Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mixing It Up

I grew up in a traditional home.  We had furniture “sets”.  The colors used were always an exact match and fabrics and patterns were repeated around the room.

Life  and design were predictable.


And boring…..

Not so much any more. 

Elle_Decor-SF_Showcase_Palmer Weisss Palmer Weiss

Now we mix it up….mix up periods of style….mix up colors….mix up the woods and metals.  Freedom!  Oh, Yeah!

New England Home Magazine, designers Bierly Drake Associates New England Home Magazine

The predictable, traditional room was easier to pull off because there were so many rules to adhere to, and now the rules seem to have been thrown out of the window.   Or have they?

Katie ridder Katie Ridder

The principles of design still apply even when we push the envelope.  For a room to work, attention must still be paid to balance, harmony, scale.  We still need a focal point with attention to color and texture along the way. 

It’s really not “willy-nilly”!

Summer Thornton IDSummer Thornton

In many ways, it takes a lot more skill to mix it up.  It really isn’t “anything goes”.   

Canadian House and Home Canadian House and Home

In design, it’s always about pushing our comfort zone a little bit.  That’s how we keep it interesting and fresh.  Even the most traditional of us can find a new way to use color or pattern….maybe not in a large dose, but at least a little bit. 

Lawrence Boeder via Traditional HomeLawrence Boeder via Traditional Home

So what keeps us stuck in tradition?   Is it really that we love it so, or do we feel safe there?   Are we afraid we’ll try something and not like it?…..or that it will cost too much?

Change up your art.  Instead of the traditional landscape or floral, go a little modern.

SuzanneTuckerpg31Suzanne Tucker

Try a little bolder paint color……after all….it’s only paint!

Miles Young in Interiors Magazine  Miles Young

Paint your old chairs or a table you’ve had for years.

Isabel López-Quesada Nuevo estilo Isabel Lopez

Or make a change in a light fixture.

Ellen Hamilton Ellen Hamilton

Go bold with an accessory or two.

Yvonne O'Brien Interior design Yvonne O’Brian

It’s almost Spring…..don’t you want to mix it up a bit?

Sally J. Designs can help you to LOVE your home!

Contact us for personal or on-line design services and turnkey project completion.


  1. These are beautiful, Sally. And I've been mixed up for years :) !

  2. This was a fabulous post Sally- agree with all of your assessments and tips. And thanks for the gorgeous inspiration- so many photos to add to the files. That Summer Thonton bedroom is one of my all time favourites!

  3. Sally, I hadn't stopped by in awhile. Thanks for revisiting my site. I agree my daughter's fresh approach to her basement apt. in the DC area represents what you are talking about in mixing it up...The paint color she wouldn't have chosen, but it does spice up the neutrals. She is also good with balance in her designs. They finally sold their NYC condo and are now looking for something in the DC area. Stay tuned. I think you will like whatever she redoes!

  4. Such good points Sally. I think it does require a lot more knowledge to pull off the "I just pulled this together" look.

  5. Sally, my favorite post to date!!! Great points, wonderful examples, concise,makes one think, eveything a good post should be,

  6. Sally, One of my favorite posts here , ever. You did a great job pulling this all together with fantastic visuals. You are preaching to the choir here. Soooo happy that we don't design with matched sets anymore. You are right though, it does take some skill to mix it all up. I always say that yes it is a mix but a well planned mix.

  7. Great post, Sally! Love the images. That first photo doesn't even hold a candle, does it? You've really shown the value of hiring an interior designer to help create a unique, beautiful space.

  8. happy happy I found you..via linkedIn..just divine..Ill be back,,oyes


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