Mixing Design Styles

Mixing Design Styles

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Join me as we walk through a recent design I’m working on with a mix of Mid-Century Modern and Bohemian Style! I know that mixing interior design styles can feel really complicated – but it doesn’t have to be that way!

So often we think we have to pick one style to define us, and then most of us feel pigeon holed by that design later down the road. I’m here to encourage you that it’s ok to have your own mix that makes up your style, and I want to give you some tips on how to mix your styles together seamlessly!

I’m in the midst of the perfect project to use as an example, where I’m currently mixing mid-century modern and bohemian!

So come along! I’ll let you in on the behind the scenes of my designs and the processes that go into them!

The Project | Nursing Mother’s Room at Church

The project I’m currently working on is part of our church building; specifically a nursing mother’s room!

We’re wanting a welcoming environment for moms of young children who might need somewhere to either have some privacy for feeding or changing their child(ren), or a place to be able to listen to the worship and sermon even with a baby in their arms (no matter how active or noisy that baby might be feeling at that given moment!)

The plan is to have the room done and ready for a reveal on Mother’s day!

The Current Space |

Some positive things to note about the space are that it’s:

  • Both easily accessible and easy to find (located directly off the main foyer area) .
  • Separate space just for moms with no other uses.
  • Working doors for privacy.
  • Has some cute decor already (mid-century modern lamps) available.

But the overall look of the room isn’t very welcoming – yet! (We’ll be changing that soon enough!)

The space itself is also a unique (long rectangle) shape because it was formerly two offices which have now been combined. Approximately mid-way through the room there is a supportive beam that had to be left in place.

The dimensions are 26′ x 10′ and there’s 1 window (that looks out into the main foyer and won’t often be used), and 2 doors.

*This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

Wish List |

When I’m working with someone else on a design, it always helps to have an idea of how the space will be used, and what their wishes for the space would be.

To get a sampling of the list for this room, I chatted with quite a few of the Moms of young children at church and these are some of the things that were important to them:

  • Signage of some sort to let people other than moms that need to use the space know when the room is occupied or vacant.
  • Rocking chair(s)
  • Volume Control (Some wanted to be able to hear the sermon, others wanted it quiet for their baby, others wanted to be able to visit with other moms who were in there.)
  • Options for more privacy even within the room
  • Toddler/older sibling space
  • Changing Table
  • Baby Proof
  • Hygienic (things like washable covers on the changing pad & nursing pillows)
  • Soft lighting
  • End tables for drinks and belongings

I loved their lists, and they matched up really well with the designs and plans I already had swirling!

Some other things I added to the list that were important to me on the design side:

  • Smells Good
  • Plants
  • Artwork
  • Rugs – soft for babies to crawl on
  • Welcome table with snacks, drinks, the wifi password and any other important notes
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Beautiful textures.

And here are my design boards showing how those two lists came together!

And if you read on, I’ll share the details about how I meshed the mid-century modern and bohemian feels for these looks.

This seating area is the first half of the more social side of the room near the door in front of the window that will remain closed.


The cream couch is by Christopher Knight.

The Rug is from Loloi.

The Floor lamp is from Target.

This little seating area will be on the other side of the little support wall that was left when they removed the center wall, which will give the option for a Mom who prefers extra privacy when nursing. And the area near it will be a great space for toddlers and older siblings of the littlest babies to have some room to play quietly.

Around the corner to the right will be this far wall that will house the changing station next to the 2nd (less frequently used) door.

This wall will be painted solid black to help create the illusion of the room being more square rather than such a long rectangle.


The adorable Lion with Glasses print is from Etsy.

The Table Lamp is from Target.

The long wall that runs the full length of the room opposite the main door will be treated with the faux white brick that we used in my daughter’s Bohemian Teen Room Reveal .

The vertical lines created by the brick help give the illusion that the ceiling is higher!

Across from the green chair and the toddler’s area will be the TV for viewing the worship service and sermon happening in the sanctuary. Along with the TV we’ll have Bluetooth headsets available that allow each Mom to customize the listening experience for her and her baby’s needs!

Because the room is narrow, there aren’t many options for putting furnishings on both sides of the room while still giving a 36″ walkway between. Luckily there is space across from the cream couch for this gorgeous velvet settee to add to the social side of the room!

If you follow me over on Instagram already, you’ll have already heard about the slight hiccup I’ve run into with the settee! I found a similar one that I love locally on craigslist for $175 and snatched it up, hoping I could have it professionally reupholstered by our deadline. But EVERY SINGLE upholsterer in our city is on a 6+ week backlog. And Mother’s day is coming in 4 weeks, so it is looking like I’ll be reupholstering a settee! It will be worth it, though!

Also on this wall, directly in front of the main doorway will be a cute welcome console with snacks, drinks, and a sign sharing important information like the wifi password and how to use the Bluetooth headsets if desired.


Green Gourd Lamp is from Amazon.

And then lastly, on the end wall closest to the main entrance, will be a rocking chair in front of a second black painted wall.


White Fur Rocking Chair is from Target.

If you’d like to learn how to make design boards of your own, click HERE!

Now that you’ve gotten the full glimpse of what I’ve been working on for my project, let’s delve into the specifics of why and how I mixed two styles for this end look.

Mid-Century Modern and Bohemian |

The reason I chose to mix these two styles specifically is that the rest of the church is decorated in a very mid-century modern feel, and I wanted to compliment that while adding a more feminine bohemian touch since this will be a retreat for women and young children during service.

Here’s how I went about mixing the two styles.

It’s all about balance! I looked at each category of items (like “seating”, “lighting”, “pillows” and “art”) and made sure that I had a mix of both mid-century modern and bohemian items.

  • So while the cream couch is definitely mid-century modern, the settee is very much bohemian.
  • The existing wooden table lamp and floor lamp are both very mid-century modern, so I’m mixing in the two green gourd boho lamps.
  • The plants hanging from macrame screams boho, so I chose calm mid-century modern-esque plain white pots to put the faux plants in.

In each set of items, I made sure to balance while I mixed.

That’s the secret! If this room were a ratio, we’d want the equation to be 1:1 Mid-century modern and bohemian.

The Test for Everything You Order |

Before signing off I wanted to give you one more piece of information about when you receive items you’ve ordered from online! Bringing plans to life is such an exhilarating part of the process, but orders thatt aren’t quite what you expected can throw a big wrench in your plans. Before settling on any item you receive, make sure that each and every piece can past the following test:

  • The color is as expected.

This means it should match any samples and swatches you had previously ordered, it should have the correct undertone (very important), and if not, you should send it back!

  • The size is as expected/works with your design plan.

Design boards are so fun to make, but they CAN be easy to accidentally skew proportions and how things will look when you get them into your space (especially if you aren’t a careful measurer when you’re designing). So once your item is in hand, double check that the size and scale are appropriate for your design.

  • The quality is appropriate for what you need.

If what you thought was a metal piece ends up being plastic, or the fabric feels cheap in your hands – return and start again! Don’t settle for something that’s less than what you were hoping for just because you have it already.

Analyze the details of each piece and make sure it’s a good fit.

I estimate that I’ve reviewed about 150,000 items while searching for all the details of this mid-century modern and bohemian room, to narrow it down to about 75 moving parts to make this come together!

This, and other design projects are a big undertaking, and I want to encourage you that feeling like you’re struggling with your design decisions is NOT a problem that only you face – it’s kind of part of the design process, and it will be worth it in the end!

I hope this encourages you! Let me know in the comments below which styles you’re working on mixing, or any big design projects you’re currently in the middle of!

Pin This Mid-Century Modern and Bohemian Style Mix For Later:




  1. Nancy
    April 16, 2021 / 8:17 AM

    Instead of supplying a lot of Bluetooths that will require fiddling with, repair, sanitizing and still don’t fit, ladies could use their own. You could have a couple extras for when they forgot theirs.

    I love the ideas for this room. So cozy, and not infantile. And is it an improvement!! Wow.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      April 18, 2021 / 9:33 PM

      Thank you for the idea, Nancy! πŸ™‚

  2. Bren Schilling
    April 16, 2021 / 9:41 PM

    I am sorry I am just not feeling the heaviness or tempo of the room. The room dimensions are tough to work with however, I like the vibe the Mid Century plays here and furniture placement. However, the choice of fabrics not so much as I do not see a velvet sofa and a fuzzy chair as being conducive or user friendly. How will the Mom clean off the fabrics when her child/children eat, spit up, vomits, pees or write on them? Black for a wall is very heavy and dark. There is not any outside light coming into the space and it just seems like it will be psychologically like a dungeon. Mom’s already feel tied down with the burden of child rearing and so much to always have to do, that they never feel at peace until their heads hit the pillow at night. I would have preferred a warmer tone to the room. The Lion photo? Where does this have any bearing on the place (Church)? Are you taking Christ out of artwork now? I really like your planters and the changing table, as well as the BoHo hanging planters. Please re-think the fabric that is available that is totally washable in sand or white. The room has such a masculine feel to it. I was hoping for soft pastels or Shabby Chic not a He Shed.

    • Dee
      April 27, 2021 / 4:32 AM

      Just read this and had the same thoughts about the couch and chairs! Many designers choose items that might be great in their own home but they don’t seem to consider the clients needs realistically. Better to go with darker, printed materials where all those baby stains won’t be seen! Also a NO to the black walls! A different color or wallpaper but something uplifting and cheerful! I do however like the lion pic!
      The lion of the tribe of Judah or maybe Aslan in a nod to CS Lewis.

      • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
        April 29, 2021 / 9:49 PM

        Yes, I always think of the Lion of Judah, too!

    • Sz
      May 12, 2021 / 12:51 PM

      Not all women like frilly and pastel. I certainly don’t. I loathe that crap just as much as I loathe shabby chic…even in the 90s/2000s when it was all the rage. Shabby Chic was popular 20+ years ago…not any longer with most women of childbearing age. This nursing are is modern and inviting. Maybe it’s just me, but while I’m breastfeeding I don’t want to be starting at Jesus on a cross. Just because it’s in a church, doesn’t mean it has to have crosses and Jesus everywhere. I think they know they’re at church. You apparently have no relationship to current design trends.

      • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
        May 12, 2021 / 1:54 PM

        I appreciate that you find the area inviting and modern!

        Just a reminder, though, Please be gracious in how you speak to other members of the SHD community! We’re each allowed to have our own opinions and styles. It’s the variety and differences that help make interior design as a whole so rich. πŸ™‚ ❀

  3. Debbie Green
    April 18, 2021 / 6:29 PM

    I am sooo inspired! I love everything about your design…well done Sarah!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      April 18, 2021 / 9:33 PM

      Thank you, Debbie! πŸ™‚

  4. Debbie Green
    April 18, 2021 / 6:34 PM

    Do you have a source link for the wicker changing basket?

  5. Sherry Duff
    April 18, 2021 / 8:36 PM

    Can you please send me the blog article on you doing the entry way for VBS like an airport???
    We are doing that VBS curriculum this year and I wanted to refer back to your ideas for decorating.


  6. Lea
    April 22, 2021 / 5:39 PM

    Only things I’d mention as a mom of 7 that was able to breastfeed exclusively for 1 year with each child- please do more than one rocking chair!!!!!! PLEASE!!!! And that really cute floor lamp looks like it would be a fun toy for a little boy to tip over. I like the dark/boho combo though, very calming. I think the lion is kind of cute, but not sure all little kids would be a fan of that big of a picture of one.

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