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Mixing Styles


Design in the home is a gradual process; it takes time to create an environment in which we're happy and comfortable. As individuals, our own aesthetic is a mix of styles which make up our signature look and this should be the same for the home, creating an extension of our personalities. For some, putting their own visual stamp on an interior is a daunting task, but if we start small mixing different styles is really easy to achieve.



One way of approaching this is by taking opposing ideas and marrying them together visually. For example, adding a refined edge to something weathered and worn is a great way to mix things up, combining the strong clean lines of a contemporary piece within a salvaged environment. This could be achieved by styling a reclaimed table with a contemporary lamp, simple candles, books, technology. Your space needs to be functional, so include everyday items within the design process to produce an inspirational space that works for you. Architectural succulents such as the Echeveria or Sempervivum work particularly well in this kind of space, engaging the senses through natural forms.



A very different example which adopts the same idea sees a clinical expanse of clean white tiles against the warmth of wood become a mix of styles in itself. Adding a framed sketch, stainless steel coffee pot, simple kitchenware, a punchy printed notebook and the pop of green from a Money Tree pulls the whole area together, creating a useful work space free of clutter but full of style.



Another way to pull different styles together is by sticking to similar tones of one colour, such consistency means the elements themselves can be more varied in style, shape and size. Try injecting items from popular culture through artwork, books and design classics to achieve something individual, pulling colour though such varied pieces makes for a strong visual impact. Don't forget to include house plants in your design process, plants literally and aesthetically bring life to an interior. The varied structures and colours can be used in the same way you would use an ornament or a lamp, to accessorise and compliment a space, engaging the senses with natural forms.



However you approach your space it's important to have fun with it. Don't settle for what you think you should see, create what you want to see in a place you want to spend time in. Find objects and pieces you like, play around with them, group them together and move them around until you're happy. Interiors can always be changed, updated, stripped back or added to so be brave and be inventive, begin with a small space and once you're happy with the direction go big!

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730 West Randolph Chicago, IL