First, there are really no wrong or right ways to deal with patterns. Just like paint colors which are easy to change so are patterns as long as they are provided by the accessory items. Choosing large furniture pieces with patterns can get too busy so now for rule number two.
When choosing patterns for sofas or chairs, try not to match but look for a common unifying element. It could be the repetition of a color or a different scale of the same pattern. Mix it up following the first rule which will provide for a visual point of reference without being too busy.
Thirdly, patterns can add great interest in a room but if everything in the room has a pattern it can be overwhelming. Accessories are the easier way to introduce patterns as they can be changed out easier, with less expense. If patterns are introduced through the curtains or rugs, look for scale of patterns or that much sought after effect, when 1+1 equals a “wow”. Country French can do this with great impact, floral being the common theme.
Modern furniture is known for its clean, simple lines and lack of ornamentation. While patterns wouldn’t seem to be a consideration for a modern living room, patterns can be considered beyond just the application of material. It can include the placement of a grouping of ultra-modern mirrors or vases of varying size and shape.
This same clustering of similar elements can be used for art pieces as well. Unless you are hanging a large piece on the wall, a single picture can look a bit forlorn. Adding several together creates a dramatic focal point providing maximum impact at a minimal price.
Patterns can also be provided by the finishes of materials. Shiny reflective surfaces create a pattern if placed next to each other as well as working as a contrast to other surfaces in the room. Popular today is weathered wood allowed to remain as natural as possible. This juxtaposition of surfaces creates another layer of patterns in the room. This brings a design quality to your living room that reflects a level of sophistication and confidence that you can both follow the rules and make up your own to showcase your unique style.