Bridging Generations: Merging Styles

12310479_SSo your mom is moving in with you and your family. Your new Fulton home has a great extra master bedroom and a bathroom with special easy-access options for her. Everything, you think, is perfect.

Then she says, “Oh honey, I want you to use some of my furniture in your living and dining room. I know you will enjoy having such good things in your home.”

But your taste is very contemporary and her style is very like the photo shown here. You don’t want to hurt her feelings, but you’ve spent years getting just the right furniture in your style. Understanding that this is just the first of a number of bumps in the road as you all learn to live together, here are a few ways to make your home’s style work for all of you.

Go for Eclectic: Select a few of your mom’s favorite pieces and incorporate them into the living space of your home. You may be surprised to discover that a few more traditional pieces actually add character and charm.

Hand her a room: If she has a dining table and buffet that she is particularly proud of, move your more casual table into the kitchen eating area and set up the dining room with her pieces. Add a few pieces of modern art on the walls and a simple window covering, and you may find the room works well for you. Consider a daring paint color to make the space feel more adventurous.

Coordinate accessories: Does she have lamps that could work in your home? How about rugs or artwork? Consider grouping like accessories in one place, allowing them to provide a surprise punch of personality. For example, if she has numerous collector plates, fill a narrower wall at the end of a hall or the side of the entryway with plates set randomly from floor-to-ceiling about an inch apart.  She will see all her plates on display, and you have turned a plain wall into a point of interest in your home.

With a little imagination, you can merge both of your styles together, and who knows, you may find yourself happier building the differences into your home.

How to Create a Eclectic Modern Living Room

Eclectic is a big buzz word in design right now. Seamlessly mixing styles to create a space that feels collected and personal takes a good eye and a sense of balance.  Eclectic is not just throwing together a hodgepodge of things and hoping they work together.  Successfully mixing styles is a matter of creating harmony with elements that do not match.


Adding eclectic style to an existing décor can help break up the feeling of a furniture showroom where everything matches.  The furniture showroom look and sets of furnishings for the dining room, living room or bedroom feels a little outdated. Don’t worry if you have a living room or bedroom set, there are easy ways to give your room an updated, eclectic look with accessories and lighting.


This living room is a great example of an eclectic modern room.  You’ll notice that the chairs and sofa all match and were probably bought as a set.  The coffee table is also modern and its clean lines complement the sofa and chairs.  These coordinating pieces give the room a strong modern base on which to add eclectic pieces.


Accent pieces, lighting and accessories are used to introduce eclectic style in this living room.  The Chinese cabinet brings in a bit of global style. The traditional crystal chandelier adds a formal touch and a bit of glamour. Patterned accent pillows are a great place to bring in patterns from other styles, too.


So if you want to achieve an eclectic style, start with what you have as the base. Build on it by adding in accent pieces, accessories and lighting in different styles to make the room reflect your personality and interests.