Robin from The Cutter’s Edge tells us everything we need to know about achieving this popular design trend.
By Brooke Madden
Creating the perfect space for you and your family to call home can be an intimidating prospect. Often clients are looking to combine multiple styles, and it’s challenging to do so successfully. If you enjoy mid-century modern, but your partner adores traditional, designing your home to accommodate both can feel unattainable. Without a keen eye, and a thorough understanding of how to blend styles together, achieving a cohesive look is a difficult venture.
Robin from The Cutters Edge, a local interior design business and showroom, recently sat down with us to discuss the fine art of incorporating multiple styles into your home design while still achieving a clean, cohesive look that satisfies both you and your partner. Robin took us through the entire process of creating the unique and specific trend she calls “The Balancing Act.”
“It is so important to start with a vision – to first identify the key elements of the design and capture the overall feel for the space, before introducing multiple styles,” she explains. “All great designs share the successful balance of three elements – function, cost and design.”
The Cutter’s Edge aptly believes in functionality as well as aesthetics; Robin and her team always begin the design process by determining how clients use their space, and what the specific needs of the household are. “We strive to create a product that is a timeless investment, which will long surpass its use in the client’s generation,” she says.
With everlasting quality as well as the client’s aesthetic preferences in mind, The Cutter’s Edge begins designing unique pieces that will elevate the space and still successfully balance and blend everyone’s stylistic wants. Although she points out that it’s a complicated process, the key to success is simple: finding similarities! Whether colour, wood tones, lines and scale, small similarities like these help layer styles together to achieve a successful Balancing Act.
You will notice that in this home, though each space includes multiple stylistic elements, each is married with commonalities that keep the design cohesive and aesthetically satisfying. “Often clients will have an affinity towards certain pieces that aren’t an obvious design match, so we need to find the element of tying the pieces in,” says Robin.
One of the most important factors that influence the success of The Balancing Act is utilizing coordinating colours. “The most fluid way to create harmony while merging interior design styles is to use complementary colours throughout every room. We suggest a limit of three different colours for your overall colour scheme.”
While the rule of three is not steadfast, it’s easier to blend different styles when working with colours that are compatible and consistent. For example, the right rug can pull the warm tones of a worn leather sofa together with a more modern, clean-lined accent chair. “It’s important for us to find a common thread between our pieces to allow everything to flow together,” says Robin. “Enter Knoxville Grey!” she says, enthusiastically. “We fell in love with this colour and knew it would be the element that would carry through our design to create a dimensional but cohesive look.”
Working with juxtaposed elements that differ in design style yet share similar qualities is part of what makes a space interesting, dynamic, special, and truly yours. “Trends come and go, but at the heart of a great design, are timeless qualities of simple proportion and beauty,” Robin concludes.
There’s something special about The Balancing Act; it’s truly what you (with a little help from The Cutter’s Edge) make it.
How To: The Art of Mixing Styles
Create Your Vision
At the heart of your design must be your vision. Before introducing multiple styles, determine what you’d like your space to feel like. What will it be used for? Will it be a warm and welcoming family space, or a sleek, professional office area? Identify which key elements you’d like in your design. For example, the vision for this bedroom was whimsical and playful, which allowed the designer to utilize a chandelier and artwork to achieve the client’s vision, softening it with clean millwork lines and simple bedding.
Find Common Threads
Utilize common wood tones, colours, and lines to bring your space together. In this home, you’ll notice a custom-built, triple diamond mirror against the backdrop of a Knoxville Grey [Benjamin Moore HC-160] accent wall. The mirror seen here complements the triple beams in the coffered ceiling of the great room, and similar wood tones can be seen in different elements throughout the home.
Similar, reoccurring colours in your space will help to harmonize each stylistic element. Knoxville Grey was the colour of choice in this home. It can be seen as an accent wall in multiple rooms through the home, and creates a feeling of cohesion and aesthetic togetherness.
Add accents to complement your design and tie it all together by using items like throw pillows or blankets. The cognac leather cushions seen in this home draw out the warmth of the wood tones in the beams and coffee table.