FEBRUARY 2022 | ISSUE NO.14
Dear Friends and Clients,
I’m excited because mashing up different interior design styles is such a huge trend now! I guess I already thought it was a trend as I’ve long enjoyed mixing styles in my own design practice.
Interior Design Mashup is exactly how it sounds: mixing up and incorporating different genres, periods, or design styles. And more and more people are embracing this methodology to help them project their unique personalities. In addition to expressing your personality, blending is great for when you and your spouse want to combine your different design preferences or for figuring out where to put your grandmother’s antique sideboard without re-decorating the entire room.
Now, mixing interior design styles yourself may seem hard to do without royally messing it up. Still, it’s a lot simpler than it looks, provided basic design principles are followed. And when done right, you’re left with a beautiful space that’s harmoniously balanced and genuinely represents your own personalized aesthetic.
Read on to learn more about how I approach mixing it up and how you can too!
A Perfect Mix of Old and New
Personally, when I mix styles, I use vintage or period furnishings whenever I can. From a design standpoint, they have the most tremendous power to influence the storytelling and direction of a room. The patina of a vintage or period piece brings a touchable texture and warmth to every space, not to mention a sacred sentimentality and heirloom quality.
Rare antiquities are also stylishly sustainable because what is old becomes new again. By repurposing the old, the damaged, the jagged into something new, we’re reducing our footprint while bringing a rich sense of history and spirit into a space. With shortages in the supply chains and a stronger focus and care for our environment, sourcing vintage is practical, and you often see details not present in modern designs.
Ett Hem Stockholm, a favorite boutique hotel (above), having fun with combining period architectural casework with modern furniture and a fireplace to create an inviting atmosphere.
The Red Thread
One of the fundamental design principles when blending periods is making sure all the elements of your space come together to pull off a unified look. In interior design, or in any creative work, we sometimes call this the “Red Thread” or “röda tråden” – a Scandinavian expression that means to find the DNA that holds a creative piece together. The Red Thread always provides cohesion and balance, no matter how eclectic a room is.
So how do you follow or find the Red Thread?
Unifying all the elements together by using a single color is an easy way to develop the red thread of a room. For example, the color black is the Red Thread in the image above from the Ett Hem Boutique Hotel. Modern and traditional lines come together in perfect harmony with period architectural elements thanks to black accent lighting, a modern play on traditional black and white striped fabric, and black accents in the modern Dhurry rug. The black accents tie the room together to create a dynamic space.
Now in the image above, there are so many colors and shapes, but it works! Gold is the red thread here and it ties the soft and saturated grayed seafoam built-ins with all the other elements in the room. The gold tones in the wood door, the vintage stool, the burled coffee table, the brass floor lamp, the golds in the framed portrait over the mantle, and the gold books all help tie the room together!
Another easy way to follow the Red thread is by adding similar materials to your space. Suppose you have a traditional Carrera marble fireplace in your modern living room. In that case, you could follow the Red Thread by adding a modern coffee table with a marble base. Then to bring more balance, complete the space with a stone sculpture reflecting the beauty and materials of the fireplace.
Tip to Keep Your Marble Countertops
Looking Great — or Not!
QUESTION: How do you prevent marble staining? ANSWER: I don’t! (Sort of)
Here is my philosophy: Let your marble become a metaphor for your life—perfectly imperfect! Marble is a natural material, and that’s precisely why it’s so damn beautiful! So yes, get real marble, and don’t be afraid of cooking on it, spilling anything on it, staining it, or having ring-marks. These are simply the sign of life in your kitchen, and truthfully you can only see all the flaws with light hitting the stone at a certain angle.
The moral of the story is this: You choose what you want to focus on, the beauty or the mess. But really, it’s always a little bit of both!
INTERIOR DESIGN FOR INSPIRED LIVING
Invite me to work with you and I promise to be unswayed by the passing dictates of fads. I will incorporate my love for the arts and the richness of color along with your vision and deliver an eclectic, yet balanced sensibility to your interior. Tell me about your project!