Print on print: How to mix things up in your home

Prints are back and they're better than ever. This season's incarnation sees a move toward mixing up colours, patterns and textures in the home rather than sticking to one main print source, however getting this look right takes some effort.

Make your home look trendy and chic, rather than jumbled and cluttered, with these tips to mix up your prints.


The easiest way to add a bold source of print in one fell swoop is by coating walls in printed wallpaper. Consider this to be the base that anchors the rest of the room. With that in mind, you'll want to carefully consider the colours and style of the wallpaper so you can incorporate elements of it throughout the rest of your decor.

Resene Walltrends II 25206 is one wallpaper that demands attention. It's got a deep purple base covered in a yellow, brown and black leaf design, giving it an almost Hawaiian feel. The large print would work well alongside smaller textured items, like a golden yellow cushion or black and brown throw rug. As the wallpaper is so bold and unique, too many other patterns in contrasting colours may make it seem overly busy. Stick to a more subtle stripe in harmonious colours instead, or smaller patterns to let the walls take centre stage.

If you do feel like going all out with the rest of your furnishings, a subtly patterned wallpaper may better suit your requirements. Look for a neutral colour with an interesting design, such as the Anaglypta 2011 RD0137. This embossed lace-like pattern makes a splash without dominating a room, leaving you free to add other feminine designs like florals through artwork or even curtains. The white walls allow you to make more of an impact with colour, too.


The best way to ensure mixed prints blend seamlessly within a room is to ensure colours are harmonious. That doesn't mean decking a space out in exactly the same colours within prints, but considering how different hues work together to make a space attractive. 

Colour wheels can help make this easier. Colours directly opposite each other on the wheel usually look great together, as do those shades sitting next to each other. A blue and orange directly opposite each other, for example, will provide a stunning contrast when used within prints. 

Alternatively, select a neutral base colour like cream or light grey and work colours around this. 


If you decide to keep walls plain and without patterns, introduce prints through your furniture. Reupholster couches in bold fabrics, whether it features large swirling florals or modern stripes, and add some cushions within a similar colour scheme but with a smaller print. This is a cost-effective way to add this effect to your room, as you won't have to buy new furniture. You can also update the fabric if you decide to change the design or colour scheme at any stage.

Rugs are also an easy way to add prints. There are so many unusual and interesting options in stores at the moment that you could add one to every room. Just make sure you factor in the rest of your decor when purchasing a rug and decide whether the floor covering will be the largest print or whether it should take a backseat to your wallpaper.

Finally, art can be a great way to contrast prints in a home without breaking the bank. You can even make it yourself by covering blank canvases with your favourite fabrics, or paint striped or spotted designs with Resene testpots.

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