Jessica Simpson's living room ingeniously blends patterns and textures for a perfectly balanced space

Mixing and matching is not only encouraged, but celebrated when done right

Jessica Simpson
(Image credit: Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for W Magazine)

It's an age-old question: can patterns be mixed and maxed without clashing? If Jessica Simpson's living room is any indication, then the answer is a strong yes.

The actor and singer recently posted a photo of her moody sitting area, featuring a suede, geometric-patterned couch, a fuzzy chair, and a brown, marbled countertop. Somehow, the patterns and textures work with rather than against each other to create a visually pleasing outcome.

Minimalists may shudder at the thought of pairing plaid with polka-dot, but mixing patterns and textures together can be seamless when done strategically.

'Layering patterns and textures is all about balance,' says Nicole Cullum, the founder of Color Caravan. 'I generally like to use textured fabrics like a boucle, a cotton-linen blend, or performance velvet on larger upholstery pieces like lounge chairs and living room sofas.'

Nicole recommends complementing a chair or sofa with a patterned accent pillow, which has a touch of the upholstery color in the pattern design. 'I love this trick because if I get tired of a pattern, or want to change the look for a different season, I can easily swap out the pillows instead of having to go through the cost and time to reupholster my chairs or sofa.' 

A headshot of designer Nicole Cullum
Nicole Cullum

Nicole Cullum is an interior designer in Taos, New Mexico, and founder of Color Caravan, a charming hand-painted line of wallpaper, textiles, bedding, and home decor.

When it comes to layering patterns, Nicole says that playing with scale is key for ensuring nothing clashes.

'If you have a large scale pattern for your chairs, balance it out with a simple velvet colored accent pillow with a pretty trim that picks up some of the color from your larger scale chair pattern,' she says. 'The same goes in reverse. If you have a smaller scale pattern for your chairs, select a pillow that has a single large motif or medallion centered on the front and back of the pillow that compliments the smaller scale chair pattern.'

An easy way to remember scale rules is that large and large, or small and small don't give enough contrast to look sophisticated.

'Avoid putting a small scale pillow pattern on top of a small scale chair or sofa fabric. Because these two patterns are the same or similar size, they’ll blend together, or even clash in a confusing way. This also applied to larger scale patterns. Large goes with small, small goes with large.'

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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.