Sometimes you just can’t decide if you like modern, traditional, antiques, or transitional. The decision to choose one over the others is even more difficult if you’ve inherited family heirlooms with which you simply can’t part. So, what do you do? Make a mashup that expresses all your styles!

Mix and match

Avoid the confining idea that furnishings need to match in order to “go.” A traditional sofa, Mid-Century Modern chair, an Art Deco table, and antique lamps can fit together as long as you remember and practice some of these “rules”—actually, they’re more like suggestions since everything depends on what you own and want to keep.

  • Size matters. You can blend nearly any style together in your eclectic home as long as each piece is of similar “weight” in the overall scheme of things. What is weight? The thickness of the wood, height of the chairs, balance of the materials, all contribute to how a piece dominates the room. A heavy traditional leather sofa might overshadow a fine antique table, so perhaps they belong in different places.
  • Composition communicates. When everything in the room is modern except that one piece, it might seem out of place. Compose a balanced creation that has a few items from each era to make your design purposeful.
  • Texture transforms. When mixing several wood types or finishes, find a unifying texture to tie the pieces together. Make your sofa pillows of a similar feel to your throw and tablecloths so that it pulls the look together. Or utilize disparate textures in similar hues to drive the narrative of the room.
  • Metals magnify. Mixing metallics such as a metal and glass side table with natural wooden chairs and painted bookshelves makes layers in light and crisp, reflective and matte, to give your room depth and dimension.
  • Color calms. As mentioned above, utilizing a similar hue or range of shades from the same palette pulls the look together while deliberate splashes of a contrasting color provide interest and draw the eye.
  • Frame it up. To create equivalent mass to wall art, balance a large modern piece on one wall with a collage of smaller art in a variety of frames opposite. Spotlight a large framed mirror above a fireplace to add drama, or set it atop a Mid-Century Modern credenza to juxtapose eras.

Ultimately, your style is all about what makes you happy. If your pieces don’t yet lend themselves to an utterly eclectic look, keep adding to your collection until they do. And if you’re looking for an especially unique home, let your property specialist know what’s on your mind.

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