Brittany Blake Interiors | Houston Interior Design

"Embrace interior design pattern without breaking a sweat."

Interior design pattern and texture are critical decorating elements. Incorporating them into a design scheme brings a greater level of interest and sophistication to the plan.


Many people freeze up at the thought of pattern mixing. If you understand the basics, though, this will be one fewer thing for you to worry about.

There are basically four types of pattern:

• Geometric

• Floral

• Motif

• Pictorial

Successfully mixing pattern also requires an understanding of scale and density. As you become familiar with these concepts you will be well on your way to creating beautiful design schemes that will wow your guests.

Geometric Pattern

I love stripes. This type of geometric pattern is decorative yet it can also serve the purpose of deceiving the eye. It’s a great space manipulation tool.

Vertical stripes make a surface appear taller – something to remember for low ceiling rooms. On the other hand, horizontal stripes create the sense of width.

Another example of geometric pattern is a check design. Checks are versatile and can fit within a wide range of settings both formal and casual.


A crisp, clean, tone-on-tone pattern could be perfect for upholstered dining room chairs in a formal setting. Conversely, a gingham check would be great for a casual, country house setting.

Floral Pattern

This is perhaps the easiest interior design pattern to recognize. As its name suggests, the focus is on flowers of all kinds. This may or may not be your personal favorite. Everyone has different tastes. Always go with what you like.

A floral pattern can definitely provide a softer touch to a design scheme. If you are using multiple floral patterns together in a design scheme the possibility exists for visual busy-ness. If you find this is the case, you can calm the action down with the addition of some geometric stripes or checks elsewhere in the design scheme as shown above. The striped window fabric, solid colored, bed pillows and the checked upholstery on the bench tone down the busy floral pattern on the coverlet. The overall effect looks balanced and pulled together.

A floral interior design pattern is especially useful for conveying a sense of historical or period style – like the elegant Swedish Gustavian look, for example. Floral patterns can be a great choice for a more laid back country style, too. 

Motif Pattern

In the visual sense a motif refers to a repeated image. I’ve seen many rooms decorated in a motif style pattern. I’m sure you can think of instances in your life as well. A motif interior design pattern can be representational or abstract.

Representational designs are based on nature – moon, stars, shells, flowers and the like. Picture a bathroom with a reoccurring sea shell design. Perhaps sea shells are stenciled or papered along the top of the walls like a border. A sea shell-shaped dish cradles the soap. This is an example of representational motif.


Abstract designs are based on geometrically formed shapes. A polka dot or paisley pattern would be a couple examples of an abstract motif.

A motif interior design pattern can be used to inject a strong sense of theme and unity in an overall design scheme.

A motif can be introduced through fabrics, wall coverings flooring and even through accessories placed around the room.

Pictorial Pattern

Pictorial Pattern, while similar to motif pattern, is more scenic in nature. It can be used to provide themed anchoring to a particular era or style.

A pictorial interior design pattern could be whimsical in nature – a jungle theme in a child’s bedroom, for example.

It could also be a bit more grown up. An example might be draperies with images of Greek urns in a kitchen environment – tying in with other Greek and Mediterranean elements in the space.

Another possibility could be fabric depicting an old English hunting scene used on the draperies of an office/den. This choice would project a decidedly masculine flair to the space.

And yet another example would be the use of toile de Jouy in a living room. This fabric with images from the French and English country side brings to mind rural, European refinement.

If you’re unsure about using a pictorial interior design pattern, try starting out small. Some throw pillows would be a good starting point. Over time you can build it up to the point where you reach the right balance in the overall design scheme.


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