Design Advice: The 80/20 Balance

culture / furniture / Interesting

Unless you have recently sold everything you own, moved to a new place, and shopped for furniture at only one shop, it’s safe to say that your home, along with every other home in the western world, is made up of a variety of interior design styles:

Traditional with modern… Scandinavian with mid-century modern and Industrial…Contemporary with Bohemian… Farmhouse with shabby chic and nautical… Or, all of the above (and then some.. you know who you are).

But why is it that some of us wind up with homes looking like attics, packed to the brim with things that we love, and an utter lack of cohesion? While others end up with these impossibly chic spaces pouring out with style and grace?

There are a number of things to address when mixing styles, but today I just want to introduce you to what I call The 80/20 Balance: This balance is a simple rule of thumb, suggesting that you select two main styles for your home; one being the dominant, 80% of your home, while the other be sort of your accent look, highlighting only 20% of your space.

So let’s say you have a traditional home, but you’ve found yourself evolving toward more modern design. There is no need to throw out everything you already have, just work your way toward replacing 20% of the traditional pieces, to modern ones.

Another example would be if, say, your home is more of a 40-30-10-20% blend (and is coming off more like that “attic” style I described earlier) this is where you need to have a chat with yourself about what is working and what isn’t. Like, what style makes you feel most at home? What pieces are the most physically comfortable for you? Do you have this blend because you really love everything here? Or have you just not taken the time to go through it? And from here, I would encourage you to choose your main style, your 80%. Then play around with the 20% and I bet that after a little thought, you may just surprise yourself at how quickly you find your balance.

Of course, this balance is just a rule of thumb. Does this mean your home can’t be a stunning 40-30-10-20% or a simple 100%? Absolutely not. But if you aren’t finding cohesion in your space right now, ask yourself, what is my percentage?