Can It Be Done?


I love an eclectic mix of traditional and modern furniture. And I’ve been admiring the Paulistano
chair for quite some time now—plus we’ve received some wedding money
to put towards new seating. But is the Paulistano too much of a
contrast with our uber-antiquey Conservatory Settee?
The question has had me scouring the internet for images that
successfully mix these two styles. I know they’re out there, but so far
I haven’t had much luck finding them.

There are plenty of examples involving an eclectic mix of tables and chairs/desks, as in this image from decor8’s Flickr photostream

and again here from Domino magazine…

the right angles of this coffee table create a strong counterpoint to
the curvy-wurvy lines of the chairs in this living space from Western Interiors.Wickwillardres

But the mix doesn’t always work. I can certainly appreciate the attempt in this space
(also from decor8) but really it’s just some modern pieces with
over-the-top accents plopped in. The effect is almost theatrical, and
it’s not a room I would want to live in.

don’t you hate it when someone gives you a gift that isn’t your style,
but you have to wear it when they come to visit so you don’t offend
them? I feel like that’s what happened to this room…it’s
like the inhabitants realized grandma was coming over so they hauled
the old chairs she gave them out of the attic. Such an unsatisfying

So that leaves me with this room from Marie Claire Maison via Decorology’s lovely photostream.
I do adore this room, and love the Starck Ghost Chair, but it works
because it mimics the shape of the antique pieces while bringing in a
modern material—-a much more subtle blend than my couch would be with
the Paulistano chair.


And finally, a gorgeous (slightly blurry) interior from photographer Christine Rudolph.
I think this mix gels very nicely indeed- the curves of the Eames
rocker mimic those of the legs on the French style occasional chair.
And the couch is a neutral enough style to unite the 1950’s with the
1750’s. The color scheme is simple and lets the lines of the furniture
do the talking. Plus the little Morracan table and the driftwook mirror
inject even more personality into the mix. Perfection!

I create a similarly deft balance with my couch and the drool-worthy
Paulistano? Still not sure…it would require a delicate hand and a
careful eye. Stay tuned- more thoughts to come!


2 Responses to “Can It Be Done?”

  1. kate s Says:

    Hi anne, I think you should go for it. For one, because (well I am going from the values on my mac screen) the two tones seem to be in the same family. The family of somewhat rustic and rich yet down-to-earth tones. Second, you could always put them in the same room but not in the same space. What i remember of your place that might be hard though. also, you can always tie things together with other pieces that have elements from both, say the leather and colour from the chair with the style and shapes of the couch or vice versa.
    also if you really want to, i know you will find a way to make the two work!

  2. Mussy Wells Says:

    #2 and #3 are cool but I personally am not a fan of the others… Because it’s you I know you would find a way to make it work but I think you should think carefully about your decision to avoid the fate of the pottery barn bookcase….

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