Tuesday, April 8, 2014

To match or not to match? That is the question.

You'd have to be crazy (like certifiable!) not to covet this sanctuary. And, if the post title didn't tip you off, it would've taken you a hot minute to notice that these nightstands don't match.

Right now, I'm working with clients that are really into symmetry. Trying to convince them that their nightstands don't have to match has been...um...challenging. 

I love a little dimension in my decor. My first "student" was Catherine. When we met, she was a newlywed in her first home, trying to nest, while using her new hubby's bachelor pad decor and a few pieces she had acquired...on a limited budget. Dang! I'm good but a miracle worker? While I don't have pics of her first attempts at asymmetrical symmetry, here's where she is now:

Nicely done!

If you're struggling with a few pieces that don't match (yea!), here are some tips for pulling it all together...stylishly.

Pair similar styles


Similar doesn't mean same. The nightstands can relate to each other in some way to create a sense of cohesion. 

Perhaps one is a mirrored piece and the other has mirrored hardware. One may be a laquered chest with brass hardware and the other a traditional chest, also with brass hardware. Another safe bet is to choose pieces from the same manufacturer line. Often furniture companies will offer an open leg-style nightstand, and also a sturdy chest. This option offers similar style details without being matchy-matchy while adding depth of design (read: a more polished, designer look). 

Utility vs. Style

Another part of the decision is the functionality of the room. If you need storage, you're not going to want to do a leggy desk and a skirted table.

Now, that you've found your two pieces of furniture, how do you make it look like they were meant to flank your bed?

Here are a couple of tips (I said tips, not RULES):
  • Height Symmetry
    Make sure the two pieces are roughly the same height
  • Match your lamps
This isn't a hard and fast rule, but if you are trying to tie your nightstands together with the room, a matching pair of lamps is a safe bet. If the lamps are a similar style but not exact, you can try matching the shades. 

  • Match the art over the nightstands
To enhance height (ALWAYS a good idea) and visually balance the wall, this picture shows a mirror over the nightstand. Not only does it add another layer or dimension, it bounces light around the room.

House Beautiful

Got just one?

If you have one piece you love and you're distraught because you can't find its "match", try a skirted table like this one from Ballard Designs:

Their Terrific Trio (table, skirt and piece of glass) offers an affordable option to another piece of wooden furniture. Their skirts come in every color under the sun. We suggest a solid skirt and then adding a topper (54" piece of square fabric) for a soft, layered look.

I hope these simple suggestions have given you just enough motivation to look around your home and repurpose a piece you never really liked in the living room anyway. If you can't bring yourself to go asymmetrical in the Master bedroom, try it in your guest room first. Good luck!

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