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.

Decorating with Rustic Contemporary Style

When you first hear contemporary and rustic together you may think they don’t fit. How can the clean, sleek lines of contemporary style work with the imperfect, rough surfaces and designs of rustic style?



This is a surprising style combination that does indeed work, and work well together. The saying opposites attract certainly applies to contemporary rustic style.


This living room is a beautiful example of the two styles working together to create a new and interesting style.  Contemporary rustic style isn’t the same as eclectic style, which marries a few different styles into a single room.  Contemporary rustic is much more streamlined and has its roots firmly in contemporary style.  Rustic additions add a handcrafted element to the smooth, machine made surfaces of contemporary furniture.


The sleek contemporary chaise in this living room is paired with a rustic low bench that is used as a coffee table. A roughly carved bowl and primitive sculpture create a vignette on the table. Other rustic elements in the room include the floating shelves. These shelves appear to be made of reclaimed wood, a popular material in contemporary rustic design. In fact, reclaimed wood floors are a popular choice for contemporary spaces.  The reclaimed wood floors add texture and interest to the minimalist designs of contemporary style.


Mixing styles like rustic and contemporary is about finding harmony between the two styles.  This room is successful because it retains its contemporary style but includes a few handcrafted rustic elements. This rule would work for global or ethnic accents in a contemporary space, too.