So far this year on Wit & Delight, our monthly themes have covered topics like discovering your personal style, decorating with color and pattern, finding the organization system that works for you, and filling your home (and life) with things you love. We can think about these ideas on their own, but the real magic comes when we consider them as a whole.
When it comes to mixing interior design styles and elements, I most often think of details like color, pattern, texture, and scale. There are also shape, depth, weight, and so many other tactile variables to consider. And, importantly, there are the personal style attributes that you contribute to any given space.
Many of the questions I’m asked about interior design center around how to combine different decor elements, eras, and styles. My answer to these kinds of questions is always about finding a balance between each aspect of the design. There is no right or wrong way to mix pieces together; there are only different combinations. The unique mix of elements we each create is how we express our individual sense of personal style. The way you distribute decor elements throughout any given space will lead to a design that’s all your own.
In our current home, I’ve been mixing decor elements from the day we moved in. When it comes to decorating, sometimes it can feel harder to start with a blank canvas than to start with something that already exists. That’s what’s been so intriguing about the process of designing our home. The constraints of what was already here have encouraged me to find creative, tactical design solutions rather than gutting everything and starting from scratch.
If you’re intimidated by mixing design elements, one of the best places to start is to study rooms you like. Take note of all the different elements at play and the ones you find most interesting and impactful. Then think about why you’re drawn to those elements. Do you like the scale of the furniture? The texture of the fabrics? The entire color palette or one of the colors in particular?
Also, consider what you think is missing from the rooms and what you might add to the mix. When I practice this kind of study, I often feel like an element from nature is missing. Sometimes I’ll notice that there’s a lack of depth in the color palette and I’d like to add an accent color to round it out. Or, I’ll notice that there’s an absence of soft mood lighting and would want to bring in the warm glow of a lamp or two.
There is no right or wrong way to mix pieces together; there are only different combinations. The unique mix of elements we each create is how we express our individual sense of personal style.
Get really detailed in your personal study. This kind of understanding will help inform the way you mix pieces in your own home in the future. It’s worth noting that this same practice of study applies to fashion as well! You can use it to better understand your personal fashion preferences and get more accustomed to mixing different pieces of clothing together.
Mixing and layering a variety of elements is an integral part of any design project, no matter the size. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the weeks ahead.
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BY Kate Arends - June 2, 2023
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.