Diversity in Design

How do you go about choosing items for your home? Is it safe to say that you find yourself not always feeling confident about some of your choices? With so many options available encompassing interesting and intriguing colors, textures and finishes, it’s hard to know what to pick. 

Have you ever found yourself in a furniture store where everything you need is already conveniently displayed? Homeowners often get caught up in buying complete matching displays due to attractive pricing. It feels like an easy one-and-done purchase and your decision is complete. You may also think that by purchasing a complete set, you will avoid making an expensive design faux pas. Unfortunately, this approach often results in a room that is overly matchy-matchy, creating a conglomeration of dull, uninspired, mass-produced cookie-cutter items.

This doesn’t just happen with furniture. Walk into any cabinetry section of a big box store, and you’ll notice their kitchens –– one of the most used rooms and often the sweet spot of your home –– can easily fall into a boring buffet of space that looks like it only serves plain mashed potatoes. Often we fall into this trap because we don’t want to take the time or energy to make a bunch of detailed decisions. We want it to be easy, but good design takes thought and preparedness, both from the homeowner and their designer.

Fearlessness is the path to non-matchy-matchy. This courage gives you the ability to step out of the box, allowing you to walk away from the mass-produced look and give your spaces the appearance of being layered and collected. Your home should be an expression of your life filled with the things you love. It should tell the story of your diverse and unique journey which helps to create visual excitement. 

Storytelling in design helps your space look curated, intentional and personal. But a little goes a long way –– be careful that you don’t confuse a collected over time look with mismatched and chaotic by bringing in too many elements. Consider beginning with a special piece that you love. Perhaps something meaningful that you already own. It could be a piece of furniture like a classic side chair with classic lines. Pay attention to the fabric. Is it leather or a solid color fabric? Maybe it’s time to add some texture, an exuberant pattern or a bold color for some added dimension. Experiment with combining modern furnishing with vintage pieces.

Estate sales are fabulous places to find unique pieces. For a beautiful one-of-a-kind kitchen, play with tone, texture and color. Try mixing beautiful wood-grain cabinetry with painted cabinetry. Mixing is good but be careful to still coordinate your countertops for a balanced and cohesive look. Experiment with shiny and flat surfaces like a metallic vein on a matte-finished tile. Play with scale. If you have a big island, use one large lighting fixture or several smaller ones. It’s all about balancing negative space with positive space.

A diverse and thoughtful design with interesting pieces or finishes can give any room character, creating a museum-like feel with many things to gaze upon. Whatever direction you take to achieve a look that isn’t matchy-matchy, the key is to add your own personal touch that will coordinate your pieces. This gives your space an eclectic one-of-a-kind curated feel.