How To:

Mix Color and Pattern in a Boy's Room

Playing with a mix of patterns and colors brings a room to life. Classic, timeless patterns such as plaids, checks and stripes are perfect for a boy's bedroom. There are many ways to combine patterns and colors to achieve the look you want.


Patterns add energy and personality to a room. Coordinated bedding sets make it easy to mix patterns and colors, such as solid and striped sheets layered with a sports-themed duvet cover and madras shams. One or two fun prints can set the tone for the whole space. You can even extend pattern to the walls. Brown striped shams mixed with brown star-printed bedding might inspire you to paint stripes of tonal browns or stencil stars on the walls. Be sure to balance patterns with solid colors.

Combine patterns of different scales: pair a large print with pinstripes and small stars, for instance. Limit your pattern mix to three or four, so the room doesn't look too busy, and try to find ways to incorporate them into accents such as decorative pillows, printed storage containers or even something as subtle as curtain tiebacks.


Once you decide on your favorite patterns, you can easily establish a color palette for the room by pulling out colors from the designs. You can choose just one and use tonal variations of it on the walls and elsewhere, or pick out two or three and create a broader, more playful palette.

Don't forget that in addition to textiles, paint and accessories, the color of your furniture can create bold contrasts and have a considerable impact on the overall feeling of the room. White-painted furniture will create a very different feel than a rich espresso-stained collection.