Curated Interiors: The Art of the Mix

I find the rooms I gravitate towards the most have a common thread - a mix of seemingly disparate elements creating an interesting story board that invites you to explore the vignettes further.

Bunny Williams

"mixing things allows each piece to stand out on its own and become very special...yin-yang, something complicated next to something simple".  Bunny Williams 
explaining to a group of design students why the pairing of a Venetian mirror above a stone sink in a farmhouse powder room works well together.

Bunny Williams

Rooms that offer a wonderful melange of furniture styles and periods, finishes in glimmer and patina, colour that is intense against soft creams, whites and greys; organic patterns with bold geometrics... 
that interplay on "yin-yang" as stated above works because creating tension in a room is far more interesting than having everything MATCH!  

{Please don't ever buy the sofa, love seat, chair combo - EVER!}

John Saladino

"if you walk into a room, and your blood pressure doesn't go up, its a failure" John Saladino 
says in a 1st Dibs interview.  He is one of the legends of the mix and has been creating dramatic and beautiful rooms filled with "ethereal light" for 35 years.   

John Saladino

He also encourages bringing drama into a space like the dining room as 
"the last place we have theatre in our lives".  

Here are some more of my favourite spaces and designers that do it so well

Eric Cohler

Thom Filicia

Mary McDonald

Ryan Korban

Ramon Garcia Jurado

Some basic guidelines for creating a great mix:

Learn from the best - visit high end auction houses and furniture stores to see what great furniture looks like and it will teach you how to buy better at thrift shops and eBay 

Don't be afraid to mix woods or paint wood if the quality isn't great

Add  interest and dimension to a space by varying the height of your pieces, and bring in a variety of textures, colours and finishes 

Always have more light sources than you think you need because it gives you the option to create different moods based on how you are using a space

Have fun with your decor and buy things you love, eventually they will find a place that makes the most use of their function

And finally, take your time to put the space together - 

it's an evolution not a race to the finish line!

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