Interior Design Trick #5 is all about learning to mix styles and textures of our furniture and accessories to create an organic, unique and personal home. Changing up the style and finish of your furniture pieces and décor and incorporating different textures into your space is vital to create depth and interest. Let’s start with what we’re trying to avoid.
WHAT TO AVOID
1 I REPETITION OF STYLE AND FINISH
Too often when lacking time or confidence, repetition of a style and material becomes easier and ‘safer’ (or sometimes there is a great bargain that is hard to pass up). You know what I mean. It’s so convenient to purchase a matching set of bedroom furniture where the bed, dresser and side tables are all constructed of the same finish and detailing.
The downside is that your bedroom could look like it’s came straight out of a catalogue. By mixing up the furniture you can create a custom space that has a designer touch.
Over matching can also happen with trends. Take white gloss for instance. People know the white gloss table will work with their new white gloss kitchen. They add some white picture frames and the matching white gloss chairs and before long, you have a very one-dimensional cookie-cutter look that lacks personality. In this instance it can also define the era of your home and date it. It removes that natural, eclectic feel that a home has when it has it has evolved organically over time.
It’s incredible how different the kitchens below feel from the image above. All are essentially ‘white’ kitchens but the kitchens below embraces texture in the detail of the cupboard fronts, marble bench tops, marble or tile splash backs, timber floors and seating and metallic details to the pendant lights. These kitchens instantly feel full of life and personality.
2 I MATCHING FURNITURE SETS
In most cases I avoid ‘matching sets’ of furniture. I never match bedside tables to a bed head or dining chairs to the table, for instance.
Your finished room will have much more flair and interest if these pieces are complimentary but different. That collected, curated look will also keep you from getting bored or committing to one style for years to come. It makes it easier to switch pieces in and out or move furniture around in your home more freely. So, next time you need to furnish a room, break away from the ‘set’ and purchase individual pieces that you love.
If you have matching furniture all over the house, you don’t have to start from scratch. Even changing up one item in a space can make a big difference. Yes, you heard me – simply mix it up! Move a dresser from one room to another or swap bedside tables into different bedrooms.
MY TOP 4 TIPS TO MIX FURNITURE STYLES, FINISHES & TEXTURES
I’m going to use the bedroom as an example in this post, but these tips are just as applicable for furniture in any room of the house.
1 I VARY TEXTURE
I like to mix natural textural materials (think timber, stone, linen, leather, fur cushions, knitted throws) with smooth elements (imagine velvet, polished concrete, hand blown glassware, brass, chrome and marble) throughout a space.
You can, design an entire space in one colour (for example white), as long as the textures used offer interest and variety. In fact, a one colour, multi-textured space can look extremely sophisticated and be very calming.
2 I MIX FINISHES
In a bedroom create interest by mixing the materials of different pieces of furniture. If you have timber bed, look for bedside tables constructed of mirror, metal, stone, painted or lacquered wood, bone inlay or rattan. I find that upholstered bedheads add a plush feel and can really break up the hard materials and stop everything from appearing overly matching.
HOW TO MIX FURNITURE FINISHES IN THE BEDROOM
3 I PLAY WITH COLOUR
Rather than matching the colour of different furniture pieces, co-ordinate your furniture with the rest of your room. Co-ordinate bedside tables with artwork, table lamps or a rug. For example, if you have a brass lamp, pick up this detail in the decorative nailhead trim on the bedhead or in the hardware of the bedside tables. Your main finishes and colours will be different, but the little details will tie everything together.
You can read more about creating a Consistent Colour Palette here.
4 I INCORPORATE DIFFERENT STYLES OF FURNITURE
To create a custom look, incorporate adjacent furniture pieces that are a different style from one another. In a bedroom this could be your bedhead and side tables. If you have a modern bed, try rustic or eclectic bedside tables. If you have rustic bedside tables compliment them with a luxurious upholstered bedhead. Just like in fashion, it is the unexpected pairings in an interior that give you the most wow factor.
If you have a piece of furniture that is sentimental or unique and you can’t determine how to make it work, find another piece that has some common attributes with it – the same colour handles or a similar tone upholstery – for instance. Alternatively, you can add an accessory (a picture frame, book or cushion) in a similar colour to provide consistency and tie everything together.
I wanted to incorporate a sentimental Queen Anne stool into our eclectic, contemporary bedroom. I stained the legs in a dark ebony to give the stool a more contemporary feel and used the upholstery colour and style to ensure that the stool complements the rest of the space.
Varying texture and avoiding over matching will add depth and interest to your space. It’s all about choosing different pieces of furniture but using the commonalities in the little details to tie the space together. You’re not like anyone else, and your home shouldn’t be either.
Search for pieces that you adore with different styles, textures, colours and finishes so that you can make your home a reflection of you. This is the secret to giving your space that individual flair that is uniquely yours and will set it apart from the showroom floor.
Ready to revamp your interior? I’d love to help! Whether you need a small refresh or a total overhaul, my expertise will create a look you’ll absolutely love.