Design Mixology

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “what is the best way to mix styles of furnishings in a tasteful way?” Let’s face it, over the years we all can inherit a treasured family item, or merge with a partner that has collected various pieces of furniture and in some cases, we truly prefer a collected unexpected design.

As you walk through a home, you might ask yourself, “why does this space feel so good to be in?” Many times it is the combination of just enough repetition versus contrast to integrate rooms, and also remain interesting. This principle can apply to my theory of design mixology.  Color placement can be key in integrating space, while style choice can work as a contrast.  Case in point – perhaps you have a sleek neutral contemporary-styled sofa in your living room, strewn with solid and print pillows that are turquoise and orange.  In the adjacent dining room are your French dining chairs that you inherited from your grandmother.  You are considering spraying the chairs in a lacquered orange finish. Repetition was accomplished with repeating the color orange for the French-styled dining chairs contrasted with the contemporary sofa in the living room, creating an interesting mix.

Often I’m challenged with helping people downsize, where my client has to choose which items not only can fit in the new space, but also work well within the design concept.  Shown in the photos is this very example. A client purchased a home less than half the size of her existing residence.  The new waterfront home was more casual, reflective of a contemporary cottage in style.  We carefully selected some of her existing Asian pieces to use as accents, and added transitional upholstery along with traditional painted wood pieces with a cottage flair.  This contrast in styles was pulled together with carefully chosen color placement, an interesting collection of modern art, and an occasional botanical.

Creating your own mix of furnishings can keep your home fresh, with a livable feel and a one-of-a-kind look.

A transitional sofa, with a straight simple arm, is mixed with a gray reclaimed barnwood chest. To the left is an Asian armoire. In the background you can see the traditional kitchen dining ensemble with the table top finish mirroring the color of the adjacent TV. This same chamois gold color is also found in the top right portion of the modern art piece in the foreground.

The walls are featured in a chamois gold color found elsewhere in various rooms. Black and ivory colors are placed carefully throughout the entire first floor. Note the transitional banquettes mixed with the traditional painted chairs.

Chamois gold repeated on painted end table. Traditional plaid wing chairs with a modern painting above. Red is used as an accent color.


One thought on “Design Mixology

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