Mixing Furniture Styles

15 December 2021

With blended families, new apartments and roommates, live-in romantic interests, and older relatives downsizing, it is very easy for your own furnishings to become more eclectic.  There are ways to accommodate various design styles.  It may take a little imagination and possibly re-upholstery, but read on and see if these ideas can help.

Find Commonalities

This may take some thinking but look for any and all areas that are similar.  They could be as simple as the curve of a mirror that is the same as a vase or the leg of a chair.  List the furnishings and be a kid again by drawing lines or moving pieces around to find the pairs and links to one another.

Keep the larger pieces, carpeting, sofas, walls, a neutral color.  Then you will have the ability to bring in color from the other items.  Just keep keep a limited color scheme varied by tonal differences.  This is also a great time to look at fabrics.  It is possible to tie in a side chair to a sofa with the addition of pillows or throws.

Even in open floor plans, try to link items from one room to another with the theme.  It could be small items like small picture frames in the same style or color or a piece of marble art work on the mantle that ties to the marble countertops in the kitchen.


Focal Point

Every room has, or should have, a focal point.  It could be an entertainment center, a fireplace, or an outstanding view of the great outdoors.  Try and incorporate that focal point into the furniture arrangement or put that inherited clock or piece of artwork where it will be seen and enjoyed.

mixing furniture styles

Mid-century and Victorian

If you are working with mid-century or Victorian architecture or furnishings, you hit the jackpot.  With larger rooms, Victorian era can accommodate lots of furniture in large and small sizes.  Mid-century with its sleek and unadorned lines will slip into alignment almost anywhere.



One of the tougher elements is matching the scale of the pieces.  A lamp too large or too small will look awkward on a table out of proportion.  Keep the pieces relatively in balance until you find the right combination.



A great deal of what does and doesn’t work depends on your own comfort level.  You are in the home every day.  If there is a piece or arrangement that “shouldn’t” work but you are happy with the arrangement, go with it.  Too often we are overly influenced by articles, posts, television shows, and decorators.

Once you have some confidence, if you will be altering the pieces in any way, like painting or reupholstering, keep in mind how you will feel every time you look at the room.  Does it fit your overall scheme of cozy and comfortable, or sleek and modern, or awkward and not reflective of your personality.  Emotions will play heavily if these are inherited pieces or if they are hand-me-downs that you would rather have rejected.


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