Style Secret: Layered PatternsThe preppy look is collected and curated, and a genteel mix of patterns lends itself to the aesthetic. Plaid is the iconic preppy print, but you also can't go wrong with stripes, houndstooth, gingham checks or herringbone, topped off with a tasteful needlepoint pillow or two. The key to mixing patterns is to pay attention to the scale and palette — too many large-scale prints will overwhelm each other; a bunch of small-scale ones can get lost. Colors don't have to match, but they should at least stay in the same family.Updated twist: Offset patterned pieces with textural elements to enhance the visual depth. In this breakfast area, basket-weave chairs complement the plaid banquette beautifully.