Friday, September 21, 2012 10:14 AM EDT
“Eclectic” is, deservedly, one of the most discussed concepts in décor journalism today, but let’s not forget Eclectic’s more rigorous older sister, due for a comeback: the Coordinated look, also known as the Matchy (or, Matchy-Matchy) look. More challenging (read: expensive and high-maintenance) to pull off, the risk with going Matchy is also its upside: a certain crisp, hard-won formality. Here are 5 ways to do “Matchy-Matchy” without looking prissy-prissy, or institutional.
The Mixy-Matchy look, pictured via Houzz
See how the wallpaper pattern re-plays itself in the mirrors, and its colour continues through carpet, couch and chairs? Also, note how similar, but contrasting, wallpaper is visible in the next room — the patterns “talk” to each other. (Who knew wallpaper talked?) This is what I’d call “mixy-matchy”: the overall effect and palette are tightly themed but there’s room for some contrast (hence chevrons on the carpet and rounded shapes on the walls).
Mid-Century Matchy (pictured via Historical Hamilton)
Calm, soothing pale tones and perfectly tailored upholstery create a room for grownups. This look says, “Yes, I can afford all my furniture to come in the same probably-not-very-hardwearing wool/velvet/silk.” It also says, “No, I’m not afraid to paint my walls the same colour as my chairs. Why, are you?”
Matchy-Blocking (pictured via Houzz)
In a room that’s overall quite eclectic, two or three pieces that rigorously match each other create a focal point for the eye, calming down the total effect. Think of matched patterns as an anchor, enabling the rest of the room to go where it may.
“Are You Serious?” Matchy
Here’s an eye-popper—and eye-catcher—of a room, from the insanely brilliant Lars Contzen. Turquoise walls, turquoise blinds, turquoise table, turquoise bowl…and scarlet rug, lampshades and everything else. Restful and cool, or so achingly trendy it would wear thin super-fast? My judge-jury’s out on that, but one thing’s for sure: this scheme uses matching to its very matchiest degree!
Like what you see? Here are 59 more Lars Contzen looks.
Win-Win Matchy (pictured via House of Hackney)
What’s great about this way to match is that it’s both super-traditional (think Edwardian little girl’s bedroom) and über-hip, at the same time. It’s so over-the-top to match bed linen, lampshades, curtains and cushions (and then throw in some dip-dyeing, just for fun!). The overall feel is slightly deranged… in a good way. This look is so ornate, and so thorough, it’s unlikely to date and will instead last as a statement-room for a very long time.
Even if you’re a diehard lover of eclectic, might you try some matching-action for a change, this Fall? Tell us in the Comments!