Skip to content


8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Want to mix different design styles? Follow these 8 simple interior design principles for a cohesive home that looks and feels like you.

When you look around your home, what do you see??

Is it Coastal Chic, Modern Farmhouse, Traditional or Mid-Century Modern?

Or maybe you’re like the majority of us and your home is a mix of styles... Queue pinterest paralysis and inspo overload.

The good news is many styles share similarities and can be perfect buddies with a little know-how. Even styles that are complete opposites can be mixed together in the same space without clashing or overpowering each other.

Mixing design styles is not as complicated as you may think. There are no rules saying you can’t combine different styles…..and even if there were rules, remember it’s your home beautiful, you do you!

By combining different design styles, your home will tell an interesting story about you and your family. Who wants a carbon copy of a pin you’ve found, not you beautiful, you are unique and so is your home.

Here are 8 principles for how to mix design styles with total ease, while creating a home that looks and feels totally like you...

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Billy Bolton

1 - Start With The 80/20 Rule

When blending two very different styles in your home, it’s best to stick to the ratio of 80:20. Choose a Primary design style and a Secondary style.

80% of the room should be decorated in the primary style with 20% of the room featuring elements from the secondary style. This creates a nice balance whereby the two styles can blend beautifully for a visually appealing design.

There are many ways you can combine the styles using the 80:20 ratio. Of course, existing furniture may affect your decision, unless you are starting from scratch.

  • Choose two styles that you love and would like to combine.
  • Look at all the characteristics that the two styles have in common. Try to incorporate as many of these common elements as possible into the space.
  • Decide which style will be the Primary style (80%) and which will be the Secondary style (20%).
  • The majority of the furniture can reflect your Primary style, with one large furniture piece chosen from the Secondary style.
  • Choose a rug or lighting from the Secondary style.
  • All of the remaining furniture pieces, the window treatments and one or two accessories can be the Primary style.
  • You can also add one or two accessories from the Secondary style if you like.
  • When looking at your space, 80% of the room should reflect your Primary style, while 20% of the accentuating pieces should reflect your Secondary style.
8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Kate Marker Interiors

2 - Choose common colours to create unity

Common colours throughout a space can bring a look together, whereas having too many colours can pull a design in too many directions.

Be selective about your colour choices and keep your home unified with the use of a specific colour palette.

If you have a traditional living room and want to add a bohemian pillow, pull a colour from the cushion that coordinates with other accents in the room.

A pop of colour and pattern can make a traditional sofa feel modern and fun.

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Sharyn Cairns

3 - Choose a consistent pattern throughout

If you have a geometric rug in the space, adding in a floral cushion might create a little unbalance. Pick up the colours from your carpet or opt for a repeating geometric shape on accessories.

You can also bring consistency to a space by using the clean lines or curves of a sofa and repeating it with similarly clean lined coffee tables or curved chairs. Some prints such as animal prints work well with classic styles. Animal print is actually considered a “neutral” that can add visual interest to almost any style.

Choose unifying colours and combine one statement-making print with smaller, more simple patterns and voila, a design that’s effortless and considered but not to matchy mathy.

4 - Give your décor scheme a theme

No need to overdo a coastal theme with shells and seagulls throughout a space. Choosing a coastal inspired colour palette and a few beachy accessories can work with other styles if you ensure the décor fits the theme.

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Line Klein

5 - Make an eclectic piece the focal point of your room

If you have a beloved piece of furniture that just doesn’t seem to blend with the rest of your décor, draw attention to it! If it’s already turning heads, you might as well really get people noticing.

Use it as the focal point of your space and pull a colour from it or repeat a pattern, to build the rest of your room around it.

By tying other elements to it, it becomes the anchor in the space, giving your room a unique personality that captures attention for all the right reasons.

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Architectural Digest

6 - Choose furniture pieces with the same type of wood

Just as colours will unite styles, when you keep the tones of wood consistent in a space, it will also keep the look unified. When wooden legs on a favourite chair are not the same tone as furniture you already have in a room, why not stain or refinish the wood to match what you currently have.

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: Silvie Li

7 - Choose a specific style of art work and another style of frame

Using sculptures and paintings in your design is a great way to combine different styles.

Adding an abstract work of art to a room that has very simple, traditional furniture will keep the room from looking too traditional and boring.

You can liven a space up with works of art and mix even more styles with their frames. For example, framing a contemporary graphic print in a reclaimed wood frame creates an unexpected look that combines different styles.

8 Simple Ways To Successfully Mix Decor Styles

Image Credit: David Oliver

8 - Understand Balance

An massive sofa or a heavy armoire can completely overpower a room filled with dainty feminine furniture. Try to choose similarly sized items to give a space a cohesive look and feel. Smaller items would work well with larger items if you combine several small items together so that the grouping itself is comparable in size to the larger pieces.

Creating your perfect space is an exercise in trial and error. Play with rearranging pieces, adding and removing items, until everything feels just right for you. It’s your home beautiful and it comes together when you surround yourself with things that mean the most to you and offer you the greatest sense of comfort and joy.

Have a great week.

Natalie Xx

Do you want to decode your interior design style in a weekend?

The Design Style Fix™ is a power-packed Masterclass bundle that will remove Pinterest Paralysis, give you clarity and decode your interior design style in a weekend.

Save for later?? Pin it now

Mixing Decor Styles With Ease


Get your FREE 'Design My Home' Starter Kit

The HomeEnvy Members Club