In decor, as in life and nature, opposites attract; with surprising and beautiful results. Instead of painstakingly trying to create the perfect room following professional interior design elements, try creating a perfectly IMPERFECT room. How?

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Imagine Living

Take a single element – say, smooth surfaces – and plunge it into the same room with something that is the complete opposite – such as rough textures. Voila! A perfectly imperfect room.

Whilst you may not be an interior designer or stylist, attack this project with the same confidence… and be surprised at the results. Try viewing your ‘Opposites Attract’ room from a distance. No, not physically but psychologically. Pretend it’s not YOUR room but someone else’s, just as an Interior Designer would do.

opposites attract

Image courtesy of David Churchill Photography

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Rachel Reider Interiors


Opposites attract because they are high impact – black with white, high with low, retro with country – or relatively subtle – solid with opaque, beige with red, shiny with matte. It’s about creating ‘tension’ – design-wise.


opposites attract

Image courtesy of Tim Barber Inc.

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Tamara Magel Studio

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Burnham Design

But don’t go overboard. Interior designers understand what to bring in, and what to leave out. When creating a room where opposites attract, settle on just one pairing. Don’t introduce different opposites. Your decor will end up looking disjointed with nothing working together.

Having said that, you can be BOLD and dramatic, no problem; just leave well alone and keep with just one combination of opposites.

Opposites Attract with These Design Ideas

Some ideas;

French with Japanese
Concrete with Florals
Neutral with Bright
Back with White
Wood with Metal
Rough with Smooth
Distressed with Shiny
Beige with Red
High with Low
Old with New
Retro with Country
Woven with Sleek

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Croma Design

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Houzz

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Company C

Gain inspiration from interesting finds. For example, this charming room from Company C. is a fresh twist on coastal colours. The inspiration came from a swatch of hand-embroidered vintage fabric found at an antique textiles market. This fabric was then rendered in an unexpected pairing of Turquoise and Orange. Hand hooked of pure wool, the lively rug is the perfect match for those with a craving for colour.

opposites attract

Image courtesy of A&M Home Furnishings

opposites attract

Image courtesy of High Fashion Home

Be bold, be brave. If it’s good enough for nature, then the opposites attract design idea will work for you, with minimal rules.

Have you tried opposites attract at your home? If so, what did you do? Were you pleased with the results? Would you do it again?

If you liked this article, then check out more of our great interiors and home articles here on Don’t Call Me Penny. Read ‘Things of Stone & Wood‘, ‘The Ten Commandments of Colour‘, Brabbu Design Force – amazing European decor, Chic + Smart + Modern, and how to turn a spare room into a library.

opposites attract

Image courtesy of Lankford Design Group


Purchase Your Own Opposites Attract Homewares and Furniture

Find interesting furniture and homewares from a few different retailers including April & Oak (who have decor themes including Industrial, Rustic, Moroccan, and more), Interior Secrets (for unique furniture and homewares direct from the factory), Brosa Furniture (hand-crafted classics) and Icon by Design (for a Scandinavian vibe).

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