The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog


Tip Jar: Stay Excited in the Bedroom, Bathroom, and Beyond!

West Elm, you are so square!

IKEA, you're just not meant for long-term.

Crate and Barrel, you are so predictable.

Restoration Hardware, for the 100th time, I am not Ernest Hemingway.

There is a lot to say about cherishing and nurturing your One True Love in relationships, but falling in love with just one furniture store or one furniture style, that is the definition of uninspired.

So, if you're feeling a little bored with your old IKEA kitchen and your so-yesterday West Elm living room, this tip's for you.  The cure to that worn-out relationship is to spread the love.  Mix it up. Try adding something new and unusual to your current collection of furnishings.

Two of my favorite furniture styles are Bauhaus and Danish Modern. You can take the Euro-Utility style of IKEA and mix in a statement piece from Restoration Hardware to create an unexpected and exciting feel in any room. Or, put a curvy decorative cocktail table next to the straight lines found in either a Bauhaus armchair or a simple design from West Elm.

The sky is the limit but for those that need a few pointers, here are a few of the tips that can help you get started:

1) Choose and or identify the one main style furniture you currently have or want in the room. For example: Some people have mostly antique furniture or mostly furniture from IKEA.

2) The easiest thing to do is to tie most of your furniture styles together by repeating one dominant color. For example, you may have different styles of furniture but they are all in the brown and beige family.

3) Always use the element of contrast to create a focal point or to add interest. That might be contrast in stye, a pop of color , or the use of texture.

Which furniture styles do you like to mix?

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Comment balloon 18 commentsThe Somers Team • July 14 2011 12:54PM


Christopher & Stephanie - I could not agree more on your furniture store opinions!!! Heh!
Posted by Sharon Lord, New Home Advisor (Maracay Homes) almost 8 years ago

I too have heard how ultra cool IKEA is to finally getting a look at their website and I said, huh?

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Thnks for your comments guys. I guess I am just venting. I like all of those stores but neet to jazz it up some times.

Posted by The Somers Team, Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate. (The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access) almost 8 years ago

I still have early marriage........a mixture of his and her furnitures that we have accumulated over the years.

Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) almost 8 years ago

This is an excellent way to stop the "oh this is all from IKEA" comments when people walk into a room.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) almost 8 years ago

I think I only have one piece of furniture in my house that actually came new from the furniture store!  I would much rather have quality used, real wood furniture than some of the Chinese disposable stuff they are marketing in these trendy stores!

Posted by Valerie Baker, Spokane Realtor (Exit Real Estate Professionals) almost 8 years ago

Such a cute and catchy title and so true what they say about IKEA - DO NOT SIT ON THE FURNITURE... you may fall!

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 8 years ago

My favorite is a Chinese Antique place in Frederick.  No room for more. 

I love to shop for furniture and about every 7 years tend to recycle. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

My house is a mix and match of everything.  No style but I'm comfortable with my eclectic mix.  Though I'd like to find someone who would take my old brass & glass coffee table from the 1980's off my hands :-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 8 years ago

I agree that mixing up the furniture from different stores will bring a breath of fresh air into a property.  Having everything from one place is a tell tale sign, easy to spot when you walk in.  As nice as it may seem when you look in a catalog or a showroom in reality a balanced look is much more preferable in my opinion.

Posted by Eileen Hsu, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie, I have to agree the mix and match works better.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago
I like the use of color tips to tie together or have a focal point in your home.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge almost 8 years ago

I like IKEA!  But seriously, my tastes have changed over the years so I do have some mixtures of antique & some contemporary - with a few other things in between.  IKEA is my kids bedroom - their tastes will change as well & they will eventually move out (right??) - its easier not to have been tied down with an expensive furniture purchase for them.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 8 years ago

Rosemary called it right - IKEA's and some other furniture outlets' pieces do tend to fall apart early, so plan on a short lifecycle for these pieces.  This is where to invest in a trend.  I always recommend checking out consignment shops and antique galleries for high-quality, vintage pieces that can be refreshed with paint and/or new upholstery.  If everything is brand-new and/or modern, add one antique. 

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 8 years ago

I liked a lot of the stuff I have purchsed from IKEA when it is in the store. But as others have mention their furnature tends not to last long. Thanks for the great post 

Posted by Marc Denton almost 8 years ago

I'm like Cindy I have some of everything from a glass dining table to an 8 foot 100+year old corner cabinet. I think I just like the mix of old and new.

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) almost 8 years ago
I don't think we should ever get in a rut with furniture or relationships. Great ideas for not going stale.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

Being a Montana Redneck, I have never been to any of those stores!  We make our own furniture by cutting trees on the back 40.

Posted by Doug Maas, Broker/Owner - REMAX Of Great Falls - MT Real Esta (RE/MAX of Great Falls) almost 8 years ago