AdviceHow-to

Exotic, modern and rustic – mixing decor styles

If you love travelling to places and coming back with souvenirs or if you’re addicted to checking out pawn shops for antique pieces at bargain prices, you may have amassed a fortune of items. Displaying all these items in and around your house may make your abode look like a chaotic bazaar if you do it the wrong way.

This doesn’t mean that the only option left is to do away with the items you love or discard anything that you inherited from your great grandmother. Even if you’re moving in with your partner who already has a collection of his/her own, you can make your furniture and décor pieces blend in by keeping a few things in mind.

Here’s what you need to know.

green chair

Image source: Pinterest

Think and plan it out

You know you just can’t throw things together randomly. You need to find your own style and balance things out. Do you favour a traditional interior or a modern look? Choose either one to be your primary style and use the other type of furniture for accents.

Look at the furniture or art pieces that you have and consider why each one of them matter to you. Perhaps you like a piece because of its cut or texture, and another one for its colour or pattern. Once you analyse what you like, you’ll begin to see a pattern or style that appeals to you.

You also need to decide if you want to achieve a harmonious look in your house or if you want to create contrast. Remember that nothing is right or wrong when it comes to choosing your style, but it’s important to follow one so that the arrangement doesn’t look messy.

Blend it all together

Once you’ve figured out what needs to be placed where, you need to make sure that the furniture and décor looks cohesive. There are a number of ways to accomplish this.

Use minimal colours when decorating a room. Items belonging to different periods can complement each other if they are in different shades of the same colour, or in different textures but of the same colour. If a room looks like a riot of colours due to all the varied items you have filled it up with, use a neutral colour on the walls. A large piece of furniture such as a dining table, bed, couch or coffee table in a neutral colour will help tie small colourful pieces of décor together.

Another option is to go for an all-white scheme with an interesting mix of colourful objects or choose completely different objects all in the same colour to minimise confusion. Repetition can help keep the look cohesive. For example, instead of throwing in single chairs of different styles, place a pair of each style in a room.

If you don’t have two pieces of a particular item, find another item in your inventory that has the same cut, colour, or texture to balance the look. For instance, a single wicker chair in a room furnished with modern elements can be balanced by using wicker lamps. If you can’t find an item to match a much loved piece, turn the oddball into the focal point of the room.

Wooden furniture from different periods can look harmonious in a room if the stains or tones are the same. However, pair woods carefully; oak, mahogany, and cherry are formal woods and will go well together. Bamboo, maple, and pine are casual choices and won’t work very well when paired with the formal woods.

The scale of the décor items you put in a room is equally important. You don’t have to actually measure out the pieces; consider if the items you’re putting together look visually of the same height, size, and weight. Similarly-scaled items will blend with each other despite differences in all other aspects.

You might also want to place objects in a way that cheats the eye. You may have two dressing tables of varying heights on either side of your bed that make things look odd. But by placing items of similar shapes, contours, and colours on the tables, you can balance the look. However, if you have a piece of furniture that just doesn’t fit in no matter what you do, it may be best for you to do away with it. So be ready to take some tough decisions.

yellow dining room chairs

Image source: Pinterest

Keep the clutter away

If you’re going to be using a lot of different items to decorate your house, it will do you well to keep clutter away. This means no clothes lying on the couch, no dog toys strewn on the floor, and no kid meals splattered on the walls.

It will also help if you invest in multi-functional furniture or make maximum use of what you have. For example, a cupboard that has a food and water bowl for your dog along with space to store food, dog apparel and accessories. Not only will these things take up less space but will also be hidden from the view without adding to the elements in the room.

While trying to blend different things together seems like a daunting task, it isn’t that difficult. There are very few ‘pure’ styles of furniture and décor and most styles that you know of are a blend of other styles. As such, don’t be worried if you have furniture pieces from completely different eras; put them together and they might work.

Avoid following advice blindly; what looks good in a particular setting may not look that good in your house. Use your instinct and you’re sure to make the right choices.

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