Country living Perfect Patterns for Walls, Floors, Fabrics and Furniture, by Marie Proeller Hueston, $22; Hearst. Does the thought of checks, stripes and florals in the same room send chills down your spine? Relax! The editors of Country Living magazine share proven tips for mixing patterns that live well together and make for fabulous design. A few of their many tips: Group patterns using a common scheme (one or two colours work best); space out dominant patterns to keep them harmonious; and relegate bold patterns to the smaller elements in a room, like pillows or bedskirts, so they shine, not shout.

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