Illustration: Rebecca Atwood

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Mistake #6: Omitting Context

As with colors and texture, it's helpful to have a base that you can mix and match with anything. The base isn't necessarily the star of a story, but it is the background information needed to complete the story. Stripes, geos, dots and ditsy prints are your pattern's basic best friends. These basics, also called coordinate prints, can and should tie back to the color or theme of whatever more dramatic piece you're including.

Excerpted from Living with Pattern by Rebecca Atwood. Copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Atwood. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.