Mixing and Matching

21 Dec 2021

Create a “uniquely you” design style by saying yes to what you love

By Jennifer Rhode | Photos by Heather Knierim of HBK Photography

Interior designs by Jennifer Rhode Design


Interiors can be more compelling, layered and personal when there is a balanced mix of clean and modern with antique or vintage furnishings and accessories. Let the architectural style of the home guide—but not dictate—the interior decor and types of pieces you choose for the space. Mixing and matching design styles creates a “truly you” eclectic look. Allow the architectural style of your home to inspire—not constrain—your creativity for mixing and matching your favorite furnishings and decor. Surround yourself with favorite pieces, no matter the era—just be mindful of keeping your selections in balance.

Cherished family heirlooms can be featured in a modern home to add warmth and dimension. The 1930s sideboard pictured above brings character and personality to a streamlined, all-white kitchen. The midcentury-modern Niels Møller dining chairs and rounded Spanish woven-rope end chairs are from yet another era, but have similar amber wood tones as the sideboard and are unexpectedly harmonious.


This antique walnut grandfather clock (passed down from the homeowner’s grandfather) is a soulful contrast to the sleek black lacquered dining table. Surrounded by chrome and cane Marcel Breuer Cesca chairs, the heirloom grounds the room in family history.


Simple shapes give the eye a place to rest when paired with more complicated antique pieces. The trio of white geometric vases works well with the detailed, colorful Chinese table lamp, updated with an unadorned shade.


The large, deep rose and teal vintage Persian rug in this living room unites the expansive space and offers color, pattern and depth. The simple lines of the corner sofas, side tables and ottomans allow the rug to stand out as artwork on the floor.


A diverse mix of art and accessories is another way to play with the balance of antique and modern elements in your home. Placing the gold-leaf infinity prints with classic Chippendale chairs in this dining room emphasizes the visual similarities of pieces from very different time periods.

The shiny chrome Harry Bertoia bar stools and uncomplicated clear-glass island pendants are surprising yet fitting additions to this traditional kitchen. The juxtaposition of styles gives the kitchen more interest.


On the landing of this 1920s home, circular white table lamps and whimsical Jonathan Adler ceramic birds accessorize an antique chest of drawers inherited from beloved grandparents. The wood-framed Rococo side chair with cabriole feet is reupholstered in a fabric with a decidedly mod pattern and placed with a midcentury Eero Saarinen tulip table. This eclectic mix of accessories and furnishings gives the landing a layered, interesting feel.


By contrast, it is also interesting to bring modern pieces into a traditional setting. The clean silhouettes of the circular upholstered swivel chairs and round white Eero Saarinen tulip table are striking choices against the honey-colored wood paneling of this library.

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