Unless the interior of your home was designed from absolute scratch, with perfect fidelity to one style, you probably own a lot of furnishings, art and accessories that have been acquired separately over the years. That, in turn, means it’s unlikely they all match flawlessly. Maybe you have a prized Mid-Century Modern sofa set sharing a living room with a contemporary sideboard, or an art-deco console engaged in a stand-off with your Danish Modern dining table. No problem! Each of these pieces reflects an element of your personal style, and it’s perfectly possible to blend them into a more harmonious whole.
Balance Patterns with Neutrals
Pattern mixing is hot right now, so if you own upholstered furnishings, rugs and other accents that clash in an invigorating way, don’t be afraid to try pairing them! However, there is still such a thing as too busy, so if your eyes don’t know where to land upon entering the room, you probably need some neutrals for balance. This doesn’t necessarily mean white or beige — black is also a neutral. What it does mean is that introducing a few simpler items, all of which coordinate with each other, may be the cure for a room that jars.
Consistency Through Color
A few coats of paint can transform that vintage piece into the perfect complement to its contemporary roommate — same color, very different shapes. Color can also unite whole rooms; rather than furnishing to match the room, consider changing the room to blend better with its contents. Are those white walls really working, or are they too stark a backdrop for the unconventional pairings you’ve created? A fresh blue, for example, might coordinate with several different items and introduce a whole new energy to the space.
One solution to an eclectic blend of furniture styles is to lean into it and embrace a transitional look. Transitional style is about balancing modern and traditional elements, relying on carefully chosen commonalities to bring them together. Look for the similarities between disparate items, like shape, finish or color. A neutral palette and a variety of textures will help establish a true transitional look, which is relaxing, harmonious and not tied to any specific time period or regional design style.
Visual Weight, Balance and Scale
Visual weight, balance and scale are three considerations that are of great help when choosing and positioning furniture and art. Avoid pairing very large or heavy pieces with very small or light ones. Ideally, the scale of similar items should be consistent, to prevent one from overwhelming the other. Pieces with similar visual weight can create the effect of balancing one another out when placed in opposing positions, even if they are quite different in style. Remember that every room needs a focal point, and decide what your star piece is going to be, then arrange your furnishings accordingly. Perhaps that one awkward item that doesn’t match anything else actually belongs at center stage, with your more obviously coordinated pieces in supporting roles.