Above, a living room by Eddie Ross that’s a master study in combining colors, patterns, and eras.

The perfectly matched look does make a room feel polished, but it can often lack character. Adding a little contrast through color, pattern, or shape can have a powerful effect in such interiors, even through a small accessory. But, the process of mixing and matching can feel intimidating, especially if you’re used to approaching an interior with formal restraint. This is one area of décor that is about letting go — both of the “rules” and your own habits of what you normally incorporate in a room.

Take, for example, the above interior by Eddie Ross. While the elements at first glance feel like they shouldn’t go together, a careful study of the room reveals a distinct theme: Many of the colors were picked up from the fabulous drapes. From here, different patterns in these colors were combined, but because they have similar hues, they work. The eye harmonizes these elements, allowing the bold zebra rug and antique stool to grab the eye.

Want more inspiration for mixing and matching? Look no further than these other three spaces:

The space: A blue-and-white bedroom by Mark D. Sikes

Here’s even more proof that you can never go wrong with blue and white. In this bright and airy bedroom, a range of patterns harmonizes through a shared color palette. We also love the different textures here, from the woven rug to the polished wood.

The space: A Greenwich living room by Ashley Whittaker

This elegant living room offers a more subtle take on mixing and matching. The diamond-patterned rug contrasts with the chunky woven basket in front of the fireplace, along with the Greek-key ottoman and the Ikat pillows.

The space: Viviane in Beverly Hills, by Kelly Wearstler

Even outdoor spaces can indulge in contrast. At this Beverly Hills hot spot, a bold geometric mural counters the rounded lines of the seating in each space. The assorted upholstery patterns? Simply perfect.

If you’re inspired to start mixing and matching, start with pattern. Try one of these patterned pieces currently available at Viyet:

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