Mixing Styles in a Small Space

Mixing Styles in a Small Space

Sarah Coffey
Apr 29, 2010

Small spaces mean less stuff, which can be a benefit when you're mixing styles. The need to edit trains your eye. When something seems out of place in a small space, it's more obvious, and when it all works together, it just feels right.

To achieve the right balance of styles, it almost always helps to start with one signature piece and build around that. In Melissa and Matt's home (photo #1), it's the cello. In the tiny 300 square foot garret (photo #2), it's the long tufted sofa.

Once you have your signature piece, you can balance it out with an eclectic mix that still relates back to your starting point. For instance, Melissa and Matt used curvy modern furniture to play off the curves of the cello, while the tiny garret incorporates more squared-off, tailored shapes that relate back to the boxy form of the sofa.

Color is another great unifier. In Brad and Kendra's home (photo #9), the ivory chair relates to the stone fireplace, and the gray/gold wallpaper matches the rug. In APAK's cottage (photo #10), the color green ties a series of rooms together, from the kitchen cabinets to the dining room plants to the living room artwork.

For more inspiration, click through the links to full home tours below.

FIRST ROW
1 Melissa and Matt's Design Lab (550 sf)
2 A Garret Transformed (300 sf)
3 EricMcFly's Constant Curating (500 sf)
4 Sarah and Steve's Attic Aerie (1,000 sf)
5 Megan's Changed Outlook (300 sf)

SECOND ROW
6 Kevin's Creative Commorancy (800 sf)
7 Laura's Inviting Live/Work Studio (600 sf)
8 Suzi's European Country Style Condo (557 sf)
9 Brad and Kendra's South End Drama (820 sf)
10 APAK's Creative Cottage (950 sf)

Photos: Evan Thomas, Jill Slater, EricMcFly, Sarah Coffey, Megan, Kristen Lubbe, Jennifer Wray, Wes and Kayla Schwartz, Molly Anderson

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