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Mixing decorating themes

James Rippon James Rippon
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When it comes to decorating a newly built or newly acquired home, often the biggest challenge initially faced is deciding what theme to run with. Maybe you are a fan of modern interior design, with sleek Scandinavian style furnishings, kitted out with the latest technology. Maybe you are more a minimal fan, with clean whites and as few decorative elements as possible. Maybe you are more inclined to classical style, choosing to design in a theme from a bygone era, opting more for darker timber tones, with more intricate detail, and a more worn in look. Often we are led to believe that in order for a home to be appealing or fashionable, then one interior design theme must be chosen, and then the home decorated completely in this single style. But this is simply not the case. Who says various decorating styles can't be mixed and matched? After all, like all fashions, different interior design themes will go in and out of style, so why not just decorate in a way that is comfortable? Here we would like to introduce to you the idea of mixing design themes, and will show you some examples of how this can be achieved to great effect.

Beach shack

Shoaling Fish:  Bathroom by Jo Downs
Jo Downs

Shoaling Fish

Jo Downs

rustic style home will be forever timeless, as people will always look to design that goes against all that is modern and new. A claw foot tub, weathered timber floorboards and walls are all evocative of a rustic style bathroom. Mixing the old with the new, Jo Downs is the creator of bespoke fused glass installations, which adds a modern touch to an otherwise rustic setting. Hailing from Cornwall, her works pay homage to the natural environment of her surrounds. Inspired by the ocean, this piece is of a school of fish, making it the perfect bathroom for a shabby chic beach house.

Sharp contrasts

Turney Road:  Living room by IQ Glass UK
IQ Glass UK

Turney Road

IQ Glass UK

Many modern extensions to homes in the UK, and indeed abroad, have taken an ultra modern look in order to create a contrasting feature to the existing external façade. The matte black and floor-to-ceiling sheets of glass that make up the rear of this extension, vary in every way to the existing brick terrace structure. Rather than try and blend in to the current building, architects are making a centrepiece of their works.

Homeward bound

A very different bathroom, but applying the same principles of mixing modern and vintage to great effect, this bathroom sees the old painting of a ship hung over a brand new bathtub, surrounded by modern fittings such as the heated towel rack. Renovating a room does not mean you have to do away with all your old decorations, and in fact, you can make a feature out of your old pieces, as they will contrast with the modern renovation.

Pop art

Justin Van Breda - Drawing Room:  Living room by Justin Van Breda
Justin Van Breda

Justin Van Breda—Drawing Room

Justin Van Breda

Pop art is an art movement that pioneered in Britain, and emerged here in the early 1950s, and then later in the USA. It set out to challenge the traditional notions of fine art, a concept never seen before. Pop art was as much about the attitudes associated with the movement as it was with the artworks themselves. This room stands for the same values that the art movement of the 50s did; going against the grain, and challenging traditions. A room filled with classical elements such as drapes, timber furniture, lamps, and a fireplace, is surrounded by subtle modern hints in the designer mirrors and metal sculpture by the window. The obvious feature of this room, however, is the bright pop art piece hanging above the mantelpiece. The painting of the queen is in bright colours, standing out sharply against the muted tone of the room.

Hidden secret

TV Mirrors:  Living room by Overmantels

TV Mirrors


Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is spoil the beautifully decorated room you have just created with a big, ugly eyesore, such as a large flat screen television. T.V's it seems, are not designed with image in mind, which is why this invention is so simple, yet so ingenious. Designed by Overmantels, a company who create Gilt wood mirrors, handmade in England. Their latest range sees a fusion of craftsmanship and modern living, with their reflective mirrors turned into t.v's at the touch of a button. Who could have imagined 100 years ago, as one uses the mirror of their dresser, to prepare themselves for the day, that this setting could be recreated in the future… as a way watch t.v!

Honouring a bygone era

Solid Oak End Grain Chopping Board:  Kitchen by NAKED Kitchens
NAKED Kitchens

Solid Oak End Grain Chopping Board

NAKED Kitchens

Before the days of bread being sold in plastic, and full of preservatives, a bread bin (sometimes referred to as a bread box) were a common household item used to preserve bread. Items such as these are no longer needed for their functional purpose (unless you bake at home!), but can still be use to decorate in a country, or rustic theme. By adding decorative touches such as this to modern kitchens, you will be honouring an era when cooking was a tedious process, all in a modern setting that has made cooking easier than ever.

Hopefully this article has given you a few tips on decorating in more than one style, and has inspired you to think outside the box, and not to feel forced to decorate solely in one particular style.

What theme have you gone for in your home? Have you ever thought about mixing them up? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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