How to Master the Mix Like a Pro

September 18, 2020
When it comes to learning how to master the beauty of the mix, look no further than our Creative Director Dara Caponigro. From the layering of feminine florals with a handsome wood dining set in the living room of a Southern fashionista to the pairing of a mod chandelier with centuries-old chairs in her own New York foyer, she shares a few of of her favorite examples and why they work—courtesy of her new book S is for Style (order your copy here!). 

Laidback Layering

At his own home in Montecito, California, interior designer Richard Hallberg set the scene for an intimate lunch within an outdoor dining room created by soaring boxwood hedges. Richard is a master of the mix and a lover of interesting objects. The neutral scene comes to life when you look closely at the sculptural pieces on his table and zero in on how many materials are actually used: teak, terracotta, bamboo, ceramic, iron, straw, Moroccan silver and brass, all atop a linen tablecloth in a Schumacher linen called Overlapping Dashes by Caroline Z Hurley. It’s a great example of how a point of view and a color scheme can unite myriad objects.

Opposites Attract

Interior designer Beth Webb gave this show house room a decidedly feminine bent with our floral Xanadu Landscape wallpaper by Iksel Decorative Arts.  But, it’s her addition of surprisingly strong, handsome elements that makes this room: the sharp metal end tables, a bold Lucite coffee table, and an antique burled mirror keep things interesting and grounded so it doesn’t feel overly sweet.

Back to the Future

In my own entry, I used Paviaone of Schumacher’s exquisite cut silk velvets, as a decadent foil to the spareness of the room. When I come in the door, I’m greeted by some of my favorite pieces that I’ve collected in my travels: a Taureg rug from Morocco, a pair of 19th century Swedish chairs, a handblown glass Italian light fixture from the 70s. Each object is from a different time and place but the simplicity and quiet colors unite them all to create a sense of calm and tranquility.

One Palette Wonder

Another great example of a scene unified by color is this table setting in blue and white. The fabric on the seat cushions are all different and  run the style gamut from modern to preppy to traditional. It’s a fun twist on a matching table and chairs, and works because the “mixing” part of the recipe is contained solely to the seating.
Clockwise: Fabrics in Persian Lancers, Serendipity, Maxwell and Landsdale Bouquet. Placemats in Exotic Butterfly. All by Schumacher.Francesco Lagnese

Expect the Unexpected

Gen Sohr of Pencil & Paper Co. went traditional with a twist in this showhouse room by pairing Avebury Floral Vine, one of our oldest classic patterns, with our lively, African-inspired Nuba print on the sofa. Gen had fun with this room—she used one curtain panel on the windows instead of the expected pair and played with the sofa fabric by applying its border on the face of the seat cushion. Add in a bit of Lucite and a whimsical abaca rug by PFM and you have an unorthodox but very successful space.

The Perfect Pairing

One of my favorite balancing acts between femininity and masculinity is in the home of Laura Vinroot Poole and Perry Poole.  Laura is the owner of Capitol, the it place to purchase au courant fashion and Perry is an architect with a modernist bent.  Their dining room is the perfect marriage of their sensibilities with its romantic scenic wallpaper paired against original Prouvé furniture and a Serge Mouille light fixture. Heaven!