Here are 10 tips for blending home furnishings.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
A traditional style sofa is blended with more modern chairs and coffee table.
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.
Antique doors on a wine room on the right side of this kitchen add character to the room.