Blending Styles – Traditional Grandma + English Rock Star


You’ve heard me say that most people have two sides of their style coin—heads and tails. They often think they’re diametric opposites but the blending of two opposite styles is what makes your home uniquely you! If my personal style was farmhouse modern only, for example, my home would look like a lot of other people’s farmhouse modern homes. If, instead, I threw in a little seasoning of 60s hippie, or East coast prep, or English professor my home would be so much more unique! When I first met this client she said “I like crazy things! How can I pull it all together?!” For me, defining the two styles we’re drawn to is key to balancing our choices. Let me explain using her as an example!

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Her style opposites are Traditional Grandma + English Rock Star. Think Betty White being roommates with Mick Jagger…or Barbara Bush hosting the Grammys. Imagine a fun juxtaposition of silver tea services, foo dogs, leopard print, and smoking jackets. If we were to lean too heavily toward Traditional Grandma people might be afraid to touch the furniture and say things like “Floral Chintz and striped silk and doilies…but where do you sit?!” If we were to overly emphasize English Rock Star instead the reaction might be more along the lines of “Yes, I’d like to come to a cocktail party. No, I can’t see myself binge watching Bridgerton here.” I mean we’ve all seen Elvis’s Jungle Room—shag carpet on the ceiling is a no from me! To maintain a balanced design we have to have an element of Rock Star every time we have an element of Grandma—that keeps us from tipping the scales too far one way or the other.

We’ve balanced the traditional art collection in the gallery wall with dark walls and modern furniture pairings.

We’ve balanced the oriental carpet with velvet and kilim print pillows.

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We’ve balanced the tea service with the funky light fixture.

Even her traditional silk-upholstered chairs we paired with dark walls, funky pillows, and modern swivel wall sconces.

Can you see the balancing of her two sides? Can you see yourself hanging out here? What space would be your favorite?

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