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A Guide to Mixing Furniture Styles: 5 Expert Tips

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Some people mix and match furniture out of necessity, some people because they love an eclectic look. Either way, mixing furniture styles is a great way to create a curated look for a more interesting and unique space. Here’s how to create a cohesive look even when mixing furniture styles!

It used to be that matching furniture sets were a sign of luxury, but today, there is a move away from having all pieces in a room be identical.  While this can the buying decisions a bit more difficult for some, it does help create a room that best represents your style and interests.

Is it okay to mix furniture styles together in one space? 

Absolutely!  But when mixing furniture styles, try to create something in common between all of your pieces to help create a unified look and keep your space from looking cluttered or chaotic. 

Here are 5 ways to find common ground among differing styles.

5 Expert Tips to Mix and Match Furniture from Tidbits and Twine

1.  Color

Using a consistent color throughout all of the pieces to help the items “speak” to one another and achieve a cohesive look.

In the photo below, sleek furnishing are paired with traditional chairs, but the common color palette keeps the look consistent.  Also notice that the ornate/simple pattern is repeated throughout the room.  A simple mantle paired with an ornate frame and fire screen.  A simple coffee table paired with ornate accessories. 

Modern fireplace with black wall and traditional french chairs

2. Shape

Look for pieces that have similar shapes so that even though they might have different styles, they still “match.”  For example, all of the seating in a room might have rounded arms, or all of the chairs in a dining room might have low profile backs.

3.  Scale

Scale doesn’t just refer to measurements, but also the visual weight of varying objects.  Using a uniform scale among differing piece helps create a sense of balance and gives differing pieces something in common.

In the photo below, the small scale of the sofa is balanced by the small scale of the coffee table, as well as the smaller scale of the accessories used throughout the room.

4. Feel

Once you know the feel that you want to create in a space, it’s best to ensure that all pieces fit this feel.  For example, regardless of the style, formal pieces tend to mix best with other formal pieces, casual with casual, and so on.  The same is true for ornate pieces and simple pieces.  So for example, Arts and Crafts, which has a more simple design, will mix better with contemporary or Shaker style furniture, which also tend to have a more simple design.

Below, an unfinished more rustic trestle table is paired with more contemporary-shaped chairs, but with the slightly overstuffed backs on the chairs and the brass nail head trim, both the chairs and the table have a more casual feel.

Dining room with rustic table and contemporary beige dining chairs and hydrangea centerpiece
via Houzz

5.  Visual Balance

When dealing with dissimilar objects, you can “cheat” the eye by creating visual balance so that they no longer look so dissimilar.  This visual balance is often created through the use of the other tips listed above, color, shape, scale and feel.

At first glance, you might not realize that the two sides of this bed are quite different. With the art hung at the same height and similarly shaped and colored furniture pieces, visual balance is achieved.

bedroom with tufted headboard and bed canopy and mismatched nightstands
via Houzz

Mixing and matching furniture styles not only allows you to create a look that is uniquely yours, but also gives you a freedom to constantly evolve and update your look!

Once you become comfortable with mixing and matching, you can start to break the “rules” above and really get creative!

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