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Clashing Compliments


Fashion can be a puzzle. In many realms – say politics, religion, or sports – the idea of blending two completely opposing concepts seems crazy. But, not in the world of fashion. For personal style and home design alike, some of the most visually inspiring themes are created by pairing clashing concepts.

Fashion, at least fashion conceived to differentiate or express a particular statement, is about bending or even breaking rules. If your goal is to re-energize your space, try implementing some of these dynamic pairings for yourself.

Contemporary & Rustic

Contemporary and rustic décors are a hot item. Pair aged, distressed hardwood floors with stainless-steel elements, ultra-modern tables and chairs, or retro glass chandeliers. Or combine high-style area rugs or large format tile with antique furnishings and accessories. Juxtapose barn-style doors and distressed wood cabinetry against mirrored or transparent or translucent surfaces. With the right choices, the finished space will harmonize old and new in unexpected ways.

Muted & Bold Colors

Although not an entirely new approach, pairing muted neutrals with bold, primary colors is another example of clashing complimentary elements.  Subdued colors on floors and walls punctuated by bright, strong colors (especially as accents) is a tried and true method of creating visual interest. A classic pairing is, of course, black and white.

Creams, tans, and gray tones serve as the perfect blank canvas for artwork or other wall-hangings that are substantial in color or scale.  Similarly, understated sectionals, couches, and chairs can set the stage visually for boldly patterned or colored throw pillows and blankets.

Mixed Flooring

It can be hard sometimes to decide which flooring to choose.  Some people are unaware that there are many ways to incorporate more than one color or type of flooring surface in a given space. Consider this:

Some high-end applications, both commercial and residential, can benefit visually and functionally with a tiled “field” in the center of the space bordered by hardwood plank – or vice versa!  Using two types of flooring properly can be seen as a unique, customized enhancement.  It goes back to the first paragraph in this article – creating an inspired end result with clashing concepts.


There is no ‘design law’ that forbids combining two or three different colored planks or tiles from the same series or collection either.  And installing on an angle, in a pattern such as herringbone, or mixing in different plank widths are all cool departures.  These methods can be used in kitchens, family rooms, basements; anywhere people gather and the goal is to enrich and differentiate the spaces.

Want to see how these clashing styles can work in your home? Call Tish Flooring. We’ll bring samples of carpet, hardwood, laminate and tile and sort through options with you to help create the statement you’ve envisioned. Schedule an appointment online or call (317) 879-TISH (8474).