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Here's how I used my rules of thumb to come up with this pattern palette.
1. Pick a starting print. For my starting point I used this small zigzag pattern. I liked that the scale was smaller than the very popluar two-color zigzag we're seeing a lot of right now.
2. Build the color palette. The zigzag gave me a very easy way to build the color pattern for the room. I was able to pull black, apple green, raspberry and purple all from this pattern. The other patterns I used in the room, like the bird and the medallion patterns, do not have the exact same tones as those in my zigzag, but that's OK. Even the wall paint was not the exact same tone of raspberry. Colors need to coordinate, but they do not have be exact. Actually using lighter and darker variations of a color can give the room some interest and keep it from feeling too matchy.
3. Vary the style. Since I started with a zigzag, which is geometric, I wanted to add a floral and a more curved pattern for contrast. The paisley lent softness. The bird-with-leaves pattern and the suzani are modernized florals.
4. Vary the size of the pattern. The zigzag is small, the paisley duvet and circle accent pillow are medium, and the bird and suzani are large scale. Varying the size of patterns not only gives the room interest but is actually out of necessity. If all the patterns were the same scale, your eye would be in a tizzy not knowing which one to focus on.
I also love to add trims sometimes on pillows and drapes. On the zigzag I applied a faux leather fringe, and on the bird I added a black pleated trim. I loved how this made the pillow pop out from the wall.