{31 Days to an Eclectic Home} Day 2 – The Break Up

Today is Day 2 of a 31 day series on creating and cultivating an eclectic home.  For some crazy reason, I have accepted The Nester’s challenge to write on the same theme every day for the month of October.  This may end up killing me.  Or you.  But, I appreciate you reading and welcome your comments.

Embracing eclecticism and refining your style doesn’t necessarily mean spending a ton of money.  As with anything, I think it’s important to first use what you already have in your home.  Start by taking a survey of your large furniture pieces.

Take a look at your master bedroom.  Does it look like this?

I’d take a guess and say that most American bedrooms have this type of furniture.  If you’ve ever been to a typical furniture store, you know that many of them sell bedroom furniture in “sets” or “suites.”  The bed matches the nightstand matches the dresser.  It’s likely nice furniture, but it doesn’t really say much about your individual style and personality.  It’s easy and safe, right?

This is the part where you start to get nervous that I’m going to encourage you to sell your bedroom set on Craigslist or paint it all yellow.  Well, fear not! Instead, I’m going to suggest that you could swap the dresser from your bedroom with the one in the guest bedroom.  See if your nightstand could replace one of the matching end tables in your living room.  What if you replaced a few chairs around your dining table with the arm chairs that are in your living room?

I need to take my own advice.  In my own home, I desperately need to break up the matching sofa and love seat in the living room.  I bought them 5 years ago when I was into a more traditional aesthetic, and now they drive me crazy!  Instead of buying new, I think I may move the love seat to our playroom (adult seating, anyone?) and maybe add a vintage loveseat or a few great chairs to the list of things I’m always looking to find when I’m out shopping.

I also want to break up my dining room set.  I think I could really find a more interesting spot for the china cabinet and do something fun with my now matching chairs.

See?  My home is a work in progress – and probably always will be.  I think that’s part of the fun!

Do you have any matching “sets” that need to be broken up? They don’t necessarily need a divorce, but maybe just a trial separation.


Filed Under: Eclectic Home

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. Hey Linds,

    So glad you are doing this challenge. I love your topic and I love this post. I don’t have any matchy -matchy sets of furniture. Almost everything is antique, hand-me-down or thrifted/craigslisted. I did have a full matching bedroom set but hated that it was all matchy so I sold it at my yard sale 2 years ago ha ha ha! I love this idea to move things around.

    I am excited to follow along with you all month.


  2. Ha! All these years I’ve wanted matching bedroom furniture, because it’s been “eclectic” ever since we got married. I’m really excited to read the rest of this series because I need to learn how to make things coordinate w/o matching.

  3. Interesting topic Lindsay. I love the ideas. Thanks!

  4. I love this series already! I only *wish* I had a set to break up, I’ve got an eclectic “style” by default to some degree. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can make it work for me!

  5. Fun, fun, fun…..I just “broke up” with my dining room table, donated it….got a fab farm table on CL.

  6. I guess this is one of those times that being broke was a good thing! We moved into our first rental home right when my husband got out of college, and it happened to be his grandmother’s
    home. We picked out our favorite pieces of hers to keep, and built or thrifted the rest. NOohing matches. We never would have been able to afford one of those sets, but I don’t think we would have wanted one anyway. Nothing feels better than looking at any piece in our home and remembering the story behind building it!

  7. I LOVE it. What makes me laugh is that I have the “eclectic” look simply from being to cheap to ever by a “suite” and taking on hand me down furniture or thrifted finds. Who knew I was doing something right without even thinking about it?

  8. My dining room chairs look a lot like yours and I’m thinking I might paint them all in two different shades of one color. Love your series already.

  9. Thanks so much for this series! I’ve recently realized that I’m unhappy living in my matchy matchy house, and am trying to get my hubby on board! This is exactly what I need to be reading!

  10. Nothing matches in my bedroom to begin with. I didn’t realize I was being eclectic! I’m not sure it actually works together, though. It’s just pieces of furniture that I’ve acquired at different points in time, with different styles and colors. I think, like another commenter mentioned, I need help making the stuff that doesn’t match work together. Hopefully I’ll start to figure that out as I follow along with your 31 days. :)

  11. Love the wall color! We have this going on in a lot of rooms in our house since A LOT Of our stuff is hand-me-down :) But that’s ok, I make it work!

  12. When I opened this post I actually thought your picture of the bedroom suite was exactly the same one that my husband and I bought when we built our new house, thinking that it was a great investment, and that it would stick with us forever.
    Like you, my design aesthetic has changed, and I’m really not into the “matchy matchy” look anymore. Lucky for me, our bedroom suite wouldn’t fit into our current house, so we popped it on Ebay and sold the lot!
    Our bedroom is now very much a work in progress, and I’ve got grand plans for refinishing and glamourising many pieces that I had previously planned to relegate to the shed for tool storage. Long live eclecticism!!!

    Love Rebecca

    P.S. You can see the old bedroom suite here in all its matchy-matchy beauty: http://www.pourameliorer.com/2011/02/bye-bye-beddie.html

  13. judy in carefree says:

    I have NO matching furniture in this house because we had all of the new furniture in this house built to order and it isn’t matching. I love the look because it is such a change from the the furniture we had back in Illinois. The only things we kept to bring here to AZ were wonderful antiques that we had colllected over the years. We came from a home with 8 foot ceilings and 2800 square feet to one with 12-15 ceilings and 5300 square feet. It took us about 5 years to decorate and I am still making changes. Right now I’m working on our huge front porch which over looks our pool…repainted outdoor furniture and new cushions. Fall and early winter is the time we spend enjoying outdoors.

  14. My hubs and I were shopping for furniture in N.C. and came across a bedroom suite that we loved — but we didn’t want the whole thing, and they wouldn’t sell the individual pieces of the floor sample. One quick call to my mom and we had it all worked out: she wanted the dresser and the nightstands and we got the bed and the armoire. Perfect! We both ended up with an eccletic mix for our bedrooms — and they don’t look anything like one another.

  15. Great series! Excited to see what else you post!

  16. That’s nearly identical to the bedroom set I got…which I hate now for exactly the reason you’ve said. Nowhere else in our house has that matchy-match look but the bedroom sticks out like a sore thumb. The day I got the nightstands was the day I realized I’d made a mistake. I don’t have a guest room to steal from but I’m hoping to find some deals over the next year or so and slowly swap them out. I’ll keep the old set in storage for until we upgrade homes and then split it between rooms. That’s the plan at least!

  17. I hear you!! My bedroom has unmatching furniture but all wood tones, but the dining room needs some chair swapping. Just need to find the right chairs!!

  18. We moved into the house I grew up in and it is completely furnished with nearly brand new, and VERY expensive furniture. My parent remodeled..and then decided the house was too big & never came back from their “summer” home on the water. All of the furniture in the house is absolutely gorgeous…but not my style. You make me hate the matchiness of it all….even though the interior designer who did the house was also our wedding planner…& amazing. But you make me hate my house ;( All of the furniture is HUGE, solid wood and so freakin heavy. And we have no money haha So…it’ll just have to stay the way it is..

    • Oh, no! Now, I’m sad. It’s never my intention to have someone hate their home or what they have. :(

      Just keep the faith that you will eventually turn that house into your home. It doesn’t happen overnight, and part of the fun is just getting there. You’ll make some mistakes and end up doing some things that you hate later (as I have learned), but it will be awesome in the end. 😀