When I first started “learning to decorate” (mainly by trial and error in our first house), I used to get so hung up on everything matching. I would never have put a white in the same room with an off-white. That seemed like some unspoken rule of decorating to me. But, the more I studied photos of the rooms I loved best, the more I realized that very little actually matched.
The secret to pulling it all off is that nothing actually has to (or even should) match.
It applies to furniture style, to pattern mixing, and most of all to color. I think getting too caught up in this fabric having to match that paint (or whatever the dilemma might be) is the reason lots of people get stuck when decorating, and often end up doing nothing except hating they way their home looks.
Layering different shades of the same color is one of my favorite looks. Instead of everything looking so one-dimensional, it gives a room depth.
Look closely at some of your favorite images. I’ll bet almost nothing “matches.”. Layering color (along with textures and styles) is the trick.
Are you still stuck in a everything-has-to-match mode?
A couple of easy ways to start layering color in your space:
Experiment with pillows and layering shades of the same color in different patterns. (And, maybe throwing in one other color for a fun contrast!)
Try painting one piece of furniture in the room a couple of shades darker (or lighter) than your wall color. Not every painted piece of furniture has to “pop”, and layered color can be such a rich look.