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How to Perfectly Mismatch Your Furniture

This setting from Glenn Layton Homes shows perfectly mismatched nightstands

When I picked out my bedroom furniture set many years ago, each piece matched, from the bed to the dresser to the armoire to the nightside tables. It all looks great together, but as my design aesthetic has changed over the years, I wish it wasn’t all so perfect. I’d love to add some personality to my room by “unmatching” some of my pieces. Take nightstands, for example. Instead of an identical set, try to mix things up a bit by selecting different styles, as well as different types of tables altogether.  Follow a few simple rules and you can create this look in your own home.

1. Choose similar styles

You can start off slowly by selecting some pieces from within the same line. Maybe you don’t have a home office, and you have a desk in your bedroom. A small scaled desk can serve perfectly as a nightside table or nightstand. A charging station is another option as well. Try to keep the height of your mismatched nightstands as similar as possible. This will help keep the one piece from dominating the other.

Mix a drawer nightstand and leg nightstand from the same furniture collection.

In the top example above, I’ve paired the Ludlow drawer nightstand with the Ludlow leg nightstand. While they share the same finish, hardware and style, they are different enough to add visual interest to the room.

In the second example above, I mixed a light and airy small accent with a light and airy bookshelf. Here, the unifying factor is the lacy geometric shapes of both.

2. Match by color

Furniture comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. By keeping one of these items similar, you can play around with your other pieces. For example, if the finish, either a paint color or wood tone, is similar, you can choose from a variety of pieces within the same line. The silhouettes can vary but all is kept consistent by the finish or color.

A natural, parchment-colored finish unites these nightstands.

A romantic traditional nightstand & a clean modern one work together by using the same accessories in this example from Laura Martin Bovard Interiors.

3. Coordinate hardware or accents

If you are feeling a little bolder, you can take it to the next step by keeping the details consistent. Find pieces with similar hardware or moldings. If your hardware or accents match, you can be a little more creative with your selections.

Matching hardware or accessories allow you to make bolder selections.

4. Be creative

For a childs’ bedroom where only a single nightstand is needed, you can use this opportunity to have a bit more fun with color, pattern and shape. Select a piece that stands out on its own to create a focal accent piece. It can match the style or color scheme of the room, but still make a statement. Don’t limit your selection to nightside tables either. A desk or dresser can also serve as your accent piece. Let your child help in the selection of this fun piece and earn some major parent brownie points!

Use color, pattern & shape to make a nightstand a focal accent.

5. Bring it all together

To then tie your mismatched pieces back together, you can work on your accessories. By pairing similar lamps, artwork or accessories, you can downplay the difference in the actual pieces by creating visual symmetry.

In the example above by Jessica Bennett Interiors, a writing desk is used for one bedside table, and a three-drawer chest for the other. What fun!

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