I used to be the queen of the matchy match. I was the girl who showed up for the tennis match with a pink skirt, Nike hat, ponytail holder and socks. For work, it was a black dress, stockings, pumps and bag. All silver jewelry or gold, but not both. My home was either filled with all black or birch furniture. I always bought complete sets of dishes, linens and bathroom decor (ya know, matching rug, shower curtain and yes, the seat cover with a matching ruffle). Matching office desk sets, wallet had to match the bag, you get the picture.
Well, I’ve changed, for the better. Mixing colors, textures and styles is not only more interesting, it can also ease your life, remove the often frustrating search for the perfect item or a matching color. True style is from the mix, not the match.
I’m fair skinned so a metallic or taupe shoe makes my legs look so much longer and slimmer than black with a little black dress.
Beat up baggy boyfriend jeans are comfy and also really cute with a jacket and a high wedge or chunky heel like Sloane’s outfit on the premiere of Entourage this season.
My black leather couch, lacquer white desk and plastic cubitec shelving were elevated to a new level when paired with a rustic brown dresser (that’s right, dresser) with burnished metal legs. Adding such an unexpected piece added some much needed warmth to the room.
I’ve ditched the office supply desk sets and now use individual pieces that I love like a tall silver wine coaster to hold my pens and pencils, a ceramic dish with a sea urchin print to hold small items and a blonde bamboo monitor stand.
Not only do I mix silver and gold jewelry, I do it with abandon. Beaded wrapped bracelets with silver, gold and rose gold are piled on. Brass and slightly tarnished sterling pendants on a brass chain are worn with a big gold ring and silver hoops.
It’s difficult enough to find a bikini top or bottom that fits well and matches so I don’t even bother. I usually wear one piece with a print, the other piece in a solid which is either pulled from the print or compliments it. Mixing pieces also enables me to take advantage of sales. I once bought a really cute blue and purple bottom from the gap for $5 which looks great with a white top I already had.
I love the old mixed with the new. A modern clean lined dresser looks great with a collection of vintage perfume bottles on top.
All one decor style can be too much, it’s better to mix two or more styles. My style leans toward a mix of modern and regency. But I wouldn’t hesitate to add an industrial piece like an antique architect document file cabinet or a global piece like a bench from India or a Moroccan pouf into the mix.
Different prints in my bedroom curtains and linens live in harmony together but are tied together with a black and white theme.
My tangerine kitchen clock, kiwi green mixer and pink dualit retro toaster all bring happy pops of color to my kitchen and each one was bought on sale.