Combine Design Styles Like a Pro

Gone are the days of matchy-matchy rooms and here to stay are rooms that incorporate different design styles. Follow these decorating tips to help you achieve the perfect eclectic look.
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April 20, 2015
By: Camila Ramirez-Pavone

Use Abstract Art to Offset Classic Furniture

One of the most popular design styles is traditional because of the safe, comfortable atmosphere it evokes. In recent years, new traditionalist has come into fashion because it allows more freedom to mix in different finishes, periods and styles. Achieve this look by placing a piece of abstract art in a traditional setting. Step it up another style notch by adding in a touch of animal print like this living room. Photo courtesy of Claire Watkins.

Mix Traditional Art With Modern Furnishings

The same can be done with a modern piece of furniture and traditional artwork. A couple of trips to your local thrift store and you can have enough pieces to fill a wall on a budget. Photo courtesy of Ally Kim.

Unify Areas Through Color

When merging pieces from different design styles, a coat of paint can easily help you unify pieces. Notice how the modern white floating shelves look right at home with the vintage desk. Originally the desk was black, but after a couple of coats of high-gloss paint we have a duo that is not only functional, but also easy on the eyes. Photo courtesy of Camila Pavone.

Merge Style With Two Hues

You don't need to stick to just one common color. Add a bit more interest to the mix with a color combo. This original 1930s black and white tiled bathroom got a mix of modern thrown in with high gloss black paint on the walls and a new white bowl sink. Photo courtesy of Camila Pavone.

Find One Object to Link Two Design Styles

If you want to prevent a traditional room from looking too stuffy, but still retain its traditional style, then a pop of modern is your fix. Using a modern piece of furniture, like the Louis Kartell ghost chair, you keep the traditional feel with the chairs form and add a touch of modern due to the lucite. It's a win, win. Photo courtesy of Sarah Fisher.

Make Traditional Modern With Bright Colors

Perhaps you don't mind the hand-me-down dining set from mom and dad, but you want to make it your own. A can or two of spray paint can easily help here. Take the dining chairs that came with the set, pick out your favorite shade of spray paint and then go to town. Remember to apply a coat of poly afterwards to prevent chipping. Purchase a couple of yards of your favorite fabric and recover the seats while you are at it. Photo courtesy of Camila Pavone.

Cover It Up

When trying to blend living room furniture from different design styles, the simplest solution is slipcovers. With all of the fabric options available, you have your pick from country to modern and everything in between. Many people are brave enough to tackle making a slipcover on their own, but a plea on craigslist often brings your pick of seamstresses that can help. This traditional wingback settee left the '80s behind with a bold floral-print slipcover. Photo courtesy of Camila Pavone.

Bring Traditional in an Unexpected Way

Don't forget the wow factor, which can be the perfect place to add in a different style. A sparkly classic chandelier brings this country kitchen some jaw-dropping glam. Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Nicole Davis.

Mix Styles to Create a Focal Point

By adding just a pop of a different design style, you can make a huge impact in a room. This modern Eames chair looks right at home with the mix of ethnic fabrics and an Oriental rug. Not only are two different design styles merged, but the room also has a focal point now. Photo courtesy of Caitlin Wilson.

Match in Scale not in Style

A simple way to mix design styles is to select ones that having similar lines and scale. This dining room is a perfect example of how to mix modern and traditional furniture by keeping scale and shape in mind. By mimicking the round curves of the traditional table on the modern chairs, the homeowner is able to blend two design styles and have it flow naturally. Photo courtesy of Liz Owens.

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