Mix It Up! The Do’s and Don’ts of Mixing Decor Styles

Hi everyone! I’m Sarah from Just The Bees Knees back again to share another Mood Board! Today I’m hoping to inspire you to mix up your design style!

How to mix decor styles on Remodelaholic.com


 Over the past few years we have seen a lot of design styles and rules come and go, but what I’m loving about design trends this year is that there seem to be no set rules! We are seeing unexpected elements mixed together to create a style that is as unique as the individual who created it. Old is mixed with new, shiny and bright with muted and rustic, bold and graphic with soft and feminine. The possibilities are endless! But that doesn’t mean you can start combining EVERY style of decor available to you, so to keep you from turning your living room into a flea market, I’ve created a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you in the right direction while you’re mixing decor styles!

Do’s and Don’ts of Mixing Decor Styles

 Mixing styles: Keep a neutral background and accent with bright colors.

 We love bold bright pops of color, but too much of a good thing can be bad. A bright pair of pillows, ottoman or piece of furniture will stand out in a crowd, but too many will leave you grabbing  for your sunglasses and a bottle of motrin. DON’T  overwhelm your space with too much color. 


Mixing styles: Mix modern furniture with traditional pieces.


Ornate, traditional pieces look fantastic paired with sleek modern styles. Even a traditional piece like this Louis XVI chair reupholstered with a contemporary fabric makes a statement. The key here is opposites attract. DON’T combine too many pieces from the same period or you won’t be able to achieve the contrast…which brings me to my next point,

Mixing styles: Add contrast with textures and colors.


Old mixed with new, rustic wood mixed with shiny metallics, and hard surfaces mixed with soft textures will create  beautiful contrast in your space.  DON’T mix too many different woods however. Sticking with one style such as rustic weathered wood will create cohesiveness, where as mixing driftwood with rich mahogany and light maple will just create chaos. 

And lastly, DO have fun with it, but DON’T treat all styles equally.  Go heavy on one style of furniture, then mix in the other styles. Kimberly Seldon calls it her 80/20 rule; 80% of the room should be one style, and 20% a mix of others.

The Do's and Don'ts of mixing decor styles from Remodelaholic.com #moodboard #design #decorating

Scroll below to shop the mood board.  If some of the original items are no longer available we will try to find similar items for you.

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links, which allow us to continue providing you lots of decorating and DIY ideas at no cost to you. Learn more here.

I hope I have inspired you to start mixing up your home decor! Go shopping in your house and try moving a few pieces from one room to the next. You will be amazed at what you can find! 

If you are looking for more inspiration, be sure to check out my last post, 6 Tips for Decorating with Radiant Orchid, or hop over to my blog and check out my Mood Board gallery which includes a recent Dining Room and Living Room/Office project I completed. 

Thanks again to the Remodelaholic team for having me here today and I look forward to being back next month. Cheers!

xo, Sarah

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    1. I am thinking of buying a charming post and beam home on Cape Cod. The homes I have always had were traditional thus I have a lot of 18th century pieces….beautiful corner cabinets…secretary and various other 18th reproductions…high end quality. Do you think I could blend them in to a more rustic…wide pine flooring home with rustic open beams? When I am in the house it feels English and exudes lots of charm and warmth. I would mix the reproductions along with other more modern pieces such as a sleek travertine dining table with off white parson chairs and some modern expressionism pieces of art. Does anyone have an opinion on this…thanks

  1. Thanks for a great post, Sarah.

    It’s funny that you mention Kimberly Seldon. I had never heard of her until she spoke at our home staging convention last week in Las Vegas. I bought both her design books to improve my business.

  2. Hi Sarah, I really enjoyed this article. I have a VERY eclectic design style but I’m often at odds with how I would incorporate a piece if I brought it into my home. For instance, I am in love with rustic, country style, something that says my home is a HOME, cozy and warm and lived-in. On the other side of that coin, I also love the idea of someday finding (and being able to afford) some chest of drawers or some such from the British Colonial India period-you know, dark wood, rich, wonderful, hand carvings, something that says “exotic getaway”. However, I don’t see how I could create a way for these designs to live in my house and actually get along with each other, if you understand my point. Do you have any thoughts, or must I truly choose one or the other? Thanks so much for your article. You have me dreaming again.

    1. Hi Stephanie! What a GREAT question! Thats a tough one if you also decorate with a lot rustic woods as the two would fight each other, BUT a British Colonial India piece would look great mixed in a room with some casual country upholstered pieces. Think overstuffed natural linen couches, sisal rugs and oversized ottomans. A few more formal pieces in the same period style would look great mixed in with a more casual space.
      Hope that helps!!
      ~ sarah

  3. I’ve recently done a bedroom remodel. The walls are a deep gray/blue paint, linen tufted headboard, chocolate hardwood floors and a gray and white geometric area rug. I saw these great mirrored chests at pier 1 to use as nightstands (Meriweather I think), but I’d like to have some dark wood furniture as well. Can these looks go together? Is the dark floor too much with the dark furniture? The bed linens are white with some gray and I have a grey upholstered bench with dark wood legs at the bottom of the bed. I’m not looking for a real modern look, maybe more transitional. I am stuck here! Any suggestions?

  4. My partner and I just moved into a house she inherited from her mother. We are now in the process of decorating and finding it really challenging to mix our furniture with that already in the house so that it doesn’t look like a college apt filled with items donated by family. There are, of course, sentimental attachments to many of the lovely pieces her mother had but it’s making me a bit crazy. I don’t have a natural eye for decorating so it’s hard to tell what makes something unique versus odd looking. This post and the mixing metals and mixing wood ones are very helpful. Thank you!