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Are You Too Matchy Matchy?

March 28, 2014

Think about your mother’s bedroom furniture. I’d be willing to bet that all the pieces are perfectly matched because she went to the store and bought the set just as it was displayed in the store.

Furniture retailers learned a long time ago to create little room vignettes on their sales floor as a way to sell more furniture. They knew that most consumers don’t know how to put together a room design, so they did it for them by showing furniture complete with rugs, lamps and artwork in little room scenarios.  And it worked.  Customers would buy the whole grouping because they felt like it was a way to avoid making mistakes. It’s the same reasoning that my husband uses when he shops for clothes – he buys whatever the store mannequin is wearing.

As a result, a lot of rooms are very matchy matchy, my phrase for rooms that have matching end tables, matching lamps, matching sofa and chairs, well, you get the idea.  It might seem like a good thing, but the reality is that in the world of good design, “unmatched” has much more personality and are more interesting.

So, how can you incorporate this into your home décor? Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean to go to the other extreme and to think that everything goes together. We’re really talking about an eclectic style of design, which is actually harder to pull off than one might think. This is where working with a good interior decorator comes in handy.

But if you want to give it a try on your own, dining rooms are a great place to mix and match by using a different chair for the host and hostess chair.  It could be a different style entirely from the side chairs or it could be the same style but have a different fabric.  The buffet doesn’t have to be the one from the same set as the table and chairs.


In your bedroom, try mixing it up by using a round table on one side of the bed and a small chest on the other, instead of the usual matching nightstands.  Use an upholstered headboard on the bed instead of the headboard that comes with the set. Or try small mirrored chests for nightstands in conjunction with a wood dresser.  The idea here is to lessen the amount of wood in the room, especially all the same wood.


In the living room, there are lots of options for mixing and matching.  Start with new lamps that don’t match each other.  Use unmatched side tables, maybe some in wood and some in metal for a variety of mediums.  Instead of choosing a sofa and matching chairs, look for interesting accent chairs that can compliment rather than match the style of your sofa.  Instead of all leather on the upholstered, mix it up by using leather on just a chair and ottoman with fabric on the sofa. It will look and feel much warmer than a roomful of leather.

So, be brave, get away from lookalike rooms and incorporate a few of these ideas for a more interesting home décor that you won’t tire of so easily.   If you’re not feeling brave enough to do this on your own, call me at 702-914-3741 and I’ll do it for you.

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