Original Article:  Canada.com Edmonton Journal
Author: Amanda Ash
Published: Sat, April 14, 2012


Style Qs is our new ask-the-expert feature running in Style every Saturday.

Q: How can you best mix styles and eras in home decor?

A: Local interior designer Rhonda Brynko is an advocate for pulling together contrasting home decor elements to personalize your space. "It kind of tells a story of acquiring stuff on the way," she says, noting how items such as heir-looms can be worked into your home no matter its style. "It's not about going to a box store one afternoon and filling your living room.

"Don't rush it. Don't feel like you have to do it today. Pull it together over a period of time. And don't overlook the little guys, like second-hand stores."

"If the '50s were a little bit boxy, the '60s got a bit curvier, and the '70s went back to boxy." Rhonda Brynko

"If the '50s were a little bit boxy, the '60s got a bit curvier, and the '70s went back to boxy." Rhonda Brynko

Brynko says the easiest way to start mixing styles and eras in a room is to work with your investment pieces, such as a sofa or table. Find a style you love that's also comfortable and gives you the look you're after.

Then start co-ordinating those items with other similarly sized pieces.

For example, if you choose to work with a curvy, feminine upholstered sofa and want to pair it with a sleek, modern '50s table, just make sure there is a connection between the two, such as a roundness or curviness to the table.

"There's just got to be some-thing that works with that room, with that element, and it could be anything from an-other piece of wood in the room to a similar colour on a wall."

Brynko says you can also work within an era of a structure. An older house with crown moulding and worn wooden floors, for example, can be a great backdrop for modern furniture.

Another formula that Brynko offers for mixing styles and eras is to skip decades in your decor. Everything that's old becomes new again, so by skipping a decade, you'll usually find similar textures, shapes and styles that have been reinvented.

If the '50s were a little bit boxy, the '60s got a bit curvier, and the '70s went back to boxy.

Brynko says a lot of '60s-style and teak pieces work well with both older pieces and contemporary rooms.

Other popular mixes include the glamorous contemporary country look, which integrates vintage organic elements into a clean contemporary setting.

That being said, Brynko stresses that there are no real rules when it comes to mixing decors.

By experimenting with styles and eras you can create some great spaces.

"Honestly, I find that a lot of the time, once you put two pieces together, if they look good, they look good."

For design inspiration, Brynko suggests visiting some of her favourite websites: houzz.com, designshuffle.com and apartmenttherapy.com. aash@edmontonjournal.com Twitter.com/AmandaAsh

If you have any questions for our experts, email them to aash@edmontonjournal.com or mgold@edmontonjournal. com.

Read Amanda Ash and Marta Gold's blog , The New Black, at edmontonjournal. com/blogs.