Embracing Eclectic: Mix and Match Country Decorating

June 4th, 2015 Country Decorating

13097You like more than one kind of music. You eat at all different types of restaurants. You don’t see just one kind of movie.

Why should your home decor be any different?

You may have chosen a vintage country look as the dominant style of your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in some other styles with a bit of mix and match decorating.

Reading design websites leads us back to the same truth again and again: The notion that your rooms can only have one color, one type of furniture, or one style is a rule that’s made to be broken.

It’s fine to show your love for a lot of different looks, as long as you end up with a space that reflects you. Here are a few tips we’ve collected to help you master the art of eclectic decorating.

1. Choose Your Colors Carefully

Too many colors can make each piece in your room feel like it stands alone, rather than part of a grander design. Decorating expert Tonya Lee writes: “One of my college professors constantly reminded us to ‘spread the wealth’ when it came to color, meaning that one should repeat the same colors throughout the space to bring items (and the room) together

2. Make the Ugly Duckling Into a Hero

Again, from Lee: If you have one piece of furniture that doesn’t match the rest of your décor don’t try to hide it. Instead, make it stand out by turning it into the focal point of your space and building your decorations around it.

It can be a classical statue in a modern room, or a mix of vintage-looking accessories such as our wall signs.

3. Follow the 80/20 Rule.

This comes from Kimberly Seldon, writing for Style at Home. Her take is that if 80 percent of your décor is unified by one style, you’re free to be a little looser with the other 20 percent.

Therefore, a room filled with 80 percent modern furniture could be topped off with one of our country style rugs.

4. Make Compromises

Your eclectic decorating choices could be your choice, or they could be a matter of necessity. If you’re merging styles after moving in with your significant other, or you’ve simply found a new roommate it’s important to compromise, writes Kris Gleba of Demand Media.

“Primitive decor, characterized by patina and an otherwise grungy appearance, sometimes conflicts with country’s cutesy charms,” she says in writing about designing a bedroom around a mix of the two styles.

For example, decorate your bed with a country quilt with cranberry red and creamy white – a number of our quilts fit the bill — under handcrafted primitive pillows.

And remember that you can always reupholster a piece of furniture to fit one style or another.

5. Find Some Found Objects

Found objects can really stand out against sleek modern surfaces, says This Old House’s My Home Ideas blog. They give the example of repurposing an old washboard and making it into a mirror.

If you don’t have an inner Martha Stewart – or simply don’t have the time for that sort of project – a wide variety of items in our primitives collection can give your room a vintage country look.

6. Time Travel With Your Furniture

“A well-edited room should look as if it’s been collected over time, not shipped straight from the showroom floor,” writes My Home Ideas.

That means getting furniture from different times and places, as long as they can co-exist peacefully. (See rules 1, 2 and 3.)

7. Think of Scale and Shape

When mixing and matching your décor, it’s important to consider scale and shape, says Dabney Frake of Apartment Therapy.

“Keep the scale of all your decor in the same realm,” she writes. “You don’t want a huge overstuffed chair sitting next to your grandmother’s dainty wooden carved loveseat.”

The shape of furniture should match too. A boxy chair won’t work with a rounded-arm sofa.

8. Keep It Simple

We get that you have a lot of things you want to show off. But too much makes your living room look like an antique store. Think back to rule number two, and find something you’re proud of that can be the hero of your space.

The rules of décor aren’t carved into a mountainside somewhere, or written down by the Gods of Style. What works for one space may not work for another. In the world of mix and match decorating, the most important thing is to find what works for you.

There’s only one real rule when mixing country décor with other styles: find what works for you.