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.
Put this into practice by using vintage wooden furniture and artwork to anchor 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.
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.
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?).
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 a 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.
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.
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.