8 Tips for Mixing Decorating Styles

Wednesday, January 27 at 10:20 AM
Category: Personal Finance

When decorating your home, too matchy-matchy looks impersonal and like a showroom. The trend now is to mix styles – like traditional, modern, rustic, antique, shabby chic, etc. – for a customized look. But, if you do it wrong, it can look like cluttered mishmash. Here are tips to make your eclectic style look deliberate and not like you got all your furniture and accessories secondhand from grandma and flea markets.   

  • Create purposeful contrast. Contrast comes in many forms – soft/hard, round/angular, expensive/discount, chunky/slender, elegant/everyday, smooth/rough, light/dark. Since contrast draws eyeballs, place it as a focal point.
  • Use the same color palette across styles. When you have different styles, you can merge them by using the same hues. Ideally, your palette will include light, medium and dark colors. Distribute them differently between rooms. For example, if the medium color is the primary color in your living room, then make it a secondary color in your dining room. 
  • Make one style dominate. An even split of décor between your decorating styles of choice is chaotic. When you make one style dominate and the other style(s) accent, you make the scene rest easier on the eyes. 
  • Find a unifying element. Have two big pieces you’re dying to use, but they’re different styles? Find a third piece that incorporates aspects, like color, from the two individual pieces in order to unify them. 
  • One piece, multiple styles. Designers now days are creating unpredictable elements that have the shape of one style but made of material or color typically found in another style. Don’t be afraid to become a designer yourself by refurbishing your own items and transforming them into a piece that intersects styles. Have an antique chair that just doesn’t work with your modern décor? Paint or/and reupholster it for an updated look. The shape and design will maintain its original character, but the updated color or/and upholstery will help it fit the space better. 
  • Layer it. The concept of layering isn’t reserved for your winter wardrobe. When you layer in home décor put multiple pieces touching (or very close together) so as a whole it appears to be one idea. Think three accessories in different styles all grouped on a table. Or, a side chair with a throw blanket and throw pillow, again, all in differing genres.  
  • Scale it. You can tie together furniture of different styles when the size of the furniture is about the same. A bunch of mismatched chairs around a table can look put together when the chairs are all about the same size. 
  • Balance. Have an antique desk from your grandmother you want to display? Pull it out of the attic, but remember to also incorporate other antique items throughout the room to visually balance out the style amidst your traditional décor. 
By tastefully mixing decorating styles, you can put your personal stamp on your home! 

Article edited by Blog Admin 3/14/16.

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