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Mix it! What makes a mixture of styles so unique

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Many interior design brochures advertise a well-defined style, such as the classic country house style, Scandinavian design or the currently popular shabby chic. However, some of us don't want to limit ourselves to just one style, preferring to combine heirlooms, antiques and modern design icons from a variety of furnishing styles. Those who like to experiment can truly express themselves in a mixture of styles.

Lindura Holzboden unter einem antiken Tisch als Eye-Catcher in einer modernen Küche

Express your personality – Find yourself in a mixture of styles

When it comes to furnishing an apartment or house, it's always an expression of your own personality. That is why they're as different as the people who live in them. A mixture of styles (also known as eclecticism or an eclectic style) offers plenty of opportunities for achieving individual fulfilment. It doesn't matter if it's the antique heirloom from your grandmother, the colourfully patterned oriental carpet from your last holiday or the contemporary designer lamp – anyone committed to mixing styles will find a place for every favourite piece to give their rooms a unique charm.

Good to know: Eclecticism means recombining elements from various styles or disciplines. The term has its origins in Greece and was already coined in ancient times, when famous thinkers like Cicero merged the ideas of different schools of philosophy. 

Mixing styles according to plan – Combining different styles harmoniously 

Eclectic interior design is all about discovering harmony in diversity and blending impressions from different eras and cultures into a whole. That's why the same rule holds true for a mixture of styles: less is more. In principle, all furnishing styles can be combined with each other. Yet to ensure that the combination of different styles does not end up in chaos, but rather in a systematic interior design, a few rules should be observed:

Fischgrätparkett in einem Wohnzimmer mit heller Couch und antikem Beistelltisch
1. Create a suitable basis

To enable special pieces of furniture or accessories to achieve their full effect, they should be properly showcased. This can be achieved by decorating the rest of the room subtly, for example with light, opaque wall colours or a low-key floor. Vividly coloured furniture or decorations come into their own in such environments.

Laminat im Stilmix mit einem Sideboard aus den 70er Jahren
2. Consider room size

In smaller rooms, a few accents suffice to give the interior an individual expression. In most cases, a key piece such as a cabinet or a dining table is enough, and the rest of the interior design can then be matched to it. If many eye-catchers are packed into a small space, they quickly start to compete with each other.

Parkettboden in einem hell eingerichteten Wohnzimmer mit gemischtem Einrichtungsstil
3. Repeat colours

Even if your furnishings do not fit together at first glance: By applying colours or families of colours repeatedly – in curtains, couch cushions, lampshades or carpets, for example – you will be adding an element that links different styles together.

Nadura-Boden in grau mischt die moderne Küche mit dem Esstisch im Industrial Style auf
4. Select furnishings using the partner principle

Every piece of furniture or accessory should have a counterpart from the same era, the same style or the same material. Revisiting shapes and patterns also helps to lend a system to the style mix.

Combining old and new furniture – Antiques in a contemporary interior 

Vintage is a constantly recurring trend. And no wonder – the blend of old and new gives every room an individual character. Friends of the eclectic style also like to experiment with a mixture of nostalgia and avant-garde.

To retain a modern overall impression, a vintage carpet can be arranged to complement contemporary seating furniture, for example. The odd old-fashioned lamp or two can also set accents in an otherwise contemporary interior. Among other places, suitable lamps can be found online. 

Skilfully crafted antiques work particularly well in clearly structured minimalist environments, for example in rooms furnished in the Scandinavian style. The more opulent individual pieces are, the more restrained the setting should be.

In general, modern furniture and decorations should be in the majority in the room. Just a few old treasures are enough to create exciting contrasts without giving the entire room an outdated look. When choosing antique pieces, it's also important to make sure that they harmonise with each other, as they already create a contrast to the rest of the interior anyway. Furniture made of the same wood or with the same colour and grain usually goes well together. If more than three woods collide, the room often has a restless appearance.

TIP: Vintage furniture should definitely be used in everyday life to prevent your living or dining room from becoming a museum. An antique dining table becomes even more charming with new signs of wear, seamlessly blending into the rest of the interior.

Exciting or discreet – Which floor fits my style mixture? 

A new floor can change the entire ambience of a room. So if you want to furnish your home in a mixture of styles, the floor should always be included as an essential design element. Should the floor catch one's eye immediately or should it have a more restrained effect? Would a real wood floor match my furniture? When mixing styles, the same principle applies to the choice of flooring: (almost) everything is possible, nothing is mandatory.

Those who want to keep it on the subtle side even when mixing styles can opt for authentic wooden planks such as the Lindura wood flooring. The floor is available in many different oak surfaces as well as in walnut, providing the right design for every room – from rustic to elegant. Behind the varied look of the Lindura wood planks lies the innovative wood powder technology. Wood powder is a natural mix of materials made of fine wood fibres, mineral components and other natural additives, creating a durable connection between the real wood covering layer, the HDF middle layer and a backing. This makes the Lindura wood floor particularly durable and resistant.

Systempaneele in Gold Metallic für ein besonderes optisches Highlight an der Wand

Wall and ceiling panels instead of wallpaper and paint 

It's not just the floor that deserves special attention in interior design. Ceilings and walls are also important elements of well-being and design in interior decoration. In addition to wallpapers and paints, panels for covering walls and ceilings can create individual accents. Sloping ceilings in a tasteful wood look can give an attic apartment more peace and structure. This enhances the effect of designer furniture and antiques. 

Extravagant panels in a concrete look, such as the Bocado decorative panels from Meister, lend rooms a rough industrial charm, which sets a purposeful counterpoint to elegantly curved woods and soft fabrics.

TIP: The system panels of the Nova product series from Meister are particularly effective for emphasising individual walls. In various metallic looks such as gold, steel or rust, they create striking highlights in all your rooms – not only in the living room and dining room, but also in the kitchen and bathroom.

This is what a mixture of styles really work: 

  • Less is more 
    If you are thinking about combining different furnishing styles for the first time, you should start with a discreet interior design: light-coloured walls and a subdued floor provide a good basis 
  • Maintain a single colour scheme
    Eye-catchers in the same colour create a connecting element 
  • Partner principle
    Give every piece a partner from the same era, style or material 
  • Achieve a harmonious relationship between old and new
    Modern furniture and accessories should be in the majority

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Mixture of styles