This bathroom remodel has matching plumbing fixtures at the sink, tub and shower, helping to create a cohesive look this room.
Have you ever wanted to know exactly what to “match” in your home and where you can depart from that and mix things up?
Well, I have a little guidance for you here today, as I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in my recent projects.
What to MATCH
1) Wood Finish On Architectural Elements
I rarely call out stained wood elements with a specific stain color. Why? Because typically, I want to repeat or “match” a particular stained wood element that is often already going in to the space, like the wood floor.
Such was true on my last two large projects.
Much of the wood flooring installed in my area is engineered wood, that has a factory finish on it. We mostly have slab foundations around here and engineered wood is most often used on slab foundations. The wood flooring will then be a given color and finish when it arrives on the job.
And while I may have a sample or even a box of the boards, often the painters do their own mix on site. That’s so we can check the match right on the job, with the lighting and conditions all just the way it will be seen in the home. This is done for any wood, elsewhere in the home, that I want to match the wood flooring.
Those items I might want to match in wood finish in a home would be:
wood mantel at the fireplace
stair newel posts or handrail
stair treads (which are typically solid wood, not the engineered wood)
a kitchen hood element
some wall paneling or maybe some cabinetry or shelving
When I do this, the concept is for the home to feel connected architecturally, for the finishes to relate to one another, and to create balance in the space.
Everything may not match exactly, there might be different types of wood used, so matching perfectly might be impossible, but generally, I want these design elements to relate to each other and not have a contrast that feels random or too different.
This new wood mantel, pictured below, was stained to match the wood floors in this project.
This new wood mantel was stained to match the wood floors in this remodel. Carla Aston, Designer | Tori Aston, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
In this kitchen remodel, below, I wanted to match the open shelves in color to the lower wood cabinetry that was staying in the remodel. A more orange or gray tone wood color wouldn’t have provided as cohesive of a look here.
The wood shelving was stained to match the existing wood lower cabinetry in this kitchen remodel. Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
The wood desktop and open shelving unit were stained to match the floor in this remodel of a home office, pictured below.
Home office remodel with desktop and open shelving unit matching the wood floor color for a harmonious and unified look. Carla Aston, Designer | Tori Aston, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
2) Plumbing Fixtures Within One Bathroom
I’m not referring to the sink, tub or toilet here, I’m referring to the metal finish of the plumbing fixtures in the room.
I wouldn’t come in and do a brass tub filler in one collection of fixtures and then do polished nickel on the shower fixtures. Generally speaking, I’d match all the metal finishes of the plumbing fixtures by keeping them in the same collection of products in the same brand and style, within one bathroom.
I definitely use different brands and styles in other bathrooms in the same house, but I like to keep it all the same within one bathroom.
This bathroom below shows Brizo’s Litze fixtures in their Luxe Gold finish, used at the sink, tub, and shower.
The plumbing fixtures in this bathroom are all Brizo Litze in their Luxe Gold finish. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
3) Door Hardware
While I would change cabinet hardware room to room, I likely won’t on doors, with the exception of perhaps some specialty doors. So the door hardware throughout a home typically all matches, for consistency.
This black door hardware was used on a bathroom door and throughout the house for consistency, even though the plumbing fixtures in the bathroom were all brushed nickel. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
There is nothing that speaks to the quality of a home, like good door hardware. You can feel it when you touch it and use it every day. Don’t skimp on door hardware, the good stuff really lasts.
4) Upholstery Fabric On Matching Sofas And Chairs
With regard to furniture, here’s something I would match, generally speaking…..upholstery fabric on matching sofas and matching lounge chairs.
If you are doing two identical sofas OR two identical lounge chairs positioned together in a room, I would definitely do the same fabric or leather upholstery on both. I’d also carry the the pillow theme combination on both too.
If the sofas don’t match in style or size, or the chairs are similar but not exact, then I wouldn’t worry about matching the fabric. Matter of fact, I’d probably purposefully change the upholstery material, but with two identical sofas or chairs, I’d treat them as a pair together.
Match the fabric on matching pieces of upholstery. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
Match the fabric upholstery in matching chairs, as done in this home office seating. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
What NOT To Match
1) Light Fixtures
I would never use lighting of the same family of lights from the same brand in one space, although I might match a finish. I just prefer to have the lighting relate to each other in style somewhat, but not “match” exactly. It gives the appearance of a more layered and thoughtful interior.
Here are some fixtures I recently chose for an entry hall where all three fixtures were in close proximity to each other. None of the finishes match, one is satin black, one is a gray finish, and the other an antique black, although they are from the same manufacturer. They coordinate well, without being from the same style family.
What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
2) Cabinet Pulls
I’ve written a detailed post about how to choose cabinet pulls, as I was just finishing up selecting these for a whole house project. The process was fresh on my mind. I really love how this home turned out, down to the last detail of the cabinet pull selection, so have a read of that post to find out more.
While the cabinet pulls might all match within one room, I would not match cabinet pulls throughout the house.
I work hard to mix things up as far as rugs go in a home.
Rugs are sort of like lighting to me, you want them to relate somewhat, maybe in color, etc., but the main reason to select different rugs that are all in the same vicinity or all visible at once in your home, is to create a layered, well thought out space. Matching rugs just looks too cookie-cutter to me.
For example, I love this vintage Heriz rug I found at a dealer’s booth in Rountop for a client’s entryway. Not only would it function great at the entry, hiding every bit of soil or dirt as it came in the front door, but it worked so well, aesthetically, between the three other rugs that were just off this entry hall.
Here’s a good rug combination, used in the entry area of this home. A vintage Heriz rug with lots of color and pattern, combined with the predominantly navy animal print rug in the adjacent room. Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
Navy living room with antelope rug | Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
Dining room with seagrass rug and navy border | Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
Entry hallway with colorful, vintage Heriz rug at the door and a neutral, patterned rug in hallway. | Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
In the adjacent music room we used the antelope patterned navy Stark carpet which rendered a strong blue color. In the dining room, just opposite, a more casual look with a seagrass texture worked well.
The hallway, was a neutral off-white wool with a pattern, but no color.
I loved the combination of all these rugs and the color that the entry hall rug brought to this space. It was the perfect place to add some red, something we repeated in the family room, beyond.
The Gray Zone - Match or Don’t Match, IT’s all good!
While I typically match nightstands, I don’t always feel compelled to. Desired function, layout of the room, and the number of people that will be sleeping in the room make a big difference if I used matching nightstands or not.
Bedroom with matching nightstands and lamps. What To “Match” In Your Home’s Interiors And What NOT To! | Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
2) Side Tables
I rarely match sides tables on each end of a sofa, however, when I do, they are typically when a sofa is up against a wall and centered there as a main focal point.
In this scenario, below, the identical windows dictated the symmetry needed here on each side of the main sofa in the room.
The symmetry created on this family room wall with the window placement dictated the need for it to carry over to the end tables and lamps. What What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! - Carla Aston, Designer | Colleen Scott, Photographer
3) Kitchen Appliances
Generally speaking, a suite of appliances is usually the way most of my clients go when designing a new kitchen. However, with more and more specialty appliances appearing on the market, people are mixing products and brands some these days.
You can make a statement with a unique refrigerator or a range, like a Smeg in a bold color.
Colorful appliances can be fun! Usually one statement colorful appliance goes a long way to customizing a kitchen’s look. Appliances seen at KBIS, National Kitchen and Bath Show. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
This client of mine, below, went with a Le Cornue white range and a Miele built-in coffee maker in her kitchen remodel.
The white Le Cornue range in this kitchen makes a statement, paired with other stainless appliances. What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To! Carla Aston, Designer | Lauren Giles, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
This kitchen remodel has a statement Le Cornue range paired with other stainless appliances from another brand. Carla Aston, Designer | Lauren Giles, Photographer | What To Match In Your Home’s Interiors And What Not To!
Have other questions about what to match or what NOT to match in your home?
You might find more answers in these posts below.