Because I can’t pick just one style to design with (I’m all about mixing and matching as you probably know), this eclectic bedroom design recently completed for a client is a gorgeous mashup of Luxe, Moroccan, and Bohemian styles. I’m guessing those are three things you’ve never thought of putting together, right? If you’ve tried to mix design styles in your own home, you know it’s tricky to get it right. An eclectic room can very quickly go from “this is awesome” to “holy crap this is a hot mess”.
So how do you successfully mix design styles like a pro (ie. without looking like a crazy person)?
It’s all about proportion.
You’ve might have heard of the 80/20 rule in design, where 80% of a space should be decorated in one style, and 20% should be in a contrasting style for interest. (For example, if you’ve got a traditional room, 80% of your furniture and decor should be traditional, and the last 20% could be modern accents to keep the space from feeling too “decorated”.) There’s a reason that the 80/20 rule works, and it’s a good starting point when decorating.
But I’m not big on following well-known decorating rules.
So I’ve made up my own, since mixing two design styles just isn’t enough for me. To really create a room that feels effortless collected over time and not “decorated”, the reality is that your space will include pieces in a variety of styles, colors, patterns, and textures. The magic is in the mix!
And in order to mix styles well, I keep this general guideline of proportion in mind: 60/30/10.
The first 60% is the “base” of a room – the main look or feel. In this case, the room has an overall Luxe look with its elegant upholstered bed, marble-top dresser, and faux fur bench (ugggh I love that stupid thing so much). If this room were a girl from your high school, she’d be the “pretty girl” who all the girls say they hate (but secretly want to be) and all the guys want to be with.
The next 30% is the secondary style that complements your main look or feel. The Moroccan mirror, scalloped ceiling light, and mosiac-top nighstand complement the Luxe look. The “pretty girl” got a new haircut and perfectly fitting jeans and it’s not fair that she looks even better now.
The final 10% is the weird bits, the wild cards, the fun! A few Bohemian touches in this bedroom like the patterned bedding and quirky brass hand give it serious personality and interest. It’s like finding out your high school “pretty girl” is also smart, well-traveled, and a lot of fun to be around. It just makes her even more attractive and interesting.
So there you go – my tips on how to mix design styles like a pro. Knowing basic design rules is important, but so is knowing how to break them.
Have you had success – or total failure – with trying to decorate a room in a few different styles? Tell me what worked or what didn’t. I’d love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.