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Creating Your Signature Style: A Guide to Mixing Interior Design Styles

I get often asked if different interior styles can be mixed. Well the short answer is, yes, interior styles can – and should be, mixed. Mixing interior design styles successfully is all about finding the delicate balance where different styles coexist seamlessly, creating a home that speaks to your soul. I believe that the most beautiful interiors are built upon three essential elements:

  1. Reflecting the Home’s Architectural Style.
  2. Mixing 2-3 Design Styles
  3. Balancing the Old and the New

Of course there are plenty of other key elements and rules for good design, but this is the formula I find works well for creating a balanced decor.

So let me break down each element above.

image from homesandgardens.com

Mixing interior styles that reflect the Architectural Style

If the styles are too far apart it might make your home decor feel disconnected – creating a very grand French chateau style interior in a modest midcentury bungalow may not create the most cohesive or balanced combination (but if it makes your heart sing, go for it!). But if you are after more harmonious style, it is important to align it with the architectural style of your home. Whether it’s a modern abode or a classic Victorian, the interior should complement the architectural style and maintain a cohesive flow.

images: houseandgarden.co.uk and @livingbylo

Mixing 2-3 Interior Design Styles

One of the secrets to achieving an interesting and layered space is the art of mixing different design styles. Combining two or three styles allows you to create a unique blend that reflects your personal taste. Many more and it creates confusing mismatch – and sticking to one era in every part of your home’s design can make it look outdated quickly. I’m a big fan of mixing different styles that go well with your home’s architecture. It’s best to stick to 2 or 3 styles to keep things balanced and cohesive. Pick your main style and then add elements from 1-2 other styles for accents. Experiment with contrasting elements, such as pairing the simplicity of modern design with the warmth of rustic touches or traditional elegance with contemporary accents. This fusion adds depth and character to your space.

images: via claireheffer.com & mydomaine.com

Balancing the Old and the New

An essential component of timeless design is the delicate balance between old and new. Introducing vintage or antique pieces alongside modern elements adds intrigue. This interplay creates a visual narrative within your home, telling a story of history, character, and personal experiences. There’s no strict rule about how much old and new you should have. If all the major items in your room, like the sofa, chairs, rug, and coffee table, are brand new, it might lack personality. On the other hand, if everything is antique, it could feel like you’re in a vintage store. To add depth and character, mix in some antique pieces like a coffee table or a vintage rug with new pieces.

I hope this provides a simple starting point for you to move ahead with mixing different interior design styles and develop a style that is truly one-of-a-kind to you!

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