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Designer Tips: How to Mix & Match Furniture

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

What are the easiest ways to mess up the interior design of your home, office, or any space?

That’s not a hard question. All you have to do is buy as many beautiful furniture pieces as you can find and put them in a room. Follow this rule and you will end up with a jumble of furniture that looks lovely as individual pieces but create one big ugly mess collectively.

What does this tell you?

The appeal of any furniture item you add to a room is completely dependent on how that item fits with the overall design of the room, explains Dawson Management Company. No single item in a room can be beautiful in isolation. It is either beautiful or ugly to the extent that it complements its environment.

Based on this, what are the things you should keep in mind when buying furniture for your home or business space? How can you mix and match furniture to deliver the most aesthetic impact? This post offers a few simple guidelines that will help you do this.

Tips for mixing and matching furniture

You could find yourself struggling to match your furniture if you bought new pieces but have no plans to get rid of the old ones. This can also be a problem if you have a space where you need to include different types of furniture to serve different purposes. Or you are just looking for a way to spice up the appearance of a room.

But before we talk about what to do or not do when mixing and matching furniture is it even necessary for your furniture to match? The correct answer to this question is yes and no. No, your furniture does not need to match in the sense of all the items being uniform. But yes, they do need to match; there should be coherence among the different pieces.

That said, here are the tips to follow when mixing and matching furniture.

1. Before anything else, plan

The first step is to have clearly defined outcomes in your mind. When it is not guided by clear parameters, design has a way of taking a life of its own and choosing its own path. Ideally, the planning phase should be the most rigorous part of the entire process.

2. Choose a dominant theme

There is an 80/20 rule for interior design. Based on this rule, your design should have a main style and a supporting style. The main style should be represented in approximately 80% of the space, while the other 20% of the space may be dedicated to the supporting style.

- Minimal - Transitional - French Country - Eclectic

- Contemporary - Asian - Rustic - Retro

- Traditional - Art Deco - Tropical - Mediterranean

- Modern - Scandinavian - Cottage - Urban

- Bohemian - Southwestern - Mid-century Modern - Victorian

- Coastal - Shabby Chic - Industrial - Country

3. Limit the number of colors

Less is more. The wrong use of colors is the easiest way to make the furniture in a room clash. The standard rule is to limit yourself to three colors: the main color, a complementing accent color, and pops of color. In addition to not using too many colors, use colors within the same family.

4. Scale matters

The proportion of your furniture pieces matters. Several large furniture pieces in a room make the space uninviting. On the other hand, if the room is filled with small pieces, it can feel partially empty. The best plan is to use moderately large pieces and balance them with smaller items.

5. Don’t overlook patterns

Just like colors, patterns are important and you can tend to overuse them in the design. Too many patterns in a design make it look chaotic. Avoid using large-scale patterns over a wide area. You will get better outcomes if you employ subtle patterns on smaller surfaces.

6. Consider the texture of items

Texture is an important factor to think about. Like the shape and color of objects, their texture influences the coherence of your design. The same rules that apply when selecting the patterns to use in a room apply when deciding which textures to include.

7. You need an inspiration piece

Decide which piece you want to make the focal point of your design. Determine the color, texture, size, and position of other pieces based on this one item. Keeping one eye on your inspiration piece will make it easy to create harmony among the different objects in the room.

8. Make use of contrasting but complementary shapes

You want your chairs, tables, and sofa to have divergent shapes. But in order for those shapes to merge into a beautiful whole, they need to somehow agree. When deciding the shapes to include, look for objects with different shapes and some commonalities.

9. Incorporate different materials

You do not want to end up with a room full of single-toned wood or other materials. To inject vitality into the design, you want some level of diversity. A mixture of dark wood and stainless steel, for instance, will add sophistication to your design. For the best effect use a lot of natural materials like wood or wood and stone. You also want those items to vary in color, texture, and where you place them in a room.

10. Strive for balance

In the end, the most important rule is balance. Little things you do in the design help to offset the impact of dominant objects and balance the look of the room. In order to create balance, never forget the importance of placement, proportions, flow, and lighting.

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