Monday, July 5, 2010

Mix Furniture Styles and Accessories

One of my clients recently suggested I write an article on the benefits of mixing furniture styles and patterns in decorating. Thanks, Stephanie, I couldn't agree more!

When decorating a room, mix it up! To keep a look fresh and non-static or predictable, mix furniture styles and patterns... no matchy-matchy. Did you hear me? We often fall into the trap of keeping everything in one style and trying to match colors and patterns in our decorating. This often results in a look that is flat and lacks personality and tends to get "dated" very quickly. Remember the look of teal and maroon, overstuffed furniture???- very '80s.

If you love traditional style rooms, don't make the mistake that everything in the room has to be traditional. For example, if the traditional room has paneled walls and heavy trim, loosen up the look with a clean-lined more contemporary sofa with traditional chairs upholstered in a color or pattern that is updated. A modern abstract painting hung over a traditional chest of drawers will create drama and interest while keeping the look more timeless. Don't be afraid to use sleek, mid-century modern glass lamps on antique tables. You can mix traditional and contemporary fabrics and patterns as well. Just make sure the colors and shapes relate to one another. Lighten the floor with a bound sisal or seagrass rug. This traditional room will appear more casual and inviting- and more comfortable and interesting.

The same holds true for modern style. If the entire space is done in up-to-the minute modern style, it will start to look "over" in another year or two. Mix some of today's fabulous modern pieces that are very streamlined with classic mid-century modern pieces such as a classic "egg chair" or "barcelona chairs". Throw in a dramatic over-sized architectural fragment that has been salvaged from a building and display a large antique as if it is part of a museum collection. This modern look can reflect your own personality and have longer staying power. Besides, anybody can go "buy the room" from a store. That's not much fun. Be adventurous. Play. Have fun. Express yourself!

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