Tips & Tricks
September 30, 2013

Fall’s Fashion Advice Applies to Home Decorating: Don’t be Matchy-Matchy

Fall’s Fashion Advice Applies to Home Decorating: Don’t be Matchy-Matchy


One of the tips we often give during interior decorating seminars is: Take a look in your closet! What colors do you see in your wardrobe that you particularly enjoy?  Pastels? Dark jewel tones? Neutrals? Bright, lively shades?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that the very colors you’re attracted to in your wardrobe might just be the perfect shades to consider in re-coloring a room?

When you look in that closet though, don’t you often see outfits that match?  Well this fall’s New York Fashion Week offered a different approach. One word that was heard frequently was “juxtaposition.”  That means: Not so “matchy-matchy.”

“There’s more freedom now to express yourself through clothes than there was 20 years ago, 50 years ago,” said one designer. (I wonder if that includes the disco-era?  Maybe that was too much expression then.)

Back to the subject: Home decorating.  If fashion designer Kenneth Cole can embrace prints, stripes, dressy and casual, all in one outfit,  then why not do the same in your home?

Isn’t it all about personality?  Much like you don’t want to see the same dress you are wearing at a party, you don’t want your home to look just like some other one. You want it to reflect your lifestyle, your taste, your personality. Your decorating should tell a story about you and your family, the area in which you live, your culture, your talents your loves. It should look different from a picture in a magazine.

That means having the freedom to mix and match, or not match at all. Yes, you do want something that holds it all together. It could be a theme, a color, a style, an emphasis. Emphasis is truly adding the excitement factor to the creation of a new room. The basic idea behind emphasis in decorating is that every room should have a focal point, or a center of interest that immediately attracts the attention of anyone entering the room.

Perhaps, though, it’s time to change a room’s focal point by juxtaposing a new element into the design. Just as you feel special entering an event in a new outfit, you can make it an event to enter your favorite room with a new focal point.

Another aspect of not being “matchy-matchy” in your home is the notion that good decorating must be limited to only one interior style. That idea has been discarded. Just because you like country in one room doesn’t mean you can’t have a different theme in other rooms.

It’s not unusual these days to see several different compatible styles within the same household. For example, some of the most excitable home interiors might include a formal Queen Anne living room and dining room, a contemporary kitchen, a country family room and a romantic Victorian master bedroom. How’s that for not being “matchy-matchy”?

As you hit the stores looking for the new fall and winter fashions, think about this: A new outfit is enjoyed periodically. A new look for a room is enjoyed every day. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.

The room in the posted photo embraces prints, stripes, and casual like some collections showed at New York Fashion Week.

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