Mix of Styles in the Interior

Tips for perfect combinations
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For the modern interior, the slogan "Anything goes" applies. A mix of different furniture styles, colours and patterns can give a unique, fresh look to your space. Many people, however, hesitate to mix several styles in interior design out of concern that the meticulously planned space could eventually resemble a disorganized mess. With our proven rules and simple tips you will manage to easily create welcoming and stylish rooms in your home.

Contrast is Important …

Room decoration in grey colours

Grey in grey - no eye-catching without contrasts

Imagine you enter a space and all the furniture, walls and floors have exactly the same shade. After the initial shock, you would probably say that the room looks extremely boring. In this admittedly unlikely scenario, there is nothing that attracts your eye. It would wander around the room and look for an interesting counterpoint, because, in general, we feel better in spaces with contrasting elements, to which our gaze feels drawn automatically.

…but Just as the Balance

Right here, it can also be, however, "too much". With a certain number of contrasting elements, our eye loses its grip; the room seems overflowing. Harmoniously designed rooms have a balance between these two extremes. In masterly mixed styles, there are basically large monochromatic, showy patterns or neutral coloured zones contrasted, and the more patterns, colours and shapes you mix in one room, the more neutral areas you need. Below, we look at this even closer.

Your Own Style

Different style and colour combinations of home decor

Compare different styles and colour combinations

Of course, your own style plays an important role. Look as much as possible at photos of rooms in facility magazines, and find out what you like best, and most importantly, why. Do you prefer the sleek look of ultra-modern interior with lots of chrome and white, something with a cozy country house flair, or perhaps a small or large portion of shabby chic? These questions are a good starting point, especially for the beginner. Yet they are not all; in fact, the most beautiful examples of successful interior design rarely can be clearly assigned a specific design direction. The best interior designers usually combine together elements of two or more styles.

Play with Patterns, Colours and Textures

If the word "mixture of styles" falls, textile and wallpaper patterns are often the first thing that comes to mind. And indeed, these are very well suited to realize, with relatively low cost, a refined mixture of styles.

The key here is the combination of different designs, which are linked by a common theme. The easiest way to start is basing all the elements on a single, harmonious colour palette.

Room decorated in pink colours

A room with a consequent colour scheme…

A Harmonious Colour Palette

Before you ever deal with different patterns, put what you consider the most attractive and harmonious colour combination together. Decide whether warmer or cooler colours would bring the room to its best advantage. Then, first select one or two more neutral primary colours and think about what accent colours could set special highlights. One of the easiest ways is, of course, the combination of a white background with some vibrant colours.

The more neutral main colour(s) are planned for walls and floors. Then, you choose large patterns in the previously defined accent colours, such as dots, chevron stripes, floral, or whatever you like. You can use these patterns for salient pieces of furniture, carpet and similar properties. For the rest of the room are recommend furnishings in shades of neutral colours you have chosen. Thus, you avoid a chaotic juxtaposition of too many colours and manage, by combining bold patterns with muted, neutral colours, a magical atmosphere.

Room decorated in warm colours

… affects mood depending on the accent colours

Combining Big and Small

Do not forget that you can also mix small and large patterns in the choice of patterns for your room, so long as the colour palette stays in the same colour family. Choose a dominant pattern for a large mural or your curtains, and then one or more patterns on a smaller scale for sofa cushions and fabrics throughout the room.

Choose photos matching in form and colour to your concept. Your photo moments are more pronounced when they are staged rich in contrast! The theme of your photo also has great influence: a picture from the beach holiday is perfect for a summer maritime atmosphere in a bright room with blue accents.

And now it’s possible to print your personal photos on home lifestyle items, opening up new possibilities to put your unique stamp on a room’s look. Why not choose a personalised cushion or two, and achieve the complete control you need to make a truly fresh statement with colour and mood.

Three different images with same colour pattern

Use your photos for colour and form contrasts

Practical Approach

As so often in life, reticence is essential here. Therefore, many interior designers rely on the magic number "three", which would allow you to mix patterns stylishly, without overshooting the target. For this purpose, follow these simple steps:

  • Start with a large, eye-catching pattern, design and colours that you really like.
  • Choose now different pattern design elements that are half as large as the first ones, but which stay in the same colour palette.
  • For the third pattern, you choose a very different, much smaller design. Pay attention, however, that the pattern elements can not be so small that they can no longer work properly from a distance.

Example: Mix Strong Colours and Patterns Correctly

Among the wonderful things in the mixture of styles, a wide range belongs to bold colours, from which you can choose. Sofa cushions in bright wine red, orange-red and aquamarine come around to their best advantage when they are on a large patterned sofa in black and white tones.

Room decorated with colourful pillows

Colourful cushions have an incredibly strong effect

Note that in this example, each element has a single prominent design feature: a bright colour or a strong pattern. Such a style means you avoid a discordant jumble of colours and patterns.

Varying Structures

Just as exciting as the mix of patterns and colours are variations of used structures and textures. On the one hand, you create visual depth, but it's first of all about the tactile qualities of different structures that challenge the interaction with the room. Note here that coarser structures often appear more severe and cozy than smooth ones. So if you want to create an inviting oasis, you should start with rough textures, while smooth ones generate a more elegant feel but also tends to cooler surroundings.

Colourful stripes in the room decoration

The same pattern, another object – colourful stripes in the room

Combine Different Furniture Styles

  • Do you want to reconfigure an existing, ready-furnished room? Then you do not have to put all the furniture on the bulky waste and start from scratch. Unless your old furniture is completely worn out and used up, there is no reason to blow your financial budget with completely new furniture. You may as well build on the existing and replace just a few pieces to ennoble the room.
  • Or do you like a particular chair or stool? That does not mean that now you have to buy a whole set of them to tune everything to precisely match. On the contrary, the combination of old and new can be quite exciting and give the room a beautiful appearance and warmth, especially if you involve personal items into the design.
  • No one can stop you from mixing styles from different cultures and time periods with each other. Let an antique chair once again reflect with a material that did not exist during the period of its creation!
Old vintage chairs

Old furniture can set exciting accents

In all of these examples, you should avoid things that make the result look jumbled together. Therefore, you need a red thread that joins together all of the different elements. As mentioned above, it can be a colour, a pattern, a structure, or even a certain form. Particularly easy for beginners is the mentioned use of neutral colours. These help to generate a visual frame for the room. This is best done with neutral-coloured walls and a large neutral piece of furniture. This gives you a perfect setting for vibrant colours or more patterned pieces

Picture, pillow and vase with the zigzag pattern

Picture, pillow, vase and a zigzag pattern act like a red thread


This article has explained to you the main guidelines to help you achieve a harmonious, tasty mixture of styles. Don’t forget the following: If your room finally looks the way you planned it, then maybe something went wrong. The interior design can and should develop its own life. Your design plan should not hinder your creativity. Only subsequent ideas make a room really exciting and alive!

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