Tag Archives: Mixing styles

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


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.

No free lunches. The trend towards mixing international style and historical reference is not a license to go all giddy thinking everything goes as long as you love it. Hold that thought: it’s a recipe for disaster.

Oh, grow up. There is actual a kind of disciplined thought that goes into making diverse styles play well together.

What makes different styles work together is relatedness. A curve for a curve so to speak.

Be a sport. 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.

The mysterious stranger. 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. On the other hand, having only one of everything will make any room 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.

Give it to me straight. 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.

A new take on relaxed fit. 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 furniture 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 Three Part Series)

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

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


Large Article Photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceland

Photo – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_Oriental,_Hong_Kong

Questions? Cindy@DecodingDecor.com
The original version of this article was on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion.