Decorating and Unpacking

How to Mix & Match Styles

mix and match

We asked the second-hand furniture experts to share some tips about creating a cohesive space with a variety of furniture styles.  Feeling inspired to fill your home with previously used furniture?

Creating a space that feels like home can be a challenge, especially when you’re mixing and matching with family heirlooms, scrappy yard sale finds, and newer investment pieces.  You want to avoid the hodge-podge look while keeping your space feeling warm.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying and mixing a variety of furniture styles.


Buy things you love

This should be your rule of thumb when it comes to anything for the home.  Only buy pieces that speak to you, whether it is the story attached to the item or its lovely aesthetics.  The easiest way to create the feeling of home is to fill your house with pieces you love.


Breathe fresh life into your heirlooms

Really love your grandmother’s dark wood bed, but want to lighten up your bedroom?  Instead of painting pieces or tossing them entirely, there are some small steps to take to refresh the pieces you already have.  Throw some bright, vivid linens on a dark bed for a more modern look, or bring in only light colored pieces to counteract a room full of dark wood furniture.


Play with Contrasts

Pair hard with soft, blocky lines with fluid lines, old with new.  The more dramatic the contrast, the more dramatic space will feel.  The trick to a non-garage sale look is to contrast vintage and antique pieces with crisp, clean lines.  A great, clean, white sofa will keep that antique armoire from looking and feeling shabby.


Use the 80/20 Rule

This rule states that 80 percent of your space should be decorated in one style, era, or color, and the other 20 percent should be something dynamic and different.  Think: a room outfitted in provincial French style with some surprising modern accents like lucite, a vivid rug, or a superbly tailored chair.


Embrace the spice of life

Variety will add personality and life to your space, so embrace it!  Do not worry that all the wood in a space doesn’t match, or that you’ve brought in more than three colors.  Some of our favorite spaces are bursting with color and still feel modern.


Experiment, experiment, experiment

Yes, moving furniture around a room can be hard, but it is worth it to play with placement before committing to a design.  Sometimes the only refresh a room need is to be rearranged!  Play with different color and style pairings by moving the brightest piece in a space beside the most low-key.  If you like that moment, move onto the next area!  Most rooms will never feel finished if decorated in a day, so be patient and playful.

Next time you head out to thrift or yard sale shop, you can feel confident that a mix of styles will not only enhance your space but will allow your space to truly feel like home.