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The Art of Blending

In decades past interior design has been marked by matching furniture collections that were purchased as a "room set" or from a holiday weekend bulk sale. My mom did it, I'm sure yours did too. Whether is was Jeromes or Costco or your neighborhood furniture warehouse, we saw an influx in the matching sofa + loveseat or coordinating floral patterns on the bedspread, pillows, and window valances. Listen, I'm not here to throw shame...I see it more as a right of passage that has led us to an age of design where we can move past the matchy matchy and can explore the art of blending styles, patterns, materials and colors to create the perfect balance in each room we tackle.


A perfect way to achieve a well blended and balanced room is by mixing materials. A great rule of thumb to follow is to think opposites! Have a cold, tile floor? Warm it up with a chunky knit area rug. Have an upholstered sofa? Add a metal coffee table to throw in another layer of material! This room is a great example of this concept - a concrete wall and steel trimmed windows balanced with warm woven furniture accents and a soft leather sofa. So go ahead - opposites attract!


I'm pretty confident that my all time favorite color combination is black & white. As much as I love to pretend that "pop of color" is my jam, my affection always seems to fall with the timeless duo of color contrasts. I love the stark contrast of dark and light and feel like you can't go wrong with blending the two to create a well balanced room.


I have to admit, this is something I've just started to explore (even mentally) in this last year. I used to be so confused by other people throwing all types of patterns together and somehow it turning out to look good...but I'll also admit that I'm MASSIVELY intrigued by this blending technique. I would confidently guess that it's all about the trial and error of playing with different patterns to see which ones compliment each other and which ones compete with one another. Another trick is to mix up the scale of the patterns - if you have a large scale pattern floor add a small pattern pillow!


We get this question ALL. THE. TIME. - can you mix wood finishes? Can you mix metal finishes? The answer that shocks most of the world - YES! The key is to just keep some consistency within your room. It's best to not introduce more than 3 finishes within the same material family and the most important key is to not try to match! If you have varying shades then try to make them intentionally different. This kitchen is a perfect example of how to blend finishes in a tasteful way that introduces a variety of shades.

So, all in all, if there's one thing I'm continually learning in the world of design is that there are no rules! Push the limits, be creative, test the waters and see what works and what doesn't. Happy designing!




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