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Mix and Match Styles to Own “Your Look”

When it comes to design, you don’t have to get trapped in just one style: Mixing and matching can result in an eclectic — and cohesive — look.

Antique rugs, chandeliers, and sacred statues — all considered more traditional when it comes to interior design — can lend a very sophisticated look to an already modern home when paired well. 

For instance, the reds and golds of an antique rug or runner can add warmth to a sliding, reclaimed wooden bar door leading into a bedroom or living room. And just as wood — reclaimed or otherwise — mirrors nature outdoors, so, too, can fountains or enlarged photography of nature. It’s a refreshing way to usher the outdoor lifestyle into your home.

Ornate rugs can also bring richness into a sacred space, yoga studio, or sitting area adorned with a Buddha statue and/or a Tibetan Thangka. Sacred spaces like these in a foyer or in an entryway to a bedroom create a peaceful vessel, which offers respite from busy days, reminding us to pause, take a breath and express gratitude for all the beauty that surrounds us.

One of our clients transported their beloved Murano glass chandelier from each home they moved to. In their East Vail home, we installed a transparent, illuminated Cristallo quartzite countertop, which complemented the chandelier that could have otherwise been a sore point; instead, it became a focal point.

One way to mix and match successfully involves using splashes of color. Thin, red cushions on metal stools at a breakfast bar highlight bright red apples and flowers on the countertop. Yellow, blue, or even red chairs with sleek lines and a contrasting pillow color can also add a pop of colorful fun, blending modern with, say, a more traditional stone fireplace in a great room.

One bedroom we designed blended a blue upholstered headboard and footboard with a blue duvet, orange and brown toned pillows, and a rust-colored curtain.

Colorful, abstract art displayed with contemporary light fixtures ushers in an up-to-date aesthetic to mountain architecture characterized by wooden beams or ceilings. And, don’t be afraid to bring in plenty of art — whether it hangs on the wall or stands out in sculpture form. When arranged properly on shelves and nooks, sculptures of all shapes and colors can create a refined, chic, and even playful feel that inspires the eye — and the spirit.

Kids’ rooms are always a fun place to add colors that complement and contrast each other. Wooden bunk beds lend a natural, mountainy feel, while bedding depicting cartoon characters, colorful bean bags, and stuffed animals create a whimsical feel.

If bright colors don’t suit your style, consider incorporating warm hues of browns and maroons to complement darker kitchen cabinetry or darker beams and wooden ceilings.

You might also want to opt for white, placing white cushions on brown barstools to complement white and gray marble kitchen countertops and backsplashes. 

Of course, texture is always wonderful to play with when mixing and matching. A shiny sequin pillow on one chair — or the end of a sofa — and a fur pillow on the other contrast one another nicely. You might even want to turn an heirloom fur into a few pillows. Blankets are also a cozy way to add texture and offer comfort on cooler summer nights leading into the fall and winter.

Likewise, patterns always enhance the design. Patterned pillows on beds or sofas, along with textured or patterned abstract artwork, can really pull a room together. Upholstering modern-shaped chairs with paisley, or other traditional fabric, is a great way to mix and match and soften clean lines, as is making a pillow out of grandma’s needlepoint and placing it on a special chair.

When it comes to designing your home, don’t be afraid to mix and match: When it’s done right, it only enhances your living space.