Victorian Punk, Ornate Scandinavian and Other Style Juxtapositions: Finding Balance in Different Styles

Victorian Punk, Ornate Scandinavian and Other Style Juxtapositions: Finding Balance in Different Styles

Carolyn Purnell
Dec 15, 2014
(Image credit: Where Did U Get That)

While it's common to have a dominant style that you find appealing, very few people have just one aesthetic that they find pleasing. Sometimes it's the most unexpected mixtures that can offer the most interesting fashion and interiors, so here are some general ideas about how to achieve a balanced look out of composite styles.

Victorian Punk

Karen from Where Did U Get That mixes a lace and Swiss dot dress with a studded black leather jacket. Not only is this style a juxtaposition of two different time periods, one of which is known for being buttoned-up while the other is known for being hog-wild, but it's an effective use of a mixture of different visual weights. Light and soft coexist in the same outfit, making it much more interesting. Whether you're putting together an outfit or decorating a room, think about mixing different materials to create more visual impact.

(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

Ornate Scandinavian

This Swedish interior, found via My Scandinavian Home gives just a glimpse of juxtaposition, but it's perhaps all the more powerful for its subtlety. Most of the home is light and minimal, but in the entryway, we can get a glimpse of the bedroom, which has a wall covered in a dark and ornate paper. Sometimes a small dose of an opposite style can be extremely effective.

(Image credit: Nick Wooster)

Tailored Roughness

I love all the unexpected combinations in this detail shot, found via Nick Wooster. Impeccably tailored fashion and characteristically "feminine" colors mix with a sleeve of tattoos, a look that is usually associated with a more casual, rougher, masculine style. This example shows that the usual gendered rules of design can be easily and effectively broken, and it also shows the power of mixing excellent tailoring with unexpected, more casual elements.

Bohemian Classic

This living room shot from Of All the Fish in the Sea successfully mixes traditional, tailored, and classic elements like the Parsons chair, the greyhound pillow, and the black and white photography with more bohemian elements like pottery, worn rugs, and a hide. Additionally, the basic black and white color palette is grounded and balanced out by the warmer tones of brown and brass.

(Image credit: A Spoonful of Style)

Relaxed Elegance

Jade from A Spoonful of Style shows how different levels of formality can help a style feel more relaxed. The holes of the lace top and the boyfriend jeans mimic each other, but give off very different style signals. The denim dresses down the pearls and patent heels, creating a look that, overall, is elegant yet approachable. Incorporating this principle into your home can help you shift the tone from "show room" to "sophisticated but livable."

What styles do you juxtapose at home and in your wardrobe?

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