sneak peeks

10 Times Homeowners Power Clashed Like Pros

by Grace Bonney


One of my favorite 30 Rock moments of all time is when Jack Donaghy meets his future self who has mastered “power clashing” with his patterned ties and shirts. I think about power clashing a lot and how deeply I envy people who have mastered it. Lena Corwin was one of the first people I knew who could effortlessly mix patterns of different styles, colors and sizes and I am still trying to master that skill (unsuccessfully) to this day. While the general rules hold true (be sure to mix pattern sizes, like-colored patterns work together), I find true power clashing tends to be a skill people either have or don’t. Since I fall into the latter category, today I’m celebrating 10 amazing rooms from DS home tours that celebrate pattern clashing in a big way. My hat is off to these masters of artful clashing. xo, grace

Image above from David and Rumaan’s Brooklyn home tour


Suzanna and Mick’s children’s room mixes patterns in the form of bedding and a rug that share a common blue accent color. 

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Emily’s Edinburgh home is full of so many amazing power-clashing moments. 

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Jeremy and Ali’s home is full of bold textiles that share accent colors and add a big punch of color to each room. 


Nadia and Mark’s plaid wallpaper and Moroccan rug work together because of their similar grey, black and cream color palette. 


Jonathan Adler’s creative director Benjamin works a variety of blue and black-toned prints together in the bedroom. 


Shawn and Jamie’s home contrasts a bold blue and white wallpaper with two beautiful rugs in shades of blue. 


Christina’s living room proves that pillows with different patterns can work together when the color palette is kept neutral with only a few pops of color. 


Carley and Jonathan’s family room is boho power clashing at its finest.


Joey and Mark prove that vintage shop owners know a thing or two about combining patterns. 

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  • Love these examples! The rugs in the kitchen are perfect. I need to do that. I’m so afraid of pattern precisely because I fear clashing in a bad way, but maybe I shouldn’t be so afraid. These look amazing!

  • I would agree that I do not have the ability to pull this type of look off, in my mind it just looks too cluttered when I do it. Although, I have discovered that mixing of home decor styles gives a similar feel but it is a lot easier to pull off.

  • Excellent examples of mixing patterns tastefully. What fun it was to look through all of these and realize I am doing pretty good.

    Great learning experience, this article is.

  • I think a lot of these utilize solid base furniture that minimize clashing which is a really great way to start out if you’re a little hesitant. I also don’t think creating a power clashing home is instantaneous either (unless you hire a decorator) but rather takes time and rearranging which build confidence to create more clash-combos.

  • Oh , these are fantastic. I think I can identify in each photo why it “works” — that is, it’s not completely random. There are pattern themes, color themes, etc. In my mind I imagine myself as a chic minimalist, but in reality this is much more my style. Thanks!

  • David and Rumaan’s home is a master class in mixing pattern. I don’t know how it all works, but it does and it’s so happy and beautiful! I can’t seem to move beyond stripes :/ Some day I will go nuts and introduce a floral!

  • I have been trying to master this for my entire adult life! While I am definitely getting better at is, I definitely have power clashing envy with these rooms. They are way above my skill level and everything I adore. I also have to tread carefully around a husband to thinks rooms like the first one shown here are way too busy. I personally love it! One thing I have learned over the years with regards to mixing patterns is when you really love something, there is always a way to make it work!