Friday, January 6, 2012

Is your home matchy matchy?

What is matchy, matchy?

The term " matchy matchy" in decorating refers to rooms that are too coordinated because of the use of the same types of colours, patterns, fabrics, thematic elements etc.   It  has negative connotations and evokes overtones of boredom.

 I describe the desire to have everything matching perfectly  in a room "over matching". Rooms put together in a catalogue or in a model home are good examples of this look. Everything matches and the room looks soulless.

Over matched decor
JC Penny Catalog

Matched with interest
source unknown

This room is a step up from the one above it  because of the pattern in the rug, variety in the pillows and interesting art work.  The wood tones are still very matched and the coffee and end table are a set, but both have added accessories which make them a little more interesting. 

Buying sets of furniture; matching bedding and draperies; replicating the same colours and patterns in accents; keeping all wood tones the same; choosing art to match the decor; and so on, are actions that lead to an  over- matched look.

Old Greenwich Beach Cottage contemporary bedroom
Harmonized decor with patterns, textures

What is a harmonized room?

An advantage of overly matched decor is the sense of calmness that you  get from it.  Nothing is disparate; you feel at peace.  The room above is very inviting  as a bedroom.  While the colour scheme is very matched, consideration has been given to a mix of furniture  that works very well together, and there is variety in the textures and shapes used. I would describe  this room as "harmonized".

On the  continuum  of well designed rooms it is moving toward the middle. in my opinion what this room could use is more interesting accessories.  It comes across as rather bland and does not reflect  much personality.  Further along the design  continuum and much more individual in its appearance is  the curated room.

 What is a curated room?

 Curated rooms appear to be collected over time rather than created in one go. Words such as  arrange, blend, integrate, orchestrate, synthesize and unify come to mind. Such actions require thought rather than rote matching.  Each element chosen adds to the whole in an interesting way. You strive for variations in textures, materials and furniture with lots of layering to draw you in.  Then you pull it all together with a defined colour palette.

A room collected over time to look curated rather than matched
via House of Turquoise

The Olivers House eclectic living room
Curated room with lots of variety in art, textures, shapes

Curated room with quiet overtones

Michael Deperno Interiors

  Curated homes are the ultimate reflection of a homeowner's taste and experiences represented by various "treasures" collected and displayed in interesting ways.  Of course, there are degrees within this look and the more mismatched the decor becomes you  move toward "wildly eclectic".

My personal taste is a lightly curated room that is interesting, but still harmonized for a more peaceful look. While I love art, objects and hand built furniture, I don't like a room too cluttered with things.  What kind of look do you like?


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