DIY Lifestyle

5 steps to decorate bold patterns and colours in your home

happy-and-co-napkin-photo-by-little-big-bellDo your eyes get drawn to bold patterns when shopping for home decor? I normally do a double take, pick up the object and then quickly put it down again. I’m always trying to visualise how I could fit such patterns into a home interior setting. I used to be indecisive but now no longer. Here are the 5 steps I have developed to give me the confidence to decorate bold patterns and colours in the home.


I was recently given a set of striking monochrome patterned napkins (above) from Happy and Co. They’re called Bondi.

Instinctively, I would have placed the napkin against a light or neutral backdrop, such as on a simple white plate. This would have taken the edge out of the design.

Instead, I tried contrasting the napkins against a bright colour, such as the ombré blue plate above. I went further by colour blocking against a bright yellow table cloth.

Can you see how the bold pattern now pops out?Decorate-bold-patterns-and-colour-at-home-image-copyright-of-geraldine-tan-little-big-bell 2. MIX PATTERNS TOGETHER IN A RANGE OF SIZES.

Be brave when you want to decorate bold patterns and colour in your home. Mix those patterns together.

My general rule of thumb is to ensure that the patterns used are smaller than the ones to be showed off.

To prevent visual chaos or competition for attention, try using the same colour palette in the patterns. This is especially so for patterns that are next to each other. I have kept with black in the display above.mix-and-match-patterns-table-setting-little-big-bellSo here you have a mix of bold patterns and colours.Decorate-bold-patterns-happy-and-co-cushion-photo-by-little-big-bellCheck out this pretty Marine Blue cushion called Newport, also from Happy and Co. Its pattern reminds me of bamboos. Can you see it too?

I’ve decided to decorate my daughter’s bed with the cushions.


I mentioned previously that when mixing patterns together, ensure the patterns are smaller than the ones you want to show off and also to keep the colour palette similar when patterns are placed side by side.

However, if similar patterns were to sit on top of one another, or be layered against each other, then keeping the same colour palette could dilute the effect of that pattern.

In the photo above, you can see that I have contrasted the blue against the light pattern of the wallpaper.

You can still have a unifying colour palette when layering patterns together, as long as they are in small doses. Take a look at my sofa here, you can see that there is a unifying palette of blues, mints and yellows in the different patterned PLAY WITH PATTERN SHAPES.

Another important rule when contrasting patterns against one another, is ensure there is a difference in the shape and direction of the patterns.

Imagine if this wall had the similar Newport pattern or the small horizontal lines from wallpaper were all running in a vertical direction, then the impact of the cushion pattern will be lost.

Try layering with subtle patterns that run at a different angle to the parent BREAK PATTERNS UP WITH COLOUR AND OBJECT.

When using a variety of patterns in a decor, it’s essential to add pieces that could also break up the patterns. It’s a way of giving the eyes a rest from a busy scene.

Add objects to create zones. Here’s where the larger pieces of furniture come into play. Try using neutral pieces that can zone off the patterns and not compete with it.

The wallpaper in the bedroom above is being framed off by the white bed, the prints on the wall and the side table.

I’ve also added some sparkly gold cushions in front of my blue Newport cushions and a green throw on the bed. These help tone down the pattern on pattern effect, and actually draws the eyes towards the design of the cushions more.decorate-patterns-and-colour-in-your-home-in-5-steps-little-big-bellThat concludes my 5 simple steps to give you instant confidence on how to decorate bold patterns and colour in your home interiors and decor.

Do check out Happy and Co for their patterned and colourful homewares.10% of the profits bought from Home and co are also invested into community led farms in Cambodia. So a great cause whilst shopping.

So, are you ready to decorate bold patterns in your home?

( All photography and styling are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a collaborative post with Happy and Co., but all my opinions are my own.)


  1. Great tips and beautiful photographs. I love bold prints and I have a lot of monochrome in my home. I hope you have a great Friday and weekend. x

  2. I love the mix of bold monochrome prints. Great styling tips!

  3. Lovely photos G! I’ve recently got a few Happy+co cushions and the graphic monochrome prints really do ‘pop’ against a bold coloured backdrop 🙂

  4. I’m not so bad at trying out bold colours, but I need to up my bold pattern game! Thanks for the lovely inspiration, Geraldine x

    • littlebigbell

      You are welcome Antonia. Looking forward to seeing your bold pattern game soon 😉

  5. Lovely ideas, Geraldine! I like the sound of Happy & Co and especially the fact that they help support farms in Cambodia. Off to check them out.

  6. Loop the Loop

    Some lovely ideas, thanks for sharing x

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