The Dos and Don’ts of Combining Design Styles for a Unique Look by an Interior Designer

Dos and Don'ts of Combining Design Styles

Dos and Don’ts of Combining Design Styles | Interior Designer Tips

Interior design is all about creating spaces that reflect the personality and preferences of the homeowner. However, sometimes it’s not easy to stick to just one design style, especially when you’re drawn to elements from different aesthetics. That’s where the art of combining design styles comes into play. When done correctly, blending different design styles can result in a unique and visually appealing interior. However, it’s essential to navigate this process with care to avoid a cluttered or chaotic space. In this blog, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of combining design styles to help you achieve that perfect balance and create a one-of-a-kind look.

The Dos

Understand the Basics of Each Style 

Before you begin combining design styles, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the characteristics and principles of each style you plan to incorporate. Research and educate yourself about the elements that define different design styles, such as modern, traditional, rustic, bohemian, or industrial. This knowledge will serve as your foundation for making informed choices.

Identify a Dominant Style 

To maintain cohesion in your design, it’s advisable to choose one dominant style as the primary theme. This style will set the tone for your space, providing a clear direction for the design elements you select. The other styles you incorporate should complement and enhance the dominant style rather than overpower it.

Create a Balanced Color Palette 

Harmonizing colors is key to achieving a unified look when combining design styles. Start with a neutral base color, and then carefully add accent colors from different styles. These accents can appear in furniture, artwork, accessories, or textiles. A well-thought-out color scheme will tie the disparate elements together and create visual continuity.

Select Complementary Materials

Mixing materials can add depth and interest to your design. However, it’s essential to ensure that the materials you choose complement each other. For example, you can combine the warmth of wood with the sleekness of metal or the softness of fabric with the hardness of concrete. This contrast can create a dynamic and visually appealing space.

Use Eclectic Furnishings and Accessories

Eclectic furnishings and accessories are excellent for bridging the gap between different design styles. These pieces often have a unique and diverse quality that can seamlessly fit into various aesthetics. An eclectic rug, a quirky piece of art, or an interesting piece of furniture can be the glue that ties your design together.

Consider Transitional Pieces 

Transitional furniture and decor are designed to bridge the gap between traditional and modern styles. These pieces often have clean lines and neutral colors, making them adaptable to various design aesthetics. Integrating a few transitional items can help smooth the transition between different styles in your space.

Pay Attention to Scale and Proportion 

Maintaining balance in your design is crucial. Ensure that the scale and proportion of your furniture and decor items are harmonious within the overall space. Oversized furniture in a small room or tiny accessories in a large space can disrupt the visual flow.

The Don’ts 

Avoid Overcrowding 

One of the most common mistakes when combining design styles is overcrowding a space with too many elements. Each piece should have a purpose and contribute to the overall aesthetic. Avoid the temptation to include everything you love; instead, prioritize quality over quantity.

Don’t Mix Clashing Styles

While mixing styles can be exciting, be cautious about combining styles that clash. Some design styles have inherently opposing aesthetics, and trying to merge them can result in a chaotic and disorienting space. For example, it might be challenging to seamlessly blend the minimalist simplicity of Scandinavian design with the vibrant and eclectic Bohemian style.

Avoid Overly Matchy-Matchy Decor

While it’s essential to create a cohesive look, be wary of making your space too matchy-matchy. Overly coordinated design can feel sterile and lack personality. Embrace a bit of mismatched charm by incorporating items with character and history.

Don’t Neglect Flow and Functionality

Functionality is just as crucial as aesthetics in interior design. Ensure that your combined design styles allow for a comfortable and functional living space. Pay attention to traffic flow, accessibility, and the practicality of your furniture arrangements.

Avoid Ignoring Personal Preferences

While it’s important to adhere to design principles, don’t forget to incorporate your personal preferences and personality into your design. Your home should reflect who you are, so make sure it feels like a space you love and are comfortable in.


Combining design styles is a creative endeavor that can result in a unique and visually stunning interior. By following these dos and don’ts, you can strike the perfect balance between different aesthetics and create a harmonious living space that reflects your individual style. Remember to start with a clear understanding of each style, choose a dominant theme, and maintain cohesion through careful selection of colors, materials, and furnishings. With thoughtful planning and a keen eye for design, you can achieve a home that is both aesthetically pleasing and uniquely yours.

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