How to Blend Styles and Make it Work

How To Blend Design Styles – The Best of All Worlds

A Victorian Modern Room Design by Designers Guild

There are a number of very good reasons to create aspire to a mélange of design styles:

  1. You are a prisoner in a space whose style is not yours.
  2. Your space offers little architectural interest.
  3. You love more than one style.
  4. Your budget requires you to work with what you have.
  5. You and your partner do not share the same aesthetic.

An additional reason motivates many designers prefer an eclectic mix of style; the nearly endless potential derived from coaxing the best from divergent design styles, allowing their client a greater comfort zone and opportunity to personalize their space.

Designers define their skills by breaking rules. Knowing some rules helps; simple do’s and don’ts draw the fine line between designing a space that dazzles and an asthetic circus.

I chose two rooms that exemplify an improbable mix between Modern and Victorian Styles for the purpose of demonstration. Victorian and Modern aren’t words normally used in the same sentence, let alone to design a room. A few rules make it work.

The anatomy of a Transitional Room Design

  1. Keep it simple – try not to mix more than 2 styles if you feel unsure.
  2. One of the styles should be the style of your home or apartment’s architecture. If your space offers little architectural interest, look to your geographic locality for inspiration. Spokane has Bungalows; Denver is known for rustic ski lodges, etc – marry the local architectural style with a style you love.
  3. Blend both colors and textures influenced by your two design styles – on walls and surfaces. Victorian buttery yellow wall keep the look bright and airy. The modern sectional with chrome accents is covered in velvet; a fabric popular in Victorian period design.
  4. Blend Patterns and Shapes specific to both styles like the vertical stripes and roses. Raising the curtain height also emphasizes room height and adds a Modern vibe.
  5. Blending disparate styles infuse creates design tension and interest. Tension does not mean debate – styles communicate via compromise. The traditional striped wall papered in sets speak a language that feels native to the striped modern raised height panels alternating between stripes and a Victorian rose motif.
  6. Juxtaposition of styles works best in equal proportions – the beaded trim lamps shade, contrasting Eames chair, a contemporary white side table at home atop the graphic floral area rug, the rose pillow in repose on the modern sectional, a wire glass top table at ease in proximity to an antique painted console table all work. Giving opposite styles equal billing allow the unlikely exchange work.

Not every room happens to be steeped in period specific architectural detail – the space below uses many of the same rules to transpose into a modern space,

Contemporary space by Designer’s Guild infused with Victorian Style

but here the equal billing is the balance between contemporary shape and Victorian surface and motifs.

Rendering of a Designers Guild Victorian theme translated in a Modern Space.

One last suggestion – All your rooms need to flow from one to the next – these rules applied to your home at large will ensure flow and unify your design and living space at large!

Resources: All textiles are by Designers Guild. will be adding Designers Guild product lines in a few weeks and will supply product links!

Eames Turquoise Dining Chair in Yellow Room Top: (We offer white; turquoise is coming next week) –

Wire Table Left in Yellow Room (Top) will be coming next week; offered by Design Legacy

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