Gone are the days when all your furniture had to match. Today, anything goes – a mix of antique and new furniture styles, much-loved favourites alongside brand new purchases, classic wood with quirky patterned leather. Mixing and matching furniture styles is fashionable, and it’s also often essential. Newly cohabiting couples combining two sets of favourite possessions, families inheriting objects, and newlyweds figuring out where to place well-intentioned gifts all create a design challenge. The pick-and-mix look should be bohemian and stylish, not jumble sale or flea market. How do you get the eclectic furniture mix right? Here are 11 handy hints to help you combine with flair and style.
1) Colour Creates Cohesion
An inspired colour scheme can tie together furniture and objects with distinct styles and personalities. Stick to the same broad palette of colours to give your room a smart, bohemian look and you can use all your favourite furniture pieces without fear.
A palette of soft and stylish blues, greens and creams creates harmony in this living room/ Image via The Inspired Room
2) All White is Alright
Alternatively, if dreaming up a colour scheme is too much like hard work, stick to one neutral and you can combine away for a look that is perfectly matched, whatever furniture you use. White is the natural choice, or you could go with painted furniture in a soft grey/cream shade using pieces from the Cadiz Oak and Painted Pine range, for example.
3) Follow the 80/20 Rule
This rule goes: if 80 percent of your furniture fits into one period or style, you have free reign with the other 20 percent. So if you have mainly new oak furniture then one or two antique-style pieces in metal or a sofa in a French-country will look great. A standout antique dresser, for example, will work in an ultra-modern city apartment.
4) Mix Your Woods Well
When you are mixing wood furniture consider how “formal” each wood is when combining to best advantage. For example, cherry, classic oak and mahogany are all formal and elegant woods so they combine well together. Pine, bamboo and maple are less formal so they equally work well together. It doesn’t mean you can’t have pine with mahogany, just that it’s simpler to stick to woods in the same “family”.
Or match furniture based on the general wood colour. Most woods are classified in broad terms as brown, yellow, grey, or red. If you have a set of brown wooden tables, combine then with a sofa in the same shade of brown, and a bookcase in a different wood but the same brown shade.
Classic Loire Oak bedroom furniture mixes well with dark, elegant woods like mahogany
5) Beware! Some Styles Don’t Mix
When it comes to mixing and matching furniture, some styles need to be kept apart. For example, elaborate Victorian design and fresh, casual beach house style are the warring relations that shouldn’t be in the same room at parties. A good way of understanding this concept is to think about how each style makes you feel, and combine styles that have a similar outlook. Casual pine bedroom furniture with simplistic, minimalist wardrobe, or elaborate, intriguing Asian-style décor with a stately Victorian armoire, for example.
6) Dining Room Chairs Don’t Need to Match
One unique way to mix and match furniture styles is around the dining room table. Fit your collection of mismatched chairs around the table for a cool, bohemian look like this:
For a truly eclectic look in the dining room, play fast and loose with your chairs/ Image via Decoholic
But if this is a little too messy for your liking, why not mix your dining room furniture in a more subtle way, using a solid oak table from one range, and chairs from another range that go together but don’t quite match.
7) Don’t Show Too Much Leg
When collecting different furniture pieces from different eras and styles, too many different table legs or chair legs can create a cluttered look. Try to have some furniture pieces that do not have visible legs, for example a blanket box that rests on the floor or use skirting on a sofa, so that the legs you do see create cohesion.
8) Make all the Right Shapes
Combine pieces with similar shapes so that the room looks broadly uniform but is still interesting.
For example, keep everything that has a soft curve, from the armchairs to the lampshades to the design on the wallpaper. Or have all the seating on a low level, add a low level coffee table, and coordinate with height rather than shape.
Image via Best Home Info
9) Know When Enough is Enough
When mixing together inherited furniture collections it is tempting to keep everything for its sentimental value but you’re going to run into problems with three sofas in the living room, or four coffee tables. You may have to make tough decisions when you find out how much space you have available for furniture and work out where it will fit. Choose the pieces that matter most to your family, and think about donating other pieces or giving them to other family members.
10) Give a Good Mix of Standout and Unassuming Pieces
In order to help a room look stylish and put-together, don’t overpower it with too many standout or unique pieces. You need a mix of more basic furniture shapes and styles along with a few eye-catching items – your room will look classy and not cluttered.
11) But Don’t Be Afraid of Bold Contrasts
Be bold and individual/ Image via Houzz
Want to combine a bold aquamarine wall with your collection of white-framed art? Go for it. Set a geometric print rug on a dark wood floor? Go ahead. Don’t be afraid of the big, brash contrasts and the quirky pieces of furniture that draw the eye and combine perfectly with more neutral pieces.
Mixing and matching your furniture types gives you the freedom to create a look that is uniquely yours. And the best thing is you can easily grow and evolve the look as you acquire new pieces or re-purpose old ones into different rooms.
Have any more secrets to add? Be sure to leave a comment!