How to Mix and Match Furniture Styles
Our guest writer Diana shares some insight on mixing up design styles, which in my opinion is the recipe for adding interest in your home. Matchy matchy is so ….well yesterday right?
Interior decoration can really be a challenging task, since we usually try to stick to one style in the entire home. However, very often we can’t afford to make such substantial changes to redecorate the whole house and we are left with some traditional furniture that we have to combine with the more modern ones.
Luckily, current trends encourage people to find their own personal style, rather than rely on the ideas presented online or in magazines. Combining traditional and modern furniture styles is a perfect opportunity for you to express yourself, but at the same time, it can be a recipe for disaster.
In order to avoid ending up with a chaotic combination, you need to plan very carefully and take into account wishes of other people living with you. So, what are some of the most useful tips for combining two different furniture styles?
Let’s start with the most obvious element. Make sure you have enough money to buy all the elements you need and pay for all the work that needs to be done. Unless you have a realistic budget, you’ll end up either in debt or with an unfinished product.
Main and supporting character
The fact that you’re combining two different styles doesn’t mean they have to be present in equal measure. On the contrary, it’s advisable to choose the dominant style, which will only be accompanied by the supporting one.
The larger items in the room are the obvious choice for the main style, but you can still add some items which don’t belong to it. Try to think in terms of 80/20, where 80 percent of the main style will be complemented by 20% of the supporting one.
Create groups of items
Even items belonging to different styles can be combined successfully, provided they have something in common. That could be colour, size or texture, but there has to be a common thread connecting the elements. Once you put them together, they’ll create a combination that is more powerful than individual elements. Needless to say, to achieve the best possible result, focus on smaller items.
This is something all of us are trying to achieve in life and it comes as no surprise that we should strive to do the same when it comes to decorating. For example, your space should have equally distributed visual weight. A sofa in the middle of a large room or artwork on the wall opposite bookshelves will create a great visual balance. Also, rustic items should not be grouped, but rather distributed throughout the space.
First things first
Start by looking at the biggest items and work your way around them. Paint the walls using a neutral colour will help you combine more successfully. The largest items will dictate the main style, while those belonging to a different style will add your personal touch to the overall design and feel.
Once you’ve decided how you want to combine various elements, make sure you don’t put too many items of the same style together, but split them up and distribute evenly. Also, you should think about colours here. If you have a very colourful item that stands out from the other items in the room, make sure you repeat some of the colours in the same room, in order to provide more balance.
Create harmony or contrast
Depending on the items and ideas available, you might wish to go for either harmony or contrast in your design, but you still have to look for balance. For instance, you can decide to use modern wooden chairs with a traditional wooden table, or contemporary floor rugs with board floors, just like you can juxtapose colours and textures by pairing a traditional table with steel or metal chairs.
Choosing the focal point
The focal point is often the element which you simply can’t combine with anything else. Instead of ditching it, you might want to turn it into the focal point. If you have a light fixture which is of a different colour, size or finish from anything else in the room, it could actually be a great feature!
If possible, try to include natural materials as much as possible, since they ooze the homey vibe. Wood, stone, brick, bamboo and other materials can help you create the home of your dream if you use them wisely.
What is important to remember is that no rules about design and decorating are carved in stone. Instead, think of them as (strong) suggestions, which may or may not work for you. Every element or combination that you create is bound to be unique and if you’re satisfied with the result, your project is a success.
Managing to combine two different furniture styles and creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space is not an easy task, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Do you agree? What is your fav way to mix styles?
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