When you look at interiors that are professionally designed, there’s just something about them you often can’t put your finger on that moves them into “wow” territory rather than just “that’s nice” territory.
Chances are, it’s the layers and degree of visual interest in the room. Once you’ve mastered the basics of understanding how to combat common faux pas, and put things together in a visually appealing manner, there’s a secret you can use to take your own home from “nice” to “wow.”
The secret? Mixing design styles.
While a complete juxtaposition of styles can have a really exciting impact (feminine and industrial or Victorian and modern, for instance), even a small step outside of one design genre can make a big difference in how stylish a room appears.
I often have clients tell me that they want a specific style in their home (farmhouse for instance). But what I often have to help them see is that choosing every single piece that looks worn, rustic, and straight out of a barn is only going to come off looking themey. It’s still possible to get the relaxed, homey vibe they want while mixing in some more polished pieces to temper the look.
It may not be intuitive to build a room design this way, but if you stick to a couple rules, you can do it! Here’s a formula to make it easy…
1. Try to keep all large furnishings within one genre. For a living room, this is your sofa, chairs, armoires/cabinets, and tables
2. Select an opposing style for one or two of the following: light fixtures, window treatments, textiles (rugs, blankets, pillows, drapes), or accessories
If you’re not sure what design style certain pieces would be considered a part of, opt to mix old and new. For example, if most of your furniture is clean-lined and representative of what furniture makers have been putting out for the past 20 years or so, mix in antique frames, vintage signs, a traditional rug, etc.
Even if you’re not designing a room from scratch, it’s a great tip if you’re simply looking to elevate your spaces with a few new pieces. You don’t need to go replacing big-ticket items like sofas, tables, and dressers. You can simply replace things like throw pillows, lamps, or tabletop accessories with something in a juxtaposing style.
Have fun with it and see how your space gets a glow-up just from some small tweaks!