Make Mismatched Furniture Work in Any Room

Mismatched, repurposed, painted furniture is the story of my life and you can make it work for your home too. For many years, as we moved coast to coast with the Navy, I scoured thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales as I needed to furnish our home (aka Navy housing, apartment, or whatever temporary house we were living in at the time).

We were a family of 6 living on a single military income and making a penny stretch was a necessity. It also allowed me to get creative and add my personal touch to the place we temporarily called home.

mismatched furniture whole room

Tip #1: Paint Color

The first tip to making mismatched furniture work is let your paint color do the work and bring the furnishings within your room cohesively together. {Hint: It works with any color.} Every mismatched piece of furniture in our dining room was purchased from a thrift store, flea market or garage sale and painted white. As you can see there are a lot of mismatched pieces of furniture that work well together due to the white paint.

mismatched furniture white

Tip #2: Hardware

The second tip to making mismatched furniture work is to change out the hardware on your furnishings. You don’t necessarily have to use the exact style of hardware on each piece of furniture but color and shape are two things that will make it appear as if your furnishing belong together. In this room I have opted to use two types of hardware that also tie to other accent pieces in the room; dark bronze vintage pulls and glass knobs.

mismatched furniture hardware

Tip #3: Accent Color

The third tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to use an accent color to make a piece of furniture “pop” in the room. As you can see, in this room I have used yellow as my accent color. I like to call it dirty taxi cab yellow. I painted two of the chairs and the mirror frame yellow and I carried the color over to the mantle with the yellow birdcage and the branches with yellow blooms.

mismatched furniture taxi cab yellow

Tip #4: Repurposed Furniture

The fourth tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to think outside the box and use pieces of furniture and accessories in a unique way that they weren’t intended to be used. In this room, I have two different sewing machine cabinets flanking my fireplace because they fit perfectly in the space. I’ve added a tarnished silver tray and topped the sewing cabinet with mismatched decanters adorned with silver tags.

mismatched furniture repurposed

Tip #5: Grouping Like Items

The fifth tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to group like items together to make more of an impact. On my mantle, I have grouped my DIY glittered candle jars. A row of sparkling candle jars is much more impactful than being scattered around the room. The same tip applies to picture frames, candle holders and collections.

mismatched furniture mantle

Tip #6: Create a Focal Point

The sixth tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to make a statement with a unique piece as your focal point. In this room, I added the architectural element of an old, wooden attic vent above the fireplace. It also happens to be white like the painted, mismatched furniture in the room which brings cohesiveness to the room.

mismatched furniture focal point

Tip #7: Add Texture

The seventh tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to add some texture to the room. I found these shutters at the thrift store and gave them a coat of white chalky paint (using my homemade chalky paint recipe) and lightly distressed them with sandpaper. This added some texture in the room using my neutral, white color and covered up the ugly fireplace doors.

mismatched furniture shutters

Tip #8: Lighting

The eighth tip to making mismatched furniture work in a room is to add lighting that highlights your awesome space. In this room I have a chandelier that I picked up at a flea market along with two smaller companion chandeliers. It’s one of my favorite flea market finds. I also have two clear, glass lamps on the buffet with white shades, again tying into my neutral white color and my other glass pieces in the room.

mismatched furniture ligt

mismatched furniture pinterest


  1. Karen M. says:

    Thanks for the tips – I love the way you have decorated your room! I look forward to using some of these tips when I redesign a room.

  2. Sarah says:

    Cannot even tell you all the things I love about this post and your HOUSE!!! I LOVE all your pops of yellow and your chandy, and your fireplace and, and, and…..Just everything. Great job, Denise!!

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