Mix Interior Design Styles Without Clashing

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In some parts of the United States, all it takes is a glance at a home’s exterior to know what its interior will look like.

Take a walk down the road through a Georgian neighborhood, and you might see any number of historical homes, from English cottages to Italianate mansions. Inside, you might expect to see 1800’s period pieces that were probably used when the area was first being developed. These antiques are beautiful, precious, and a little boring. Just because you live in a period home doesn’t mean the interior has to be a blast from the past.

Interior-Design-StylesKatherine Walden, a reporter for the Macon, Georgia-based newspaper The Telegraph, said this tendency is rampant in her area. “There are devotees of every stripe who are slaves to the fashion of interior design that authentically interprets a particular epoch,” she said. “But the interiors that intrigue me the most are the ones that take me by surprise.” In interiors, as in life, the expected will never be as interesting as the unexpected.

Avoid the magazine cover page look
So what Walden suggests is combining styles in an aesthetically pleasing way. Don’t make your home look like you bought everything off the same page of the Sears and Roebuck magazine. In fact, this is something that happened in the early 1900’s. Sears actually sold furnishing sets for the whole house that matched, priced so an emerging middle class could afford it.

Renovate your fireplace
One way to mix styles is by updating that old fireplace dominating one wall of the living room. Instead of hiding it from visitors with a long couch or hanging vines, showcase it with new laminate, cabinetry, or granite. Make it a focal point and a talking point.

Make your cabinets into display cases
Another idea is to change old cabinets into display cases. As a rule, cabinets of the past were seen as mere storage receptacles. But by replacing their doors with glass, you’ve created a new way of displaying your kitchen (just be sure you choose cabinets that tend to be tidy). Walden also suggested homeowners could “laminate a new finish such as mirror to the exterior or lacquer the wood a sleek chinoiserie black. Paint the inside walls of the cabinet in a contrast color and install glass shelves.” You can also add lights to the interior to really highlight your cabinet’s contents, almost like an art exhibit.

Add the element of surprise
Finally, if you’re going for a surprise, why not surprise yourself. Pick an accessory out that you really like but which doesn’t necessarily match your current decor. Place it in a visible spot or turn it into a focal point in your room. Then see what you can do to add elements of it into your design—its color, pattern, texture, material, etc. You may be surprised by how effect a single object can have on a room.

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