Guide to Mixing Interior Décor Styles

Posted by Lyndsay Romeo on

If you want your home to look and feel unique, follow our guide to mixing interior décor styles.

By: Lisa Roberts

There are dozens of interior décor styles out there, so how does one choose? The good news is that one does not have to choose at all! Many contemporary décor styles we have today are a combination of different traditional styles. So, if you do some mixing and matching, who knows, maybe you will become the creator of the next major style. But, let us get something straight - you cannot just take everything that comes to your mind and place it somewhere in your home - you cannot mix all the colors, and you cannot combine all the materials. You must follow specific interior décor rules at all times! But, do not worry, doing this is easier than you think. Just follow our guide to mixing interior décor styles, and your home will look fantastic.

Choose the Right Styles to Mix

The first step to mixing interior décor styles is knowing what styles to actually mix. Thus, try to educate yourself on different styles and designs. For instance, read about boho, eclectic, retro, industrial, shabby chic, Scandinavian, minimalistic, modern, contemporary, vintage, futuristic design, etc. If you have difficulties understanding a particular style, go ahead and look at the pictures representing it - this always helps.

Give yourself enough time to learn about all the styles and designs first.

Once you are familiar with all the styles out there, pick your favorites. But, before you start mixing them, be sure that those favorites are not too similar. Instead, choose styles that will contrast with one another. For example - mix modern with vintage or boho with contemporary. Moreover, you can also choose styles that are different but share a common element such as color, pattern, material, etc.

A color palate.

Scale to Proportion

Unless you plan to buy all new furniture and all new household knick-knacks, be sure to also choose an interior design and style that will match all the items you already have in your home. Of course, you can also buy some statement items like chandeliers, ottomans, lamps, rugs, etc., that will emphasize the style you are going for. But, whatever you do, do not forget to 'scale to proportion.' That is, pay special attention to the sizes of your items. Pairing a massive sofa with a petite coffee table, for instance, will not look good in any style.

If you are good at drawing, try to sketch several looks of the room you are designing. This is much easier than painting your walls several times, changing the upholstery a few times, or even moving those heavy pieces of furniture more than once.

Follow the 80/20 Rule!

The so-called 80/20 rule is a rule all interior designers swear by! Namely, this rule states the mixing and matching ratio you should follow when incorporating different styles into your living space. So, what you should do is choose two themes. One of them should be dominant. So, pick a style you like and enjoy, and try to pick one that is easier to find the décor for. The other theme should be the accent theme - let that be something a bit more divergent. Thus, let the dominant theme take up around 80% of your space when mixing different interior décor styles and leave the remaining 20% for the accent theme.

There is no going wrong when following the 80/20 rule!

To clarify this a bit, let us give you an example of the 80/20 rule. When selecting proper furniture for your living room, choose something that will make up 80% of all the furniture in that room. For instance, choose a sofa, armchair, and coffee table that will fit your dominant theme, and pair them with cushions or décor pieces that will fit your accent, secondary theme.

 A living room.

Find a Focal Point

Whether you have a room that is one-style only or a room with two, three, or even four styles mixed and matched, it is essential to have a focal point. Otherwise, the entire space will look bland or even confusing. Thus, choose something unique and a bit different to be your focal point. In most homes, focal points are usually those large windows, fireplaces, etc. But, you can redirect the attention and make some other pieces a focal point in your room. For instance, try the following elements:

  • Chandeliers or lamps
  • Art pieces (picture, sculpture, etc.)
  • Antique furniture
  • A custom-made piece of furniture

Having a focal point when mixing different styles is more important than you think.

You can choose anything you like to be your focal point as long as it is attention-seeking. But, be careful when moving around these focal pieces. They are always bulky, expensive, fragile, and difficult to replace. Just consider sculptures. Besides the bulkiness, fragility, and value, they are often oddly shaped and tricky to pack and transport safely. So, if you have no experience moving these kinds of items, consider hiring a professional moving agency that can ensure an easier transfer of your sculptures, painting, antiques, and everything challenging to disassemble, pack, carry, reassemble, and transport.



Limit Your Color Scheme

Mixing interior décor styles does not mean making a rainbow out of your living space. So, instead of creating a colorful mess, try to stick only to two or three colors. You can follow the 80/20 rule here as well. Choose a neutral color like white, beige, gray, or some pastel color as a dominant one and something bolder that will fit your secondary style.

So, for instance, if you want to add a pop of color to your bedroom, choose one color for the central parts of the room - walls, closet, bed, etc. And, use different colors for accenting the secondary, third, or even fourth style you want to incorporate - use it for pillows, throws, carpets, lamps, smaller decor items, etc. Otherwise, it will be pretty tricky to tell which item goes with which style.

Mixing interior décor styles is not that complicated

As you can see, mixing interior décor styles is pretty easy to do successfully and effectively if you follow a few simple rules. The key is not to overdo it and to plan carefully before you make any decisions you will regret.

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