Cozy Sheets + How To Layer Patterns

I want to mix and match my bedding more in 2010, how about you? I need to live on the edge a little (smile) because there is nothing sweeter than slipping into a gorgeous bed after a long day, especially one that is alive with pattern and color. In addition to giving you a few how to tips for layering patterns, I'd love to share with you a few of my bedding favorites at Anthropologie. Aren't these sweet? Lemons, pears, limes... I can feel Spring just looking at these despite the cold temps and snow outside.

Layering Linens

Do you ever wonder if there is a secret to mixing patterns so that it looks good versus goofy? I wrote a little pattern mixing how-to nearly four years ago, but it's still relevant so feel free to browse my suggestions here. I'll leave you with a quick and dirty version below in case you don't feel like reading the rather lengthy original post.

Tips:

  • Use patterns that coordinate somehow, working off of the same color palette. Let's experiment with three patterns in this example.
  • For your first layer, incorporate either a solid or a small understated print into the mix for a foundation.
  • For the next layer go for a favorite pattern, perhaps something floral or geometric. Make sure you have at least one coordinating color from your "foundation" pattern in this one. You can go as bold as you'd like with pattern or simple - opt for medallions, a check or a pin stripe. Look for a mid to large size pattern.
  • Now for the third layer, this is where you'll play with scale a little. Look for a pattern that complements your second layer but on a smaller scale (at least 50% smaller).
  • Example: I like to start with my solids first, so a solid or tiny understated pattern on my fitted sheet. Next, either use the large or the small pattern for the top sheet, then add your pillows in the pattern that is left. I usually go with a large pattern for the top sheet and a smaller one for the pillows. But you can mix all of this up however it appears to you visually. You can even layer in four or more patterns with many different pillowcases and throw pillows.
  • I use solid color duvet on top, usually white or cream, with a floral or geometric pattern of the same color (white or cream so that it's understated) or I find a cover with some texture - which I think makes the overall mix look pulled together and neat.

If you would like to explain how you layer patterns on your bed, please comment as I'd love to learn of your technique and may find it to be much easier than my own!

(images: anthropologie)