Mix and match

Mix and match

Mix and match

While it is nice to have a colour and design co-ordinated home, it is fun to have a mish-mash of decor styles. How about a traditional Madhubani wall painting in an otherwise sleek, contemporary setting? Such combinations add drama and class, suggests Sudha Jain


Have decor accessories of different styles and eras? Don’t worry. It’s no more considered fashionable to have completely matching home decor elements in your space.

While it can be nice to have matching home accessories and decor to make your homes look more co-ordinated, consistent and picture perfect, mixing styles and themes can yield unique and interesting results.

Unusual and unconventional design solutions look more original and personalised. So banish the ‘matchy matchy’ syndrome and experiment with different looks. Let your imagination take centrestage!

A blend of contemporary and traditional decor goes a long way in providing drama and depth to any home. For instance, your living room can have traditional touches such as wood panels on the walls and conventional sofas but you can also add one quirky ottoman to offset the decor.

A traditional painting, say a Madhubani or an ikkat print on a wall, with an otherwise contemporary setting can beautifully merge with the environment while also being the highlight of the living room. Wall art can reflect a variety of looks.

Prints and patterns can also add style and a different touch to a modern design. Traditional prints can add an exotic touch to contemporary decor.

There is no set rule for such a merger. When there is too much geometrical pattern in the furnishing, a side chair or a side sofa with floral pattern works best to break the monotony and balance the interiors.

Chutzpah & character

Your bedroom too can have a mix of decor styles. An antique dresser and contemporary lighting and doors blend beautifully to create a personal space. A subdued modern room can be made lively with a pop of colour, say a bright yellow or green dresser.

It may seem a little odd but it adds chutzpah and character! You can also change the style of your room by adding mixed wood finishes. Soften a modern wood frame by adding light distressed wood side tables. You can have organic prints or linen pillows to tie the look together.

Traditional bar stools can find pride of place in a modern kitchen island. Or the island can be done in a completely different colour from the kitchen cabinets.

The dining with the usual chair can also have a bench as seating. Amidst the modern kitchen gadgets and setting, a rustic candle chandelier complements the stark accessories, softly illuminating the cosy dining area.

A wooden ceiling that provides the interest in the dining room’s composition can blend traditional tiles and furniture with a modern flair.

A low dining table with low seats, the Indian way, is a good way of bringing tradition into our modern homes.

A restrained colour scheme in the living room can be balanced by a bold, large sized patterned wall paper. Bright wall papers bring in colour but then care should be taken to not have too many elements in the room that are equally vibrant.

Likewise a subtle wall paper in beige and off white, in a room full of knick knacks can add dignity and grace to the accessorised room. A contemporary living room with stark, minimalistic furniture can be injected with life by a vibrant modern graphic art.

The edge from straight and clean lines can be toned with the use of soft furnishings and draperies. They will complement each other beautifully and juxtaposition would make the room more cosy and comfortable.

You can also pair light wood floors with furniture that has a deep chocolate colour. Though the dark pieces do not have a match, they will complement each other just as well. When using more than one rug in an open space, be sure to use carpets that harmonize rather than match. A very plain rug may not sit well with a fine Persian carpet.

When it comes to home decor, we no longer have to follow any pre-conceived rules.
We can do away with furniture sets and mix and match our furniture and upholsteries.

We can pick what suits our budget and makes us feel comfortable instead of creating a space perfect for a magazine set-up. An eclectic mix of accessories and furnishings, used wisely, can make any space elegant and your own.