Are Prints the New Neutrals

Move over, black, white, gray and oatmeal, and make room for the new neutrals: prints.

We’re talking stripes, chevrons, leopard spots and more. Mix them, match them and layer them—and immediately add personality, sophistication and visual depth to a space.

If you’re ready to mix it up, follow Havenly designer Heather Goerzen’s tips on how to use prints together—or separately—in ways that won’t overwhelm your home:

Keep It Consistent

Mix and match prints to your heart’s content, but work within your overarching room palette to maintain consistency.

“When in doubt, play within simpler color schemes,” Heather says.

She suggests tried-and-true formulas like black and white or relaxed blues and neutrals.


Create Contrast

When all your prints are the same size or cover the same amount of area, the result is one-dimensional and dull.

The fix: Pair a larger, more dominant pattern with a subtle, repeating motif. “It’s the balance of intricate designs and simple patterns that creates a cohesive and visually pleasing aesthetic,” Heather says.

Classic stripes and geometric prints are easy to incorporate in your curation of prints.

Do Yourself a Solid

Mixing prints can add dynamic energy and visual interest to a space, “but there is such a thing as too many,” Heather says. “Don’t go overboard with a pattern on anything and everything.”

Create visual resting space by incorporating some solids into your mix. Pull the solid color from the print or choose something that complements it.

By including solids, you help your favorite prints pop even more.

Let Texture Talk

Patterns aren’t just for textiles or wallpapers anymore.

Textures are essentially patterns in three dimensions.

Think of a neutral pillow in a chunky wool weave or a richly grained marble. They create visual movement and flow without looking too busy or conspicuous.

Share the Love

Create cohesion in your space by spreading various patterns throughout, rather than limiting them to one area.

If you confine patterns to a single focal point, says Heather, “the result can start to feel visually heavy and lopsided.”

And achieving balance is what it’s all about.

Start Small

If you’re still intimidated by the thought of layering prints, limit the stakes.

For now, don’t aim to mix prints that cover a large area—like a sofa,king-sized bedspread or wallpaper.

Go for small-investment pieces with small footprints, such as throw pillows, small rugs and blankets. Then swap them around until you get the mix of patterns you prefer.


Courtesy of Staci Sturrock at

By Style Bestie

Super busy mom