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Top 15 Common Patterns

Sometimes the biggest challenge in searching for the perfect “something” is not knowing the correct name for the picture you have in your mind. To help solve that challenge, we’ve gathered 15 of the most common home decor patterns. Several, such as stripes and polka dots are familiar, but we also show examples of trending patterns, such as chevron and ikat, and explain the differences between similar patterns, such as plaid and argyle. In the home, these patterns are primarily used in fabrics (bedding, upholstery, window treatments, etc.), but can also be found on everything from rugs to dinnerware.
Home Decor Patterns

1. Stripes

Stripes are parallel bands or lines on a contrasting background. Pinstripes are very thin stipes that are reminiscent of menswear fabric.

Home Decor Patterns

2. Chevron

Chevron is a V-shaped, zigzag pattern, primarily of two colors. 

Home Decor Patterns

3. Ikat

Ikat is an Indonesian, woven pattern that can vary widely. Its signature intricate design is often created by tie-dyeing.

Home Decor Patterns

4. Scales

A scale design features overlapping arcs. This pattern is also sometimes called clamshells.

Home Decor Patterns

5. Geometric

Geometric is a broad category that includes all patterns depicting graphic shapes. Most patterns that are not organic, abstract, floral, or natural are geometric. 

Home Decor Patterns

6. Floral

A floral pattern describes any print that is decorated with flowers, including abstract representations. 

Home Decor Patterns

7. Damask

Damask is a woven, repeating pattern that typically features a very ornate, decorate look. 

Home Decor Patterns

8. Plaid

Plaid is a checkered, tartan pattern of different colors woven in a cross-barred style.

Home Decor Patterns

9. Houndstooth

Houndstooth is a two-tone pattern characterized by broken checks. The abstract four-pointed shapes resemble a dog's tooth. 

Home Decor Patterns

10. Quatrefoil

Quatrefoil is a medieval geometric pattern that features a four-lobed, cloverleaf-like pattern.

See Editors' Picks for Quatrefoil Decor

Home Decor Patterns

11. Trellis

Trellis features an interlocking, lattice-like pattern.

Home Decor Patterns

12. Animal Print

Animal print is a fairly self-explanatory category of patterns that most commonly includes exotic animals, such a zebra, leopard, and cheetah. 

Home Decor Patterns

13. Paisley

Paisley is a cluster of droplet-like shapes. This pattern has Persian and Indian origins.

Home Decor Patterns

14. Argyle

Argyle is a pattern of interlocking diamonds in solid and outline shapes. It's often a knitted pattern on a single background color. 

Home Decor Patterns

15. Polka Dots

Polka dots are a sprinkling of filled circles, generally equally sized and spaced close together.

See Editors' Picks for Polka Dot Decor

A good rule of thumb when mixing patterns is to start with three. Choose patterns that are in the same color family and similar in intensity, but vary in scale—one large pattern, one medium, and one small. 

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