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#AskElle: Embracing ‘Mix and Match’ at Home

Mix and matching can be intimidating but sometimes you should step outside your comfort zone.  You may find yourself with a home that just how you want it, all your pieces match and compliment you, and your aesthetic – contemporary in style with that open concept look we all want, with a smattering of sleek furnishings. Then you inherit your grandfather’s beautiful oak lawyer’s cabinet that you have always loved. How can I choose between styles you ask yourself? Luckily, I am here to show you that you do not have to choose. You can still have that beautiful and harmonious look without selling off your favourite pieces.

Create the perfect Contemporary meets Traditional look, with a couple of Modern and Mid-Century pieces you cherish while avoiding the “I just moved out of my parent’s house and look what I found in the garage” look. It is not as different or hard as you might think to mix and match styles as long as you follow a few simple rules.

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Colour is great, but a Crayola box of colours in a space with an eclectic décor, will not give you the cohesive look you are going for. Use different tones of the same colour palette throughout your home. It will bring a cohesive look to your space while not having any one piece sticking out from the rest of the space.

Choose shapes and patterns that complement each colour. Yes, striped and flowered patterns can go very well together with a Toile, Chevron or Quatrefoil, just remember the above colour tip. Of the different patterns, pick one to carry throughout your space. This again will bring a unified look. Not sure where to begin, start with accessories like pillows and throws, and have fun experimenting.

If you keep similar tones of wood, it will work. For example, oak, pine and maple or teak, elm and walnut are all similar tones of wood, and most probably from different style periods. But, the Mad Men dining table and chairs, the Farmhouse dresser, and the Traditional bed will all go together if the tones of wood complement each other.

Mix and match decorating styles, for example, Coastal, French Country, Contemporary, Art Deco, Shabby Chic, looks great, again just remember the above suggestions. If you have a large piece of furniture like an armoire that is just not ‘fitting in’ with your other pieces, make it a statement piece! Do not try to hide it behind a tall plant, showcase it, make it a focal point, and build around it. Not sure what style to pick or what style is what? Here’s a cheat sheet to help you.

At the end of the day, decorating tips are just that, tips. It is your home, decorate in a way that blends all your pieces and treasures together, and gives you a comfy and relaxing place to live and laugh

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