Category Archives: Mixing Decor For Two

Decor For Two: Can This Marriage Be Saved? #3: Happy Ending

He likes Early American. She likes French Deco.

Deal breaker?


SGambrel mauve mist
Mixed styles can be great - Room Designed by Steven Gambrel

Due diligence in the form of

many questions, investigations and soul searching

has been completed.

It’s confirmed: your respective styles will look awful together.

Take heart. There are a few ways to handle this situation besides moving into a duplex. Consider this:

Your Dilemma Has Become Fashionable

You and your beloved are in luck. The current design trends lean more toward mixing styles and periods rather than for rooms that are one style only.

What makes different styles work together is relatedness.

A curve for a curve so to speak.

Make a game of re-imagining potential furniture candidates so that all you see is the color, shape, size, texture and/or design of the item. Look for the similarities between objects and edit your choices according.

You can have a piece that seems like a random selection, if you create an overall sense of balance and order within the structure of the room design. Symmetry is good. A few items with deliberately straight lines adds balance and interest if there are a lot of curves in your composition, or vice versa.

More Good Orderly Directions: Pairs are important. You should make sure you have some. Two pairs are enough, three pairs start to veer towards that “Noah’s Ark” look. Have only one of everything and your room will look like a furniture store closeout sale. Scale is important too.  Don’t use a tiny end table next to a huge over-scaled sofa. You don’t have to have matching end tables as long as you keep the “How does it relate?” question in mind. The same is true for lamps, but you are better off if most of your table and floor lighting is at a similar height. Otherwise you will get an up-and-down-and-up-again carnival lighting effect that’s really agitating.

Revisit Your Homework: While doing your initial research, such as it was, where did your preferences overlap those of your partner? Expand on this where you can.

For example if one of you likes mission style furniture, and the other prefers clean lined modern, a compromise might be found in Shaker furniture, and a general under-furnished, less is more sensibility.

Equally, if one likes a no fuss, no maintenance “Rustic” look while the other one prefers more traditional European styling, try a comfortable French Country sofa upholstered in colors and textures that don’t show dirt or spills as a possible joint answer.

Field Trip: It’s time to shop and you should do it together. Building a beautiful home environment is a process as well as an adventure. Neither one of you should miss out or be left out. Flexibility, compromise and a little “quid pro quo” can go a long way towards keeping the action moving forward and all parties satisfied and living happily together.

Related Posts

Decor For Two: Can This Marriage Be Saved? #2: Lifestyle

Decor For Two: Can This Marriage Be Saved? #1: Your Style

Rethinking Design Rules

Lighting Design #1:  Guide For The Well Lit Home

Furniture Arrangement #2: Creating Conversation Areas Worth Talking About

Photo – SR Gambrel Portfolio

This is part of one of the several articles I have written for publication on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

Questions? Write to: Cindy@DecodingDecor.com