Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to easily mix decorating styles

Whether because you and your partner have different styles, or because you love furnishing and decor from all eras, mixing styles does not need to be a battle.  In fact, I often find transitional and mixed interiors to create the most satisfying "oooohhhhh" moments in someone's home.

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind though, when mixing styles.

A. Choose sides.  Don't give styles equal love.  If you have an equal amount of mid-century mod pieces mixed in with your Victorian antiques, the space will not look harmonious, but rather just poorly designed.  Pick one style to have more presence in your space, and use the other style for accent furnishings or accessories.

I believe the dining room above is by SFGirlByBay

3 images above via Houzz

This dining room is a perfect example of the perfect "imbalance." The room is predominately mid century modern, with what appears to be a Japanese antique buffet, and Japanese prints on the wall.

How cool is this Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair Ă†gget Stol in an otherwise traditional/country room?
image via Houzz
Different styles can get along!
(the tufted club chair is on sale at  Joss & Main)

B.  Change.  An unusual paint or reupholstery job can transform a drap victorian antique into a truly stunning contemporary piece.  That doesn't mean you need to go kitschy with hot-pink for the wooden legs and arms or your wingback, but a glossy coat of lacquer and a more modern, bright fabric can make more traditional pieces a wonderful addition to a room dominated by modern furniture.

image via Houzz

How gorgeous is that settee and wingback?  The modern lucite coffee table and modern lamp don't distract because they aren't fighting for attention with the traditional elements of the room.  While the picture frames are traditional in shape, the presentation and color is modern.

C. EDIT and KEEP IT SIMPLE Some adages and rules stick because the work! Too much clutter and too many knick knacks are going to have your space looking dustier and mustier than a cat lady's, no matter how beautiful your accessories and furnishings.  If you want one of your favorite antique lamps to shine, the worst thing you could do would be suffocate it with too many other accessories, especially of mixed styles.

image via Apartment Therapy

image via Apartment Therapy *disclosure: this post in partnership with


Anonymous said...

I believe the concept will take a lot more balancing than what was showing in these pictures. It can be done much better. said...

Great post! I love vintage pieces especially mid century modern but I found it difficult to mix them with modern furniture. I made many mustakes when I was trying to figure it out:-)

Louise Austin said...

I agree great post!


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