Mixing Interior Design Styles with Modern Decor

How to Combine Decorating Styles for a Unique Modern Look

Merging different decor styles lets you bring your favorite accents and modern furnishings together in a creative way, but getting a look that feels curated rather than haphazard can be tricky. To accomplish your decorating goals, you’ll need to coordinate with a color palette or theme, pay attention to proportions and balance your accents and furniture to create a perfectly blended layout.

Overview

In this post, you’ll learn:

Combining metallic finishes and bold colors with sleek, clean lines is a great way to blend contemporary pieces into your modern living room.
Combining metallic finishes and bold colors with sleek, clean lines is a great way to blend contemporary pieces into your modern living room.

How Do You Mix Interior Styles?

Before you start shopping for decor pairings, you’ll need to lay the groundwork for your design. A limited color scheme, motif or fabric should act as a common thread when you mix furniture styles. In the initial planning stage, you’ll need to select a color scheme, pattern, shape or materials to serve as the base for your diverse style combo.

Pick Your Palette

Repeating similar tones throughout your design prevents your chosen decor styles from clashing. You’ll need a limited palette of two or three complementary colors to give the room a cohesive look. Be sure to select shades that suit the mood of the space, such as soft blues, greens and violets for a cozy bedroom and bold reds and yellows for an active living room.

A gray, orange and beige color scheme combines both striking and subtle shades.
A gray, orange and beige color scheme combines both striking and subtle shades.

Select a Pattern

A consistent theme also offers another effective base when mixing design styles. Consider similar floral or animal prints for your living room area rugs and accent pillow sets. If you prefer stripes, checks or geometric patterns, think about using throw blankets, curtains, runner rugs, bath mats or bedding to carry the design throughout your layout.

Using similar patterns and prints on different pieces moves your eye around the room and helps create a cohesive look.
Using similar patterns and prints on different pieces moves your eye around the room and helps create a cohesive look.

Use a Common Theme

Pieces with coordinating finishes, materials and shapes are easier to blend. For example, a decorative gold mirror complements a gold accent table, regardless of their individual designs. Consider choosing light or dark wood wall decor to coordinate with hardwood floors or combine round end tables, cocktail ottomans and rugs to establish a circular motif for the room.

Repeating shapes, like circles, in both furniture and art can help unify a design even if the pieces themselves are different styles or colors.
Repeating shapes, like circles, in both furniture and art can help unify a design even if the pieces themselves are different styles or colors.

Keep the Scale Consistent

Picking the right size pieces is essential when mixing designs. Flanking a gigantic modern armchair with a set of tiny end tables can distort the look of your layout. Likewise, pairing a small sectional with an extra-wide TV stand makes the room seem disproportionate. Whatever blended style you’re going for, make sure your furniture and decor have similar dimensions.

Making sure that tables are the appropriate size keeps them from looking out of place in your design.
Making sure that tables are the appropriate size keeps them from looking out of place in your design.

Mixing Furniture Styles: Balancing Standard and Stand-Out Pieces

When it’s time to select furniture for your mixed-modern layout, start with items that fulfill the room’s purpose. Modern-style couches, table sets and beds need to be about 80 percent of the design in your living room, dining room or bedroom. With these anchor pieces in place, you can avoid one type of decor visually crowding out the other.

Small details like button tufting on headboards add a touch of elegant style to minimalist modern bedroom setups.
Small details like button tufting on headboards add a touch of elegant style to minimalist modern bedroom setups.

The other 20 percent of your look should include accents and accessories in your other chosen style. Keeping the number of unique pieces to a minimum makes it easier to blend different elements into your modern aesthetic. Pick out a traditional dresser, rustic accent chair, contemporary recliner or even a set of transitional dining chairs to bring some flair to your modern setup.

Contemporary seating gives your mid-century dining set a sleek and chic style upgrade.
Contemporary seating gives your mid-century dining set a sleek and chic style upgrade.

Accentuate the Unusual

Do you have a unique find or family heirloom that you want to include in your design? Decor pieces that would otherwise seem out of place often provide the wow factor in a blended setup. So, instead of tucking your beloved antique grandfather clock or vintage trunk in a hidden corner of your modern layout, make it the main focal point of the room.

A bold cocktail table or dazzling chandelier make stabilizing focal points in a colorful room.
A bold cocktail table or dazzling chandelier make stabilizing focal points in a colorful room.

You can also purchase new interesting items to highlight a different design style in your modern space. Place an ornate traditional coffee table in the center of your modern living room set or add an elegant contemporary china cabinet to a simple dining room layout. You can even hang up unique wall art in a prominent spot over a fireplace console or behind the sofa.

Electric fireplaces boost the warmth and coziness of any modern room.
Electric fireplaces boost the warmth and coziness of any modern room.

Prioritize Even Placement

With the exception of the show-stopping centerpiece, you’ll want to juxtapose your mix of modern furniture and contrasting decor throughout the room. It’s okay to group larger items for seating or convenience, but there needs to be a combination of both styles on all sides. Do your best to spread furniture and decorative accents in each style evenly throughout the space.

Combining Designs: Examples of Modern Style Mashups

Now that you have an idea of how to mix interior designs, all that’s left to do is pick your style combo and decorate your home. Take a look at the following furniture and home decor pairings for inspiration or get creative and come up with a unique mixed-style modern layout of your own.

Modern Minimalist Design

Simple and sleek, modern minimalist design has a clean, uncluttered look. This combination includes only the bare essentials, so all you need is a modern loveseat, sofa and coffee table in the living room or a sleek metal bed and modern storage bench for the bedroom. Choose a small dinette set for your dining room or place metal barstools at the kitchen counter.

Sleek metal beds and simple furniture designs keep bedrooms open and spacious.
Sleek metal beds and simple furniture designs keep bedrooms open and spacious.

Neutral shades are among the hallmarks of this streamlined style, so color is usually the main accent for modern minimalist setups. Spotlight your gray seating set using a modern rug with a blue or red geometric pattern. In bedrooms, accent your beige bedspread with a solid green, yellow or navy throw pillow. Or, add a simple vase with colorful blooms to liven up a sleek black dining room set.

Simple black furniture helps brighter colors pop.
Simple black furniture helps brighter colors pop.

Modern Rustic Living Rooms

Consider a modern rustic design to give your living room a stylishly casual vibe. Natural lighting, an open floor plan and natural materials are the main components of this look. Start with foundational furniture like brown microfiber or leather sofa sets. Then, add modern coffee tables, end tables and TV consoles to complete the arrangement.

Leather and wooden pieces bring natural charm to your space.
Leather and wooden pieces bring natural charm to your space.

Once the modern pieces are in place, you can start adding outdoorsy touches to the space using rustic decor. Brighten up the room with decorative mirrors featuring wooden frames. Pick rustic side chairs with check or floral prints and modern patterned accent chairs for extra seating. To finish off the look, bring in farmhouse-style console tables and rustic wall art with wooden, metal and stone accents.

Place mirrors near the windows to reflect natural light and illuminate the room.
Place mirrors near the windows to reflect natural light and illuminate the room.

Modern Cottage Bedroom

Try a comfy-chic approach with a modern cottage bedroom design. Pair a simple slat bed or modern king bed with green or brown bedding for a vibe that’s grounded as well as soothing. Lay down a faux animal hide brown rug for extra softness and top your dresser with a modern mirror for cozy, yet updated look. You can also arrange modern floor lamps or other light fixtures in brass or copper on the nightstands for a warm and inviting glow.

Shutter-style headboards add cozy vibes and allow air to circulate while you sleep.
Shutter-style headboards add cozy vibes and allow air to circulate while you sleep.

Modern Boho Living Rooms

Whimsical colors and natural textures are key when designing a modern boho living room. To achieve this style, try adding bohemian elements to a mid-century living room set. Arrange orange, red and turquoise throw pillows on the sofa or add a velvet bench to your entryway. To protect hardwood floors, consider including a colorful pink or yellow rug with a thick pile or unique pattern.

Mid-century tables a modern touch to quirky and cozy boho motifs.
Mid-century tables a modern touch to quirky and cozy boho motifs.

Unique and natural elements can help coordinate an eclectic look, too. Use a textured beige pouf and woven baskets to fill in floor space and add light wood figurines to your tabletops, shelves and mantles. Colorful tie-dye tapestries and houseplants such as cacti and succulents further enhance the free-spirited vibe of the room.

Modern Coastal Decor

Breezy coastal decor used with a simple modern setup is a refreshing take on this classic decor style. Evoke the look and feel of surf and sand by pairing ocean blue pillows with a cream couch or beige sofa. Keep things light and airy with white rugs and choose wicker end tables to enhance the seaside vibe of the space.

Combine bright colors, wood and woven accents to promote an updated yet laid-back feel.
Combine bright colors, wood and woven accents to promote an updated yet laid-back feel.

Modern Vintage Dining Room

A modern vintage design lets you blend old and new for a distinctive, one-of-a-kind look. Spotlight your modern dining set with a large rug featuring a classic floral pattern. Mix and match colorful metal dining chairs and wood and leather traditional stools for and eclectic yet comfortable layout. Add even more antique-inspired appeal with a striking modern bar cart and a dramatic bronze chandelier.

Use brassy finishes and cheerful rugs to blend the new with well-loved finds.
Use brassy finishes and cheerful rugs to blend the new with well-loved finds.

Modern Traditional Home Decor

Mix modern and traditional furnishings to create a tastefully laid-back theme for any room. A traditional chair with a rounded back and cherry wood finish adds a sophisticated touch to your seating area. Classic table lamps and wall sconces enhance the timelessness of the room as well. Use elegant mirrors, paintings and other accents to bring a dignified feel to simple modern spaces.

Curved, carved and glossy wood pieces help your modern layout feel regal and relaxing.
Curved, carved and glossy wood pieces help your modern layout feel regal and relaxing.