Mixing Design Styles

When it comes to interior design, it’s hard to find something that hasn’t already been done before. That’s why mixing styles has become so important to creating a unique and personalized look. Without mixing styles, a room can sometimes feel one-note, predictable, or cookie cutter. Adding something unexpected creates a more natural, eclectic, collected look to the space. Even rooms strong in a particular style will usually have references to other styles or time periods. That’s what’s so great about blending styles together–you can use as much or as little of each style as you want. But use caution! There are plenty of ways to get this approach wrong.

You’ll likely want to start by defining your styles. Typically, there are one or two major styles that you want to incorporate in your room. Your style could be modern bohemian, coastal farmhouse, or totally transitional. This will guide your larger selections like color palettes, large furniture, cabinets, etc. If you are incorporating more than one style, it doesn’t have to be an even split. But, you do want to make sure there are several elements of each style. For example, you don’t want an uber contemporary space with one giant traditional cabinet. You might be able to tie it in with color, but a few other traditional elements around the room can help make it look more purposeful, and less like an accident.


In this room, we can see contemporary lighting, a modern farmhouse table, and more traditional or transitional chairs. Chrome finishes, a neutral color palette, and notes of texture tie the space together, making all the elements feel cohesive.

This brings us to our next point: Look for ways to tie each piece together. Two opposite style pieces could have the same color, texture, finish, pattern, shape, or material that will make them closer in style. You don’t have to match everything completely, but a few connections here and there will help the design come together more easily.


Take a look around this space. How do a leather sofa and patterned armchairs fit together? Or a gold light fixture and a silver mercury glass lamp?  How does a traditional dining table fit in the same room as a modern, geometric side table? What styles can you spot in this space?

Tell us your insights and ideas in the comments below!

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