6 Tips for Mixing Interior Design Styles Together

Vintage style bedroom with a contemporary bed

When decorating or redecorating your home, it can be easy to get swept up in following design “rules”. But in reality, almost no one has a perfectly coordinated interior design style. And frankly, a mixture of different aesthetics is what makes a home unique!

Whether you’re struggling to merge your style with your roommate’s, trying to blend a mixture of unique furniture pieces, or simply love different aspects from a variety of decorating styles, there are helpful hints and design ideas you can use to achieve a finished look that’s cohesive and attractive.

Tip #1: Choose a primary style and a secondary style

Some designers refer to this as the 80/20 rule. In other words, choose one style that will serve as the overarching presence in a room. This means that likely most of the furniture pieces and fixtures will adhere to one style, while a secondary style is reserved for statement furniture or accent pieces like art, table décor, or throw pillows.

Margy of theoldhouseonmain puts this into practice by using vintage wooden furniture and artwork to anchor her primary style, and then incorporating our modern Lottie Upholstered Platform Bed Frame as a focal point. Collectively, the bedroom feels almost like a cottage style B&B, while the sleek silhouette and square-stitched upholstery of the bed gives it a slightly more modern spin.

Vintage style bedroom with contemporary bed

Tip #2: Got one piece that doesn’t go? Make it the focal point!

Oftentimes we don’t choose every piece of furniture or décor in our homes. Some of them find us unexpectedly, like the antique piano passed down from your great aunt or the giant, ornately framed landscape painting that came with your significant other when they moved in. When you have one piece that doesn’t work with the rest, your first instinct can be to try and hide it. But by instead turning it into a statement, it gives your space a wow factor while making your design choices feel intentional.

Sometimes a large antique can play this role. Or in asherunlimited’s case, a modern turquoise Juan Armless Sofa becomes the star among a collection of more vintage style pieces.

Living room with antiques and a contemporary sofa

Tip #3: Choose a theme

There’s perhaps no better way to unify mismatched styles in a room than with a theme. This will shift the focus to the “world” you’re trying to create and downplay styles that might otherwise clash. When you’re immersed in a space that feels like a beach house or cozy mountain lodge, you're unlikely to notice if a few furniture pieces don’t match.

This tactic works especially well in a kids’ room (what kid wouldn’t love a room that captures their current obsession?). Farrah of mamabirdandtribe bridged the gap between modern nightstands and our more traditional Becky Wood Platform Bed by choosing a rainbow theme for her daughter’s bedroom.

Rainbow themed girl's room

Tip #4: Create balance

This is more of a general guideline for designing any space, but when mixing styles it’s especially important. Visually, our eyes crave balance and symmetry. You can do this in a room by:

  • Varying the heights of fixtures and furnishings
  • Giving heavier pieces an equally heavy counterpart on the opposite end of a wall or side of the room
  • Creating negative space by paring down clutter

In cutertudor‘s small living space, varying heights create a visually interesting scene. An array of evenly spaced elements on a console table along with thoughtfully placed wall hangings and floor décor create balance without overwhelming the room. And the sleek, contemporary Jocelyn Armless Sofa serves as a staple piece that fits right in.

Small living room with farmhouse elements

Tip #5: Use a consistent color palette

A great way to bridge the gap between opposing styles is to stick with a few consistent colors throughout the room. Repeating the same 2-4 accent colors will add cohesion.

Jessi of thegoodwrench demonstrates this by bringing in pops of blue and orange with her wall art and throw pillows on top of the Athena Upholstered Platform Bed Frame.

Bed with colorful pillows and colorful painting above it

Tip #6: Rules are made to be broken

If you follow any kind of interior design guidebook, well, you’re probably wondering if mixing design styles is even allowed! But we’re here to tell you that it absolutely is. Contrast is what makes a room interesting and inviting. So don’t get too hung up on any one “rule” that experts give you. At the end of the day, your home should be a place you enjoy looking at and being in. If it looks right to you, then it’s right. Period!

Types of home décor styles that mix well

Again, we’re not here to tell you which styles you can and cannot mix. But if you could benefit from a little inspiration, here are a few combinations we think might just be made for each other.

Traditional and industrial

Industrial style bedroom with traditional accents

Pairing a more minimalist style with one that’s more fanciful is often a slam dunk. That’s why the clean and angular look of industrial style pairs beautifully with the classic and sometimes ornate elements of traditional design. Above, Emily of handmade.farmhouse uses a neutral color scheme and mixture of wood and metal (with help from our Eli Platform Bed) that are characteristically industrial and pairs them with an elegantly detailed rug and curved silhouettes for added traditional charm.

Traditional and mid century

Mid century living room with traditional sofas

Mid century design puts heavy focus on connecting to nature with earthen materials and colors. Elisabeth.eden draws inspiration from this style with a wood media console and end table, earthy toned accent wall, and plenty of natural light. Paired with softly curved Josh Sofas and a decorative area rug, she demonstrates just how a mid century foundation can blend effortlessly with traditional pieces.

Glam and contemporary

Glam and contemporary bedroom

Contemporary is one of the most adaptable interior decorating styles. With a minimalistic approach that highlights openness and neutral tones, it complements just about any secondary style you choose to pair with it. Glam style, on the other hand, emphasizes lavishness and fashion-forwardness with luxurious textures and glitzy materials. Jodi of houseonasugarhill put the two together to update her master bedroom, with stunning results. Our glam-inspired Annette Upholstered Platform Bed Frame takes center stage against a backdrop of silky drapes. A black and white area rug and simple dresser tone down the overall look to further emphasize the bed as the focal point.