Interior design can be a complicated proposition, no matter how small or large a room may be. With so many themes, styles, and colours, the sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming. On top of this, it’s all about personal preference, so while one person might love French Provincial themes the other may prefer a modern Contemporary style.

The good news is that the concept of mixing and matching furniture and design is becoming a style of its own. This is where various pieces of different styles and time periods are used together to create an overall look that’s interesting and refreshingly unique. Another benefit of the emergence of the mix-and-match style is that you don’t have to purchase an entirely new suite of furniture since you can just mix and match your favourite pieces with some additional new items.

The versatility is certainly welcomed, but the trick is to ensure that everything ties together cohesively at the end. Here are some guidelines to follow to ensure your mix-and-match design style looks harmonious and eclectic, without clashing and being messy.

1. Have a plan

When going for a mix-and-match strategy it’s very easy to get confused along the way and be swayed by things you see while shopping. For this reason, it’s vital that you start with an idea of the look and feel you’re going for. If you’re making something yourself, ensure to invest in the tools most suited for the job. A good range to select from would be the first time. Build an inspiration board and narrow down the direction you want your decor to head. Blogs, magazines, and catalogues are all excellent sources of inspiration, and there’s nothing wrong with copying a style that you like.

2. Use existing pieces in different ways

Giving a piece of furniture a new purpose is a great way to mix things up. For example you may consider using a chest of drawers that was previously in the bedroom as a storage unit for table linens in the dining area. Adding a runner and candles will change the entire purpose and style of what would be an otherwise standard piece. The chest of drawers will look like something new and the room will have an entirely different feel. Best of all, you’ll be saving money on the way.

3. Use colour to tie things in together

As a general rule of thumb, a simple colour scheme is more easily applied to a mix and match style. This would usually involve two neutral shades and two accent colours. Keeping your colour palette simple will ensure that it doesn’t draw attention away from the overall theme.

4. Don’t forget patterns

Patterns are an excellent way to create interesting designs, but it’s important that you don’t overdo it. To create a cohesive look, use subtle patterns and try to not use large scale patterns on large surfaces as this can make a room appear too busy.

5. Introduce unrelated items in matching sets

If you have matching sets of furniture that still need to be utilised, such as a sofa set, you can still adopt a mix-and-match style by using unrelated items in these spaces. For example, add another chair to your living room or some cushions that don’t necessarily match the sofa but share something else in common (such as the texture or time period). This can also be done with accessories like vases, throws, or even side and coffee tables.

6. Make use of shapes

Although subtle, shapes are a large part of an interior scheme. Having pieces that are completely different but share some commonality from an overall shape perspective can be a subtle yet powerful way to tie things together. For example, chairs of different styles may look strange together, but if they all have rounded arms this can create a surprisingly cohesive look.

7. Utilise accents throughout

Accent pieces are powerful focal points. Whether they’re pops of colour such as a bright cushion or striking accessories like a unique lamp, they introduce a level of complexity to a room that can also serve as a visual impact. Resist the temptation to overdo accents as too many focal points result in a potentially distracting space, which isn’t the atmosphere you’re going for.

8. Make use of texture

Colours, shapes, and accents are all obvious things to consider when looking at a room. However one important aspect that is often overlooked is texture. Mixing different textures can help bring your overall theme together, and more importantly, adds an element of tactility to your decor.

9. It’s all about balance

With so many things going on in a mix-and-match scheme, it’s easy to get carried away. A great thing to do is stop at every room and ensure it’s balanced from a visual perspective. This can be done by using solid colours to counter patterns or neutral shades to counter accents. Additionally, furniture pieces should also be balanced. For example, mismatched dining chairs should be at least of a similar size. A room should never feel overdone, and the best way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to take a step back and reflect on each space.

10. Final touches

Just like accessorising in fashion, the smallest details can help complete a look in the home. Consider using small items like vases, lamps, and picture frames to add some personality and subtle meaning within each area of your home. Placement is key here, and can often mean the difference between a distracting piece and an interesting piece.

Rugs, curtains, and shades are also a great way to put some finishing touches in a room. They are often the one thing that can suddenly transform a room by tying everything else together and creating some visual context.

The main thing to remember when trying to mix and match your furniture is to keep it understated and keep in mind that there are a number of ways to tie things in together. Keep experimenting with different layouts and schemes, and you’ll eventually find something that you’re happy with that reflects your personal style. After all, a mix-and-match scheme is an opportunity to have some fun and express all your individual tastes, so give yourself a chance to experiment and use your creative side.

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