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Step-by-Step Guide to Mix Design Styles like a Pro

Posted by Watson's on May 28, 2021 8:00:00 AM

lvr2transitional-1138One of the questions our interior designers hear often: “Can you get away with mixing different styles of furniture?”

The answer: Absolutely! Your home is a reflection of your personal style. 

There are no decorating or design rules that are written into law. Design “rules” are simple suggestions based on what usually works well. You can bend or even break the rules, because it’s your space.  

In fact, most homes mix styles to some degree. Farmhouse is a perfect example of how this can be done in a way that’s effortless, cozy and sophisticated.

Too much mixing and your eye doesn’t know where to go, though, leaving the space chaotic or busy. 

Below are five tips to mix design styles, but still have a space that feels cohesive, intentional and stylish: 

Did you know that Watson's sells both indoor and outdoor furniture, as well as accessories? Our design staff even offers free design consultations in participation locations. Contact us now. 

1. Create a Pinterest board of aesthetics, pieces of furniture or looks that you love. 

Search for home photos, design styles or the furniture you have in mind. Don’t think about the style or if it goes together. Just pin what you like. 

Once you have at least a dozen photos or so, look for common themes. Do your pinned photos have a certain color tone, bright splashes of color or certain design finishes, like vintage details? 

Write those common themes down. 


2. Start with a neutral background. 

This gives you more room to add style and catch the eye with the accessories and furniture you choose, without becoming too busy. 

You can still add bold accents or even one accent wall. 

One simple, neutral color across most of the space, though, will help bring the space together and feel unified as one room -- even if the items within it are mixed. 


3. Seek out common themes -- like colors or wood types. 

This is where your Pinterest board comes in handy. 

Each furniture piece should have a companion with something in common -- a color, a style, finish or a similar shape. That will help bring the room together to make it a cohesive space. 

If it’s the same color shade, or a matching wood type, it can tie the pieces together. 

If you pair a traditional armchair with a modern sectional, the two will look best if they’re in the same shade. 

4. Let your unique or character pieces stand out. 

Some people try to hide these bold pieces. They worry it doesn’t “fit” and tuck that piece into a corner. Often, that actually makes it stick out like a sore thumb. 

Instead, make that character piece your focal point. Arrange the room around it. 

If it’s a piece of artwork, hang it in a position that’s highly visible, like overall the fireplace or sofa. 

If it’s a bold case, set it on the coffee table in the center of the room. 

5. Spread the wealthy equally. 

One of the common mistakes our designers see when people mix styles: They don’t distribute the style equally. 

One half of the room is contemporary, while the other half is Mid-Century Modern, or all the unique pieces are grouped together on a single bookcase. 

That can feel overwhelming or cluttered. It will look best if you strategically incorporate the pieces and styles throughout the room. 


More helpful resources: 

Topics: Indoor Furniture - Living Room

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