Cambria Style

Sleek and Salvaged

  • Written by Laura Oakes
  • June, 2012
  • Photography By Matt McCoy

Does the vision of shiny, sleek chrome and battered wood or rusted iron co-mingling in the same space appeal to you? Read on if your idea of design means throwing out the rules once in awhile.

Gone are the days of defining a room by a specific design “style” (think traditional, modern, country), or a matching furniture set so meticulously arranged in a home store. It’s ok to be a little eclectic with your décor and finishes and allow a space to reflect your personality. And when it comes to combining elements of modern and rustic design, there really are no rules….simply a few guidelines that just might inspire you to shine up your silver and beat up that old table for a match made in heaven…not a superstore.

Mix finishes. Combine shiny and matte, old and new. In this photo (above), modern lamps, contemporary leather swivel chairs and an onyx fireplace with a non-traditional insert containing stones rather than logs lends a modern flair.  An old railroad cart used as a coffee table, traditional canvas couch, antique adding machine and basket of old bocce balls balances the look.


Display the same finish in contrasting styles.  In this photo (above), the smooth black leather on the modern chair juxtaposes nicely with the weathered leather atop the stool. Similarly, the sleek black chair frame contrasts with the old, chipped-paint window frame the homeowner found in an alley.  


Keep walls neutral while adding color through accent pieces. With two distinct decorating styles already going on, adding too much color can overwhelm. Limit bold pops of color to an accent piece or two like this modern orange leather chair (above). Choose a warm or cool gray for the walls, depending on what best complements your accent color. Grays tend to be more versatile and ‘of the moment ‘ than your basic beige.

The most important factor in styling a room is to allow it to reflect your personality. Good design should look and feel effortless, something that can only be achieved by being true to what inspires you.  

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