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What’s Your Look Saying? Matching and Mixing Styles and Finishes

If you’re in the midst of a kitchen or bathroom makeover you will find yourself facing an endless string of design decisions about colors, styles and finishes. What goes together to form a cohesive and appealing look with your hard-working faucets, taps, handles and showerheads? It may be best to determine your favorite style and dial things in from there.

Interior designers and architects try to find their clients comfort zones by understanding what kinds of style, colors, fabrics, furnishings or periods in design history they are naturally drawn to. “Traditional,” “transitional” and “modern” are the three big categories. Which one do you fall into? Here’s a quick guide to figuring all that out.


The modern era began in the early 1920s as delivered through Art Deco, a movement that was launched at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris. Deco went on to influence architecture, fashion, industrial design and the automotive industry. The Chrysler Building, the Empire State building and the ubiquitous American ranch style home were all born in modernism. Modern is not for everyone. Simple lines and forms characterize the designs. Ornamentation is kept to a minimum as function triumphs over form


Do you like Victorian homes? Is antiquing your idea of a good time? Do you like heavy fabrics and ornate furniture? Can you tell the difference between a Georgian and an Adam house type? Don’t worry, hardly anybody can. According to the Field Guide of American Houses, traditional style homes have been around since we started building homes and extends to the 1920’s when the first modern designs started popping up.

Whatever style or time period you lean towards, keep in mind that design guidelines are not carved in stone. It’s okay to mix and match and occasionally color outside the lines. You have to be happy with whatever look you choose, so pick something that undoubtedly pleases your eye.

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