Here are 10 tips for blend­ing home fur­nish­ings.

San Antonio Express-News - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Cowen STAFF WRITER

Amore eclec­tic mix of home fur­nish­ings is a hot trend now, but mix­ing in con­tem­po­rary pieces to a tra­di­tional foun­da­tion is easier said than done. In­te­rior de­signer Ja­cob Me­d­ina, of Me­d­ina De­signs, talked about “Modern De­sign: the art of mix­ing and match­ing” at a re­cent Ac­cess De­sign event at the Houston De­sign Cen­ter. Ac­cess De­sign is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Houston Chron­i­cle and the de­sign cen­ter.

Me­d­ina refers to the blend­ing of tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary as sim­ply con­tem­po­rary style rather than the com­monly used term of “tran­si­tional.”

In his talk, Me­d­ina of­fered ad­vice for choos­ing great paint col­ors, blend­ing color in a room and mix­ing cur­rent, vin­tage and an­tique pieces in any room. Here are 10 tips for bet­ter home de­sign.

1. Plan

When launch­ing a room project, start with a plan. Col­lect ideas on Pin­ter­est, from mag­a­zines or friends’ homes. Draw your room on graph pa­per and de­ter­mine where seat­ing should go, al­low­ing room to move be­tween seat­ing and a cof­fee or side ta­bles.

2. Fo­cal point

Start a project with a fo­cal point and work around it. In a kitchen project, Me­d­ina used a beau­ti­ful La­canche range; in a liv­ing room project it was a chunky modern cof­fee ta­ble; and in a bed­room, an an­tique apothe­cary cabi­net. Fab­ric, too, can be a start­ing point, es­pe­cially if you start with a large piece of fur­ni­ture such as a sofa, he said.

3. Paint

Some­times you want to use dif­fer­ent paint col­ors on walls and trim, but Me­d­ina likes to use the same color — in dif­fer­ent fin­ishes — on ceil­ing, walls and trim. His go­to Sher­win­Wil­liams col­ors in­clude Alabaster, Snow­bound, Re­pose Gray, Creamy and Crushed Ice.

If you want to pair col­ors, try Creamy on the walls with Snow­bound for the trim or Re­pose Gray on walls with Pure White on trim. Use an eggshell fin­ish for walls and semigloss for trim. (Flat paint on walls shows scuff marks too eas­ily, he says.)

4. Blend

Mix­ing and match­ing isn’t just about style, it’s about shapes, tex­tures and fab­rics. For ex­am­ple, if Me­d­ina chooses vel­vet for sofa fab­ric, he’ll use dif­fer­ent fab­rics — maybe leather or linen — on other pieces. In a home with pets or chil­dren, con­sider spend­ing a lit­tle ex­tra on

per­for­mance fab­rics that will stand up to spills.

5. Layer

Rein­vent­ing a room doesn’t have to mean start­ing from scratch. Hav­ing an an­tique or vin­tage piece in a room adds char­ac­ter, Me­d­ina said.

6. Ta­ble it

A con­tem­po­rary cof­fee ta­ble can pair eas­ily with a tra­di­tional sofa. In one home, Me­d­ina found a big, chunky cof­fee ta­ble and used it as a fo­cal point. Not only did it make the room more con­tem­po­rary — it also made it more in­ter­est­ing.

7. Take risks

Fresh­en­ing up a home is often about push­ing your bound­aries. If you buy some­thing you aren’t quite sure about, make sure it’s re­turn­able.

8. Choose high and low

Ev­ery home­owner has a bud­get, some larger and some smaller. De­cide what’s worth spend­ing more money on and con­sider those in­vest­ment pieces. Fill in with more af­ford­able ac­cent pieces and ac­ces­sories. Me­d­ina noted one project with a cus­tom­made sofa, used with more af­ford­able chairs pur­chased from Way­fair.com. An­other de­signer tip: Look to Home Goods stores for ac­ces­sories such as vases, pot­tery and pil­lows.

9. Work with gray

Gray con­tin­ues to be pop­u­lar, but too much of it can make a home feel cold. Me­d­ina mixes warm and cool col­ors. So if he uses gray paint or a gray sofa, he might use a light taupe or cream in the room, too.

10. Add muted color

Me­d­ina de­scribes his color style as mas­cu­line neu­tral. He uses grays, tau­pes, creams and whites with muted jewel tones, such as blues, greens, pur­ple and mus­tard gold. Dec­o­ra­tive pil­lows and art are two ways to add small pops of color to an oth­er­wise neu­tral room.

Pho­tos by Kerry Kirk

A tra­di­tional style sofa is blended with more modern chairs and cof­fee ta­ble.

Bethany Brew­ster

Ja­cob Me­d­ina of Me­d­ina De­signs

The liv­ing room in the home of Ge­orge John­son Jr. Me­d­ina did the in­te­rior work.

Mixed me­tals and con­tem­po­rary light­ing and chairs blend in this din­ing room.

Me­d­ina mixes cool neu­trals such as grays and whites with warmer tones such as cream.

Books, me­men­toes and art­work mix on these shelves in an in­home of­fice.

Pho­tos by Kerry Kirk

An­tique doors on a wine room on the right side of this kitchen add char­ac­ter to the room.

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