During my career as an interior designer, I've been involved in several full-scale home designs. It's a fun gig, but when everything from the flooring to the dishes are chosen at one time, you do have to beware of falling into that particularly dangerous trap— the interior that looks too perfect.
Above: Mismatched lamp bases subtly make this bedroom shine. Photo: via Wanderer's Palace
To guard against the dreaded matchy-matchy, I always like to go in at the end and, well, mess things up a bit. Add an unexpected accessory, hang something off-kilter, or paint a piece of furniture a really weird color. Others might consider this creating a mismatched or eclectic look, but I think of it as creating a bit of tension.
Tension, in design, is that thing that keeps brings life and energy to a space, and that catches you slightly off-guard, though it may not be immediately obvious. It's a pendant hung slightly off-center over a dining table, or one random neon cushion on a sofa full of floral prints. It might not be the first thing you notice in a room, but it's the thing that will keep you from getting bored in there.
Does this type of intentional tension make sense to you? Or would you call it something else? Do you decorate this way?