I bet you’ve heard style names ranging from modern farmhouse to mid century modern to shabby chic. But what is your decorating style? Now days it’s more commonplace to incorporate multiple styles into your home decor than to stick with just one. Although natural to be attracted to elements of various decor styles, it can be intimidating mixing elements that appear so different. I’ve compiled some tips on how to get started in successfully mixing styles along with sharing some inspiring pictures.
- Start Small – The best way to get started in mastering the mix in home decor is to start small. Pick a small surface area or corner (mantel, beside table, reading corner, shelf, entry table, etc.) and play around with items you either already have or collect some. Going with a whole room right away can feel overwhelming whereas smaller areas let you experiment and see what’s working and what’s not, in a condensed version.
- Take Clues – Use what you already have or what can’t be changed as a starting point. If a space is feeling too put together, add something rustic. If a space is feeling too new, add something vintage. Have an old hand me down dining table but you want the room to feel cleaner and more current? What about adding some bright coloured modern chairs and a simple geometric print area rug underfoot.
You can add emphasis to a certain piece you have in a room by making it feel contrasting to everything else. If you love what you have, compliment it with contrasting elements so it stands out, but if you have some piece of furniture you hate but can’t replace, make something else steal the show and draw the eye away. It’s all in the mix.
- Go With Your Gut – Don’t shy away from what you are drawn to. Maybe you have your eye on a modern light fixture but aren’t sure it’ll suit the space. It’s better to love what you live with than to be worried about everything coordinating just so. If it’s something you just can’t live without, chances are there are other corresponding elements you just have to have, to go with it too. It’s easier to work in elements that you are drawn to than to start with nothing to go off of, so go with your gut and get that thing.
- Repeat Elements – The next way to master the mix is to repeat elements so that there is something to pull some aspects together in a mixed styled space. Consider repeating something of similar shape, colour, weight or texture to a room or connecting room to help balance out something like that modern light fixture you weren’t sure would go. Your eye naturally looks for patterns so when elements are repeating it makes a space look more harmonious.
This can be especially important if you’re blending a collection of styles, working in an open concept floor plan or have some wild pieces to connect. Don’t worry about being all matchy-matchy, but rather use one element to tie a few things together like in the picture above. The light fixtures may be completely different styles, but using similar shapes helps create some unity amongst the mix.
- Forget Design Rules and Titles. Worried that your room doesn’t fall into a modern farmhouse or mid century modern style? Don’t sweat it! Rules are meant to be broken and titles limit a spaces potential. Group things irregularly, hang art at unusual heights and combine elements that aren’t normally seen together. Breaking design rules and combining elements from across various styles help create a space that’s both interesting to look at and fun to live in!
- Dare To Be Different. The most intriguing spaces are ones that have taken risks and tried something different. Combine things that have meaning to you, use textures and colours that fascinate you and mix up the scale of items in a space to add visual interest. Have fun with it and if something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to switch it out and try something else.
If you have questions with this mixed style thing, don’t hesitate to ask for advice! Contact me here with a picture and I’ll offer you some free expert advice.
Dare to be different with your home decor – it’s all in the mix!