Design Guest Post

How to mix furniture styles like a pro

Guest Post: Diana Smith

Using different furniture styles can make your home look vibrant and modern. Having an eclectic taste means that you can focus on your own aesthetic and borrow what you find intriguing from a variety of styles. However, it can also look tacky if you don’t have a driving theme or a motive behind the look of your home. It’s also important to keep in mind that homes are to be lived in, and in some cases comfort is more important than aesthetics.

The 80/20 rule

This is the most important rule of mixing styles. First of all, you shouldn’t try to squeeze in more than two styles in one room, and they should stay within this 80/20 ratio. One style should definitely be dominant in order for the room not to appear thrown together and unorganized. Start by choosing pieces for the big picture, and add dissonant tones along the way. It depends on what room you’re decorating, but as a general rule, it’s better for the dominant style to be calm and simple, with the 20 percent left for bold ideas.

Colors matter

It’s difficult to determine what makes different styles work together. Sometimes it’s obvious that two pieces of furniture aren’t designed in a similar fashion. For instance, very modern, oddly shaped pieces will stand out next to classic and simple furniture. The best way to combine different styles is by color. By spreading the color across the room you make the furniture pieces feel connected, as if they were parts of the same pattern. Even if the pieces are vastly different in size and style, the similarity in color will unify them.

A focal point

A well-chosen focal point can help you find the focus of a bold mix of furniture styles. This point will be the center of the room, and if you fit the rest of the furniture around it, the differences in style will become less noticeable. The focal point can be determined by the architecture of the room, or you can create it yourself. The easiest way to create such a focal point is to use the largest piece of furniture in the room. For most rooms, this piece is the rug. Use floor rugs to create a point that will help you combine styles seamlessly.


Another way of creating a sense of unity between the different styles in your apartment is by focusing on the shape of the furniture. Even if the furniture pieces are in different color and come from different styles, a sense of theme can be established by using the same shape. Bear in mind, though, that this can also make the room appear stagnant, or even boring. That’s why such an approach should be mitigated by adding a few bold touches that feel out of place and add interest to your design.

Your intuition

In the end, you need to know that decoration rules aren’t written in stone and that you can always improvise and go with your gut. This doesn’t mean that when it comes to design, anything goes, but that sometimes you just have a feeling of how your home should look like and things just fall into place. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and go with your intuition. It often happens that by creating a free and creative environment in your home, you manage to get away with a few outrageous pieces of furniture that you never thought could fit in. Mixing different styles can give your home a cozy look. All you need to do is find a way of bringing the different styles together with a theme.

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