Clash of Tastes: How to Mix Styles and Consider Everyone’s Interests

Английский стиль в интерьере: прошлое и настоящее

Family conflicts sometimes have many strange reasons. One of them is the mismatch of tastes when discussing joint purchases. When it comes to family interior design, and both spouses are actively involved in the discussion, it is not so easy to find a compromise. But I’m pretty sure that the best interiors come about when opposing views of design collide. Let’s talk about how to create such compositions.

Arndt Design and Build

Tip 1: Simplify

In this room, pieces of furniture and accessories in different styles get along quite well (hopefully, as do the couple living here). The mirror frame and brass mixer are responsible for the “classics”. It rhymes with sconces and furniture handles.

Pay attention to the background: it is as simple as possible, white. If there were at least a little tile with ornaments or contrasting seams, the picture would “fall apart”.


Another example – a sofa of a complex sculptural shape was “simplified” with the help of neutral monochromatic upholstery. In this case, the color – the same as the main color in the painting, which is located above the sofa. The shape of the back echoes the light spots in the painting and sets the tone for other classic curves, such as the contours of dining chairs, thus fitting them into the overall composition.

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Katie Geddes Interiors

Tip 2: use associations

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colors and ornaments
Classics are usually associated with restrained colors and certain ornaments – checks, stripes, floral motifs in upholstery. Whereas modern interiors gravitate towards solid and dense colors or playful prints. Let’s use it!

Mentally change this sofa into a checkered upholstery, remove the table and the lamp – the interior will get a more classic sound.

Morning Star Builders LTD

In the photo: if you want to achieve the opposite effect – “dress” the classic furniture in the fabric of fashionable ornaments

ZAC and ZAC – Photography

materials-associations Look at the fireplace and skirting board. Such architectural details are always associated with past eras. To modernize such a room, you need to furnish it with furniture of emphatically simple forms. Such a technique will create a modern mood and fill the room with harmony.

Paul Brant Williger Architect

In the photo: another example of an associative approach to mixing styles – there is nothing but “classic” frames in the interior, but the mood of the classics is clearly present

The marion house book

Play to the extremes
The photo shows a great example of eclecticism. Furniture and carpet
modern, but the overall furnishings give the impression of a timeless classic. You can achieve the same effect if you follow a few principles.

Take a couple of undeniably classic accessories (in this case, a chandelier and a mirror over the fireplace) and arrange them among the modern furniture so that they cannot be overlooked.

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When choosing such anchor items, do not forget that they must be radically different from everything else in the room, otherwise you will get an indistinct mess. The result will be interesting only if the difference between the styles is obvious at a glance. In this case, you see not just a traditional mirror in a gilded frame, but a real example of baroque art. The ornamentation of the chandelier is not inferior to the mirror. But the chairs undeniably modern. A successful mix can only be achieved by clearly juxtaposing ultra-classic and ultra-modern.

Chris snook

The photo shows another example, this time with three styles. A chest of drawers in the bay window is responsible for the “midsenchuri”, masks and a carpet are added a little ethno, and a fireplace frame is added to the classics. All characters are recognizable, easy to read

Francesca Maiolino

Contrast of furniture and furnishings
It can be modern items in the interior with classic parquet, stucco, etc. Or vice versa – classic furniture in a modern setting.


Important: If you like such a composition, do not forget that fabrics should be simple, maximum one or two expressive prints for the whole room. Choose a rich color like this blue carpet to highlight designs and patterns.

► This is archival material. First published in 2015 and updated in 2020

Are you and your partner looking for an interior design that suits both? What is stopping you the most?

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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