, Lammoglia recommends seeing it in the flesh first.

'Looking at a sample won't be enough to understand the effect it will have on the room,' she says. 'My advice is to try and see a piece like this in a showroom, because patterns can really warp when blown up. Sometimes they become more intense, while others get lost.'