Unite with Color: The best way to create a cohesive look in any room in any genre is to have furnishings relate to each other. While style and genre relate two items together, you can also relate them with color. By using color to unify your room, you can intersperse different period pieces into the room, and if you marry them with color, they will work as a harmonious unit.
One Piece, Two Styles: Another way to combine genres and still remain cohesive is to add an element of one genre to a piece of furniture from another genre. For example, you may want to add Victorian, crystal knobs onto a modern armoire. Or you could take a traditional wingback chair and upholster it in a bold, geometric print.
Focus: Another way that you can successfully mix genres is to blend them into one main focal piece in the room. For example, you can fill a wall with mirrors in the same colored frames from two different eras. Or you could make throw pillows from vintage fabrics from different decades and again unify the different prints by color or shape to make a bold accent for your room.
Consistent Scale: If you have a favorite piece of furniture that you want to include in your living room, make sure that you do not have all of your furniture look the same. You want to balance the proportions your furniture and have some taller pieces with some wider pieces to lend visual interest to your furnishings.
One Main Genre: While mixing genres is absolutely fine, you do want to pick a primary genre to add weight to your room. You do not want a fifty/fifty mix of two different genres. Instead you will want one main genre with just a few pieces from another genre peeking out around the room. They should add a little element of surprise to the furnishings.
One Item Pops: Better yet if you choose one main genre and simply use one piece from a different era, you will lend importance to that piece. For example, if you have a completely traditional living room, and then you hang a large modern artwork over the fireplace, you create a charming and unexpected focal point. Or from the other direction, in a very sparse modern room, you may elect to hang an ornate and elegant crystal chandelier as a magnificent centerpiece of the room.
Mix and Match: Another way to have furniture relate to other pieces in the room is to have them made from the same materials. For example, a wooden piece fits into a traditional room with a lot of other wooden furniture regardless of its genre, while it would be much harder to fit plastic into the same room.
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Article Added on Monday, February 15, 2010
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