The Downfall of Homogeny

Each year the definition of excellent design gets a little further away from those matching bedroom suites where the nightstand, dresser, armoire, and bed frame are the same polished wood boasting identical brass handles; this makes me elated. Dare I say it’s my favorite 2011 shelter trend? It seems when interiors get more eclectic, they get more intimate and personal. Each piece in your home can be something you love, even if your mustard yellow side chair doesn’t quite match the goldenrod pillows on your couch.

Freedom from the demands of matching allows your imagination to run wild with the possibilities of your personality. You can find a tufted sofa to catch your elegance and combine it with a sleek solid wood side chair – an improbable match to make your own.

The best part about these eclectic spaces is the complete originality. When you peruse local flea markets and thrift stores for furniture and accessories, you’ll never walk into your neighbor’s house and find the same dining table (complete with six matching chairs and an analogous hutch for added boredom).

This deliciously cohesive interior full of conflicting components was created and designed by Jarlath Mellett (photographed by Patrick Cline for Lonny). The soft tones and understated elegance is the perfect illustration of how to mix without matching. Plus, the soft tones and calm palette is in stark opposition to the chaotic Bohemian stereotype that usually flutters to mind when the word eclectic is involved.

If matching an ornate old world chandelier with modern streamlined upholstery makes your pulse quicken with anxiety, devour the EcoSalon Style Clash series by Kim Derby. Ms. Derby will painlessly guide you through mixing and matching.

Stay tuned as I guide you through the rest of the 2011 shelter trends.