How to mix several styles of furniture

As discussed on the Pete and Brenda radio show, Wednesday, May 12th, 12:40 and 9:40pm      

I frequently meet with clients who have inherited some furniture that is meaningful to them, and/or they may have purchased furniture that doesn’t quite fit with the design style they’re after.  Mixing furniture styles is a common challenge for people.  This blog contains some tips for dealing with this issue and also some real life examples and solutions.      

Dining Room Furniture:   The dining room is an excellent spot to mix and match furniture and work in pieces that you may have inherited.   Here are some examples of mixing dining room furniture.  Notice how much more interesting these rooms look than if the furniture was all matchy-matchy…      

EcoManor.com

 

Gary McBournie

 

House Beautiful

 

Portland, OR Street of Dreams

 

Southern Living

 

 

© Interiors by Decorating Den

 

 Below is an example of a furniture scenario I’m working on now…      

Above: Inherited furniture in before shot

 

Current Living Room Furniture in before shot

 

One Proposed Solution

 

The above solution involves a two-tone table that blends in with the tone of the buffet while also blending in with the transitional style and dark woodwork in the adjoining living room, shown below…     

Rendering including new draperies, throw pillows and area rug

 

However, another solution would be to have the buffet refinished in a paint color and change out the knobs to give it a more transitional look.  Below is an example of how The Shabby Cottage, Oregon City, Oregon transforms furniture with paint…     

The Shabby Cottage, Oregon City, OR

 

The Shabby Cottage, Oregon City, OR

 

Below is another example of a family room which has one inherited traditional piece in a dark stain that is next to a kitchen dining area with a totally different “French” country furniture style…      

Kitchen dining before shot

 

Inherited piece

 

 Solution to above mis-matched furniture:      

1.  Move one of  the mismatched pieces out of the area and stick with one of the styles, in this case, the French country look of the dining set.      

2.  Keep both pieces and integrate with metal furniture in a style that will mesh well with existing pieces, i.e. a traditional style with some similar design elements of the existing pieces.       

3.  Keep both pieces and integrate painted furniture in a style that will mesh well with both existing pieces.      

       

1.  Move one of  the mismatched pieces out of the room and stick with one of the styles, in this case, the French country look of the dining set…      

      

      

      

2.  Keep both pieces and integrate with metal furniture in a style that will mesh well with existing pieces, i.e. a traditional style with some similar design elements of the existing pieces, such as…      

      

      

3.  Keep both pieces and integrate painted furniture in a style that will mesh well with both existing pieces…      

      

       

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Comments
7 Responses to “How to mix several styles of furniture”
  1. kris says:

    nice post..
    love your creation in interior..
    thank you for the info..
    cheers..

  2. La-Z-Boy says:

    I like how you put the furniture in digitally to help you visualize the change. It seems it will cut out all the hard work of moving the furniture multiple times.

  3. Mindy says:

    My husband and I are building a new house and it is craftsman style. We were looking for furniture and discovered that both of us really like mid-century/modern furniture as well. We loved the clean lines on some mid-century/modern and craftsman/mission tables but hated the look of craftsman style couches for example. We love tiffany/mission style lamp shades as well. Any thoughts on how to mix and match these two styles in a way that looks great and not like we just can’t decorate. I saw something about an 80/20 rule (80% of one style and 20% of other style i guess) but not sure if the 80 is supposed to be the furniture and 20 be the accessories??? Any chance you can help me out of the decorating quagmire? Thanks so much

    • Hi Mindy,
      I’m so sorry, your comment somehow got lost in the barrage of spam I received on the back end of this blog! At any rate if it’s not too late, there is a solution to your dilemma that works well with your tastes. You can mix two styles, for example, you can mix modern art with traditional furniture, and vise a versa, but you’ll want to be consistent. In a mid-century house in Portland, OR, I used the modern, mid-century style for the upholstered furniture and then a renaissance style for the accessories and art. In your case, you can use the craftsman style with your accent tables, and then the mid-century style for your furniture, and it will work. However, I would stick with one of those styles for your accessories. It’s very difficult to bring in a third style and have it look good, and pulled together.

      I hope this helps and is not too late!
      Ragan

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