Opposites Attract: 16 *Very* Different Design Styles That Look Stunning Together

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WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on February 13, 2023

From modern cottage to warm minimalism, today’s trending designs all have one thing in common: contrast. Gone are the days of selecting one signature style and going all-in — 2023 is all about mixing and matching pieces from different eras, palettes, and philosophies. Picture an antique wooden stool paired with an ultra-modern curved sofa — the mix feels eye-catching, unique, and perfectly unexpected.

But since mixing design styles is a notoriously difficult undertaking (even for the pros), we decided to outline a few classic design pairings that always well together. From the trending modern-traditional to time-honored coastal farmhouse, find your favorite design mashup below:

1. Modern & Traditional

colorful bedroom with wallpaper and classic accents

This combination has been slowly gaining traction over the last few years, and we predict it will hit the mainstream in 2023. These design styles are polar opposites, which is precisely why they work so well together: traditional accents add the charm, character, and warmth that modern spaces often lack, while sleek, modern touches add a little edge. Here, the low platform bed, contemporary sofa, and geometric prints are all distinctly modern, while the grasscloth wallpaper, ornate chandelier, and classic palette add a historical edge. It’s design matrimony bliss.

2. Bohemian & Mid-Century Modern

Mixing design styles: boho & mid-century modern
Design by Catrina Wyrick

Behold another design match that’s simply meant to be: bohemian and mid-century modern. As the above space depicts, boho style adds a much-needed touch of texture, color, and pattern to mid-century modern homes, while classic and clean MCM keeps free-flowing, print-heavy bohemian in check. They also share a few commonalities that play well of each other — both lean a bit wild and retro, and that personality really comes through when paired.

3. Farmhouse & Coastal

Mixing interior design styles: coastal & farmhouse
Design by Lauren Walwer

With their shared affinity for raw woods, iron lighting, natural accents, and cool color palettes, coastal and farmhouse design play so well off each other. Both are heavily inspired by nature, albeit vastly different landscapes. But where farmhouse zigs heavily rustic and borderline traditional, coastal design zags modern, crisp, and fresh — which is precisely why we love them together.

4. Modern & Luxe

modern luxe bedroom
Design by Isaac Borough

This pairing is similar to the modern-traditional combination, but with a more glamorous twist. Leopard print chairs and a gilded brass floor mirror paired with an ultra-modern travertine dining table and a classic Serge Mouille-style light fixture is the perfect representation of this combo. The two styles balance each other out perfectly — luxe is all grandeur and excess, while modern is clean and pared back. Indulgence meets restraint for a winning look.

5. Urban Ranch & Warm Minimalism

modern living room with comfy white sofas and black windows
Design by Daniela Gomez

Cozy, natural, and textural warm minimalism simply thrives when paired with the rich, seasoned Southwestern design style. In our opinion, the magic really comes down to the complementary color schemes — warm minimalism is all about beiges, creams, and tans, while Southwestern decor brings some much-needed spice with rusty reds, deep oranges, and rich browns. Add a cactus or two, a touch of leather, and a cowhide rug, and fin.

6. Retro & Desert Deco

Mixing design styles: retro & MCM
Design by Shelby Girard

We love the retro 1970s and eighties renaissance — bring on all the low-slung furniture, marble accents, and curvy silhouettes. But rather than going full-on matching marble living room set, pastel color palette, and all gold everything, pair back the look with some clean desert modern flair. The sunset-inspired palette and playful prints give the glam ’80s look the warmth and edge it desperately needs, while retro accents like curved swivel chairs and marble coffee tables add a touch of funk to desert modern.

7. Boho & Scandinavian

Mixing design styles: boho and scandi

Honestly, what’s not to love about this time-honored combination? Where Scandinavian minimalism can veer cozy but a bit bare, bohemian design brings a much-needed dose of personality, color, and soul. Here, the patterned rug, rattan pendant light, vintage rug, and fresh greenery bring this otherwise utilitarian room to life.

8. Southwest + Modern

modern bedroom with wood ceilings and black rug

From the binge-worthy show Yellowstone to the fashion world’s fixation on all things ranch-inspired (shackets, embroidered button-ups, actual cowboy hats, the list goes on…), it’s clear that the Insta-famous Wild West look is having a moment. But it’s the modern interpretation on Southwest style that’s making our design hearts throb. The magic is all in the mix – combining Native American motifs and Western ranch life with contemporary elements and angular silhouettes. Here, the artwork, textiles, and rustic materials convey a storied sense of adventure, while the upholstered bed, slingback chair, and statement chandelier bring a uniquely modern day twist.

9. Farmhouse + Eclectic

Mixing interior design styles

Ever since a certain HGTV couple graced our screens a few years back, farmhouse design has had a stronghold on interior trends. But if you’ve grown a bit tired of shiplap and rustic finishes, there are easy ways to update this long-running trend so it feels a bit fresher. Bring in some eclectic and colorful details — like the floral wallpaper, neutral-toned animal print upholstery, and Grandmillennial-inspired gingham lamps in this living space — to create an interior like this playful yet polished room.

10. Global + Mid-Century

Mixing interior design styles

Mid-century design is popular for a reason — although its clean silhouettes and warm woods draw inspiration from the ’50s and ’60s, it’s actually pretty timeless. Because this style errs on the side of simplicity, it’s greatly enhanced by the colorful prints, rich textures, and bold hues of the global design style. When you’re working with a fairly minimal base, it’s fun to layer on plenty of dynamic accents through art and textiles, like in this bedroom. Especially when you choose one stand-out hue to play up (here, a vibrant orange), you can create perfect harmony.

11. Preppy + Luxe

Mixing interior design styles

These styles aren’t all too different from one another — think of preppy design as your grandmother’s pearls and luxe as your favorite 14K gold herringbone necklace. Together, they make a great pair. Preppy design is polished yet soft, which makes it a great match for slightly bolder luxe style (think of brass accents, plush textures, and marble details). When styled in neutral hues, like in this office space, the combination looks refined yet welcoming. It’s a bit Elle Woods — but all grown up.

12. Traditional + Glam

Mixing interior design styles

Especially if your space has historic details like crown molding, traditional style can make an interior look elevated. But that doesn’t mean it has to feel stuffy — or that you can’t have any fun. More traditional elements like floral wallpapers and dark wood furniture make a nice contrast to playful elements like brass-toned decorative touches and plush faux fur throw pillows, like in this old-meets-new dining room. 

13. Organic Modern + Classic

Mixing interior design styles

For a space that feels breezy and cool, yet perfectly elevated, consider an organic-classic hybrid. Classic elements, like wainscoting, wood floors, clean lines, bring a polished feeling to any interior — while modern architectural moments, like a bouclé “blob” chair — add in a touch of whimsy, preventing the space from looking overly trendy.

14. Mid-Century & Transitional

Mixing interior design styles

While mid-century style and transitional style have plenty of differences, they actually have more in common than you may realize: They’re both “classic” in their own regard, which makes them a good match. The clean lines of mid-century furniture can help to make more elaborate transitional finishings feel a touch more modern — while transitional details can make mid-century pieces feel more interesting and detailed.

15. Parisian Modern + Rustic

Mixing interior design styles

If you needed evidence that modern farmhouse design doesn’t have to evoke Waco, Texas, look no further. Rustic elements, like exposed beams, shiplap, and a cowhide rug, pair shockingly well with pieces you’d find in a chic Parisian apartment, like cane chairs, marble surfaces, and a truly elegant fireplace. The neutral palette, which favors warm hues, brings it all together here.

16. Traditional + Bohemian

Mixing interior design styles

If your personal style errs on the side of eclectic but you share your space with someone who likes to keep things classic (or vice versa), you can meld the two surprisingly well. Stick with traditional structures and silhouettes — like stately sofas and crown molding — but have some fun with the details: Mix and match bright colors, bring in some unexpected textures, and keep things playful overall.

Want expert advice on your actual home, straight from an interior designer? Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Kelsey Clark