Mixed style takes a variety of periods and styles and merges them through the use of color, texture, shape and finish. Mixing takes some practice but it makes the decorating experience much more enjoyable. This loose style serves as the great equalizer in interior design—mixed style snubs its nose at the rules by blending old with new, cheap with pricey, bold with subtle and classic with trendy.
Forget the overly matched look—it’s time to experience mixed style. Creating a mix of furniture styles, patterns and colors is fresh and on trend, but it can also be tricky to do. It takes a few secrets from the pros to mix vintage, modern, ethnic and traditional styles so your room looks coordinated instead of confusing.
Many different interior design styles exist, but few fit into just one category. More and more people are favoring a mixed style that plays off their existing furnishings and incorporates new pieces. Combining what you have on hand with something completely new and unexpected gives you license to invent a uniquely tailored style for your home.
Pulling design elements from different periods and styles allows you step outside your comfort zone as your decorating style evolves. The more you experiment with different styles, the more you’ll find that one type of décor can blend with another. That’s how interior design professionals often go about creating personalized looks for their clients.
Bohemian or Boho style is highly original, creative and eccentric. The term stems from Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic and its ethnic wanderers who were referred to as “bohémien” in French. It grew to mean a tight-knit community of creative people living a socially unconventional lifestyle.
Bohemian decorating transforms the ordinary into extraordinary by deftly mixing vintage and exotic furnishings that exude warmth and individuality. Initially, Boho might be construed as overwhelming with its busy mixture of color, pattern and texture. At second glance, it actually looks and feels downright soothing and cozy with its layers of fabric and deep, rich colors.
When choosing a Bohemian color scheme, stick with jewel tones and earthy shades. For example, go daring with deep red, terra cotta, indigo, aubergine or coffee for the walls. Avoid pastels, bold colors and bright white. Add fabric wall hangings, window swags, art and mirrors. Bring in faded Persian, kilim or dhurrie rugs in coordinating colors to layer the floor. Shop flea markets to unearth distinctive weathered wood furniture and upholstered secondhand pieces.
Boho style accessories should look as if they’ve been collected over many years from all corners of the globe. Old framed photos, porcelain figurines, lots of down-filled pillows, glass beaded curtains, fringed lampshades, ornate decorative boxes and bottles, floor cushions, sparkling pendant lighting and paisley throws capture Boho’s trademark random yet effortless look.
When done well, eclectic style allows you to showcase your personal style while following the basics of proper design. Don’t worry about staying within a certain period or style—there’s plenty of room for several of your favorites.
The seeming lack of rules in eclectic design is what makes it so popular. But eclectic isn’t a no-holds-barred decorating style. Throwing a little bit of this and that in a room does not qualify. There’s a very fine line between pleasing contrasts and disarray. Choose no more than three styles to keep your room from looking like a thrift store.
An eclectic color palette can be fairly wide ranging, however it’s a good idea to tie everything together with a few neutrals. Use color and texture to unify items from various styles and eras. Disparate furniture pieces can be made to look more cohesive with similar decorative paint techniques and upholstery. Layer accessories to maintain a sense of order. Create a cohesive gallery of various art styles by using identical frames.
Transitional style can best be described as a balanced mix of traditional and contemporary décor. It is a lighter, more current version of traditional style that fits a modern lifestyle. Transitional design embraces classic details and elegant furnishings without the formality of traditional style.
If you feel contemporary is too plain and traditional is too stuffy, then definitely go with transitional.
Transitional rooms combine curvy, overstuffed furniture with clean lines. This style mixes ornate embellishments, elaborate rugs and feminine florals with nature-inspired accessories, sisals and gender-neutral patterns. Keep colors closely related with the occasional burst of color thrown in for good measure. A monochromatic gray room might feature pops of yellow and orange for warmth and contrast.