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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Are You Comfortable Mixing Design Styles?


Is it possible for a Traditionalist  to really like modern pieces, and make them work in their home? Two styles at the opposite ends of the spectrum, how can this work?!

This is the question that I wanted to pose in today’s blog post after reading Joni’s post the other day on the evolution of Sally Wheat’s lovely home. 

It shows the evolution of a designers style, and how she ends up with a room that reflects her true design aesthetics.

Sally Wheat’s Living Room

What struck me when reading this post is:

How many of us have loved a particular element, but will only  look at it from afar,thinking that it could never fit in our personal design aesthetic?

It made me realize I need to revisit some of the more contemporary pieces I have loved with more of an open mind.


If we love a piece that we think won’t work in our existing home décor , what should we do about it?


1.  Gather images of pieces that you have loved for a
      long time that you have dismissed because you
      think they would not work in your existing design.

2.  Look at the shape, and the material in the piece to
     see if it has any common ground with existing
     finishes or shapes in your home.
 3.  Think about where the piece  would fulfill a need.

4.  Look at your existing pieces to see which ones
     could be  replaced by the new piece.


I thought I would show you a piece that is contemporary that I have looked at from afar.  I really like  these two pieces even though my home is more on the traditional side…………

Source: cb2.com via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

Each of the above coffee tables are contemporary in their lines. I have looked at the CB2 table for a few years, and continue to gravitate towards it for my living room. 

I have plans for a seating area in my living room with four chairs around a round coffee table. Both of the above tables would fulfill a need for that room.

The Carrera top would be a perfect tie-in with the marble entry floor that I now have……..

I would change out the silver base of the table for an antiqued gold finish as in the first image.

The antique gold finish would go with the existing sconces that are in the room.

This  contemporary table could work on every level:

1.  Love the  round shape and clean lines of these
     contemporary pieces.
2.  They both would fulfill the need for a coffee table
      in my plans for my living room.

3. The finishes are a good tie-in too my existing décor
    that I plan on keeping.

Lesson Learned:

  • By keeping an open mind when looking at “All” good design a whole new world can open up for you!

  • Do you have a piece in the back of your mind that you love, but have always felt would not work for one reason or the other in your existing home?

Maybe it is time for you to revisit it with fresh eyes!



The enchanted home said...

Excellent topic. I don't personally I think I am more of a purist BUT when this look is done well, I love it and would not be opposed to trying it in small doses. Change is good and as you said you have to open your mind to new ideas....good topic!

L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys said...

I'm starting to lean towards the cottage and rustic side of design. Every time I see an image that relects those two styles, I feel calm. It's funny because I usually consider myslef more transitional. I welcome the change with open arms:)

And Kathysue, that table will look fab in your home! Get it!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

My main man Charles Faudree says if you love it, make it work! I can see your vision, Kathysue! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

savvycityfarmer said...

I think I'm due for some farmhouse switcher-oos!!

thanks for the kick in the pants ... sweetie

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Hi Kathysue,
I think now days, people mix and match styles that they love. I don't think rules are as rigid as in the past. It all seems to flow.
I you love something, why not accent it with your own personal taste.
I have 2 funky black chairs in our Living room that are different.

Jules said...

Oh Kathysue if I love it, I can afford it, I buy it and I make it fit perfectly somewhere!!!!!!
I would be such a disaster as a decorator...Though I am very, very good at taking peoples existing bits and pieces moving them around and making it all look better!!!!!!!
I have been here just not saying much!!!!

Jules said...

I didn't say I love the table and it will look fabulous in that room! xx

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

I am an eclectic conservative! I am not wild about modern, but I have seen pieces that I would love to have.
Thought provoking post, Kathysue.
Happy Thursday.

Lee said...

Your approach is so helpful -- I'm definitely a "stewer." I will see something I really like and I'll go through the thought process you outline in this post. But, sometimes, I just know and go for it. Intentional decorating helps when one has a smaller home.

I really like the first table you selected but I do love me some gold. And it's good to mix metals in a room.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I like where you are headed, Kathysue.

Melissa Miller said...

No doubt about it. I absolutely find beauty in every decor style and color in the world. I would say my overall favorite decor is traditional. Dark woods mixed with a touch of old world, modern maybe country french...oops there I go again. Don't even ask my favorite color. I never thought I would decorate with pink. Never say never. Great post.


I love how you showed the transition of Sally's room.....The last version is really beautiful! I am like you...wanting to add a little modern to the space to take it up a notch!

Victoria said...

This topic is a fascinating one to contemplate, Kathysue. In my home, I love mixing it up. In my living room, I have pairs of mid-century modern chairs and tables, mixed with an Empire sofa from 1840 and a console made of 19th century architectural corbels topped with thick glass. The console is dressed with a concrete boy with a dolphin that was the fountain in my former home. It also has a collection of blue and white porcelain and a large trumeau mirror.

Of course, part of the evolution of the choices I have made is the fact that I have lived a long time and many of the things I own have been with me for many, many decades. Along the way, I have incorporated more contemporary items with which I have fallen in love. I think that is the key; live with the things you love.
XO Victoria

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

I have found that mixing styles is the best way to surround yourself with things you love. I buy what I like and then make it work. I'm mostly traditional but have bits of cottage, farmhouse and even a little mod vintage. I used to worry about if something went with something else. Life is too short to worry. Now I just do it!

NanaDiana said...

I think that would look great, Kathysue. I don't have any problem mixing a bit of another style in. I tend to be more traditional but often incorporate an antique piece or another more modern piece into my design. I think if you LOVE it-it will work. xo Diana

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I feel mixing styles is more interesting...if done in the right way...when you have been married for so long, you collect things over the years...some you keep because you just love them and some you eventually let go...but mixing in more contemporary with traditional gives a room a bit more life...more interest...a bit of the unexpected...

I love the tables you presented...I feel that they are very classic...

Love Sally's living room...

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Get the table you love...even though it's got a modern form, it will live happily in a traditional interior! I have this huge modern orb sculpture that I love and a few other modern touches that keep things from being too stiff!

Loved seeing the transformation of SW many design personalities!

Melinda said...

Thought provoking as always - I like a good mix of bits and pieces, and think it works provided you have a dominance of one style with a few accents of another.

Toy Carli said...

Thanks for keeping us "thinking," Kathy. Love the four white chairs. Love both the round tables.