Styling With Mismatched Furniture

Lively, modern, and diverse, mismatched couches and furniture are popular in today’s homes and businesses.

For new homeowners or renters, mismatched furniture may be more of a budget necessity than a styling choice. For others, the fun and modern look of eclectic décor may be the goal from day one. Regardless of which it is, many designers and celebrities consider matching sets a home décor no-no. People are pulling away from the unified look of furniture sets, preferring the fun, modern look that comes with a broad range of home décor styles. Celebrities such as Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen’s home in California, or the late David Bowie’s bold choices with his Caribbean home created a one-of-a-kind living space by mixing patterns, textures, and colors.

While celebrities are hardly challenged by budget or space, an assortment of different styles works very well for homeowners and renters alike. Not only can it be budget-friendly, but for smaller spaces like city apartments, a multi-faceted style allows renters to have fun with their space and style without constraints.

As with all things, there is a technique to eclectic style that produces stunning results. Keep reading for some of our tips on how to mix and match sofas and chairs, and for some of the best-mismatched furniture room ideas.

1. Use Light as a Focal Point

Creating a focal point in a room, especially when it’s a light fixture, has the benefit of tying the room together while also adding light to a darker room. The image to the right features a variety of textures, woods, and styles. Our article, 25 Ways to Add Light to Your Room, can help with using light to bring together a diverse personal style, too.

Notice the Abacus Chandelier in the center, drawing attention to the center of the room and the large abstract painting behind it. The set of Emilio Wall Sconces adds more warmth and light to the room. Using light to draw the eye and selecting furniture with at least some common colors helps a great deal in unifying a room.

 2. Create Rhythm with Repetition

One way to tie together a room is through repetition. Choosing items that can be placed around the space creates pattern and repetition—a sort of rhythm to the room. Potted plants with the same planter or colorful plush chairs, like the unique Alexandra Side Chair, placed strategically around a room can create a sense of flow.

These items don’t have to be large, either. Decorative accessories, books, or even table lamps can all help unify a room with pattern and rhythm.

 3. Give the Room Space

To help tie together assorted and diverse décor, try giving your room some space. Create white space in the room with light curtains, empty walls, or well-spaced items. In the image to the left, the Wilhelm Tall Cabinet and Low Cabinet are larger pieces, but it doesn’t feel crowded due to their position in the room and the use of white space. The Galaxy Chandelier also serves as a beautiful focal point, drawing the eye upward.

Using a focal point and utilizing white space keeps your room unified while preventing different items from clashing. Remember that any light, neutral color will work; you don’t have to paint your walls white.

4. Accessorize with Neutrals

Using neutral-colored pillows and throw blankets to unify a room is a great way to help bring multiple styles together. This is especially useful if your furniture tends to have a more bold presence, such as a brightly colored couch, or if your focal point is a large, bright painting or photograph.

Alternatively, if your room has numerous styles yet is made of mainly neutral colors, consider brightly colored pillows or throws. In either case, choosing colors that complement each other and contrast with the diversity of your style can create a blended look in your living space.

 5. Add Common Colors

When furniture style isn’t the common denominator in the room, color can be. Take, for example, the image to the right. The mirrored low cabinet is from Mr. Brown London’s Cambridge collection while the fun leopard seat is the Marley Swivel Chair. While the swivel chair is warm and grounded, the Astral Wall Lamp features a sunburst.

Despite drastically different styles, one commonality shared by almost everything in the image is the warm brown colors that tie wildly different patterns and pieces together.

6. One Feature in Common

When your diverse style means that nothing shares pattern, color, or style, go with material or fabric. Choosing the same upholstery for your furniture, or the same wood and finish for your other décor, can help tie a room together where the style is very eclectic. Consider using a dark walnut finish for rooms with lighter neutral tones.

7. A Neutral Palette

For an intentional mismatched design, consider selecting pieces with a neutral palette. Even with mismatched couches and accent chairs that have a variety of styles and materials, if their commonality is that they all have a more subdued, neutral look, they will likely go well together in your home.

Take, for example, the Chelsea Loveseat and Lounge Chair pictured to the left, and the Lancaster Coffee Table. White the loveseat and lounge chair are part of a set, these four mismatched furniture pieces, along with the Clyde Low Cabinet, all have neutral or white coloring. Despite being from multiple collections, they blend well with the other décor pictured.

8. Groups of Three

Some items don’t fit into your home design at all. Rather than putting them away in the attic to be forgotten, consider pairing them in groups of three. For example, a favorite throw pillow shaped like a nectarine, and as orange as one too, can sit in the corner of the couch while a painting sporting some of the same orange colors hangs above it, and perhaps a decorative ornament on a side table.

Grouping items of three doesn’t have to be reserved for smaller items. Larger items, such as a black couch, could be grouped with a large black and white painting that serves as a focal point, and a black floor lamp, like the Skylar Floor Lamp.

 9. Shadow, Light, and Furniture

If selecting mismatched accent chairs for your home, keep in mind that a well-lit room also has the benefit of shadows. While this doesn’t do much at night, notice in the image to the right how the Triangle Console Table and Skylar Floor Lamp create shadows on the floor, adding more pattern to the room.

These shadows, along with the different styles and materials used from various Mr. Brown London collections, all interact well with each other and create a beautiful space.

10. Cover It Up

If finances are an issue or none of the options above work for bringing together a room, you can always consider a slipcover, table covers, or other similar techniques to disguise larger furniture that just can’t fit into your décor. Slipcovers come in various designs and styles, allowing you to help a furniture piece fit into your home while also protecting the upholstery from spills and accidents.

11. Pair Mismatched Textures

Consider pairing two contrasting textures of the same or similar style together. For this pairing, the common denominator is the style, but if you have vastly different textures or finishes, you can make it work very well in your space.

Take the Hartley Bed and Hamilton Lamp, for example. Even the Benedict Bedside Table adds another material with wood and Emperador marble. These three mismatched furniture pieces are an excellent example of how a similar style and very different textures can pair together beautifully.

Any one of these tips can help create a sense of cohesivity in a room, but when combined with strategically placed mismatched furniture, lighting, accessories, and white space, a diverse design can work with your space.

Browse Mr. Brown London’s collections, or abandon collections altogether and browse our products to see what you can use to enhance your living space.


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