Some people find it easy to define their decorating style. They’re straight-up modern, strictly traditional, or daringly eclectic. But for most, finding their favorite style is not quite so simple. They may love the clean lines of modern furniture but still have a hankering for ornate carving, be 90% committed to standard traditional fare but lust after super-modern light fixtures, or prefer contemporary styling but can’t relinquish their dreams of industrial exposed ductwork or rustic ceiling beams.
Who says you have to go with one style? Mixing styles is not only acceptable, it’s quite common – and it’s not contradictory, clashing, or awkward when done right. Today, we’ll show you how it’s possible to be stylish in two styles: contemporary and rustic.
The most important rules when mixing styles:
- Don’t mix too many. More than two styles will start looking like a disorganized mishmash.
- Go with the flow. Your home should be harmonious; don’t do one super-contemporary room adjoining another that’s purely rustic; the style of each room should flow into the next. Be consistent!
- Choose your balance. You can:
- Favor one style – decorate primarily in one style with just a few noticeable accents or large elements (floor, ceiling, lighting, furniture, wall treatments) in the other style, or
- Go halfsies – represent each style equally. Other combinations will look lopsided.
- Define your preferences. What is it that you love (and dislike) about each style? Clarify that before you start.
- Have a vision. When you mix styles, planning is more important than ever. If you are of the “picking up furniture and decor as you go along” camp, avoid mixing styles – poor planning will show. Plan ahead so that you know which elements will be contemporary and which will be rustic and which style to apply to which area (for example, if you’re sold on a copper range hood but don’t like other rustic decor, be sure to plan the rest of the kitchen accordingly).
Check out these perfect rustic and contemporary mashups for inspiration!