"All mixed up" - My favorite decorating style

House Beautiful Magazine, April 2004 (Center fold)
Kelly Harmon - Designer
You have heard me say that my favorite rooms are ones that have mixed styles.
  The above cottage is a classic example of how you can mix textures, styles and items that have been collected, refurbished, recycled and replenished into a stunning room that has character and a feeling of items "collected over time."
The room above includes Mexican shutters and doors, American homespun and French linens, Japanese hardwood dishes, an Amish armoire (love it), a Swedish table and chairs, and an American Gothic church window from Texas.  The chandelier over the dining table is made of deer antlers and lit with beeswax candles.  Could you mix it up anymore?  Doesn't it have a very inviting, casual feel?
The cottage's oak floors were stripped, hand rubbed with paint, and polished with a white wax. 
Notice how there are no draperies or rugs.  Simple and nothing to interrupt your eye from the beauty of the floors.  The wire basket is a great accessory and adds so much personality.  I would love a window like this that has roses peering in as if they were in the house - perfect!
This kitchen is perfect for a cottage.  Notice how the island is the focal point because it is different from the rest of the kitchen cabinets.  The rustic stool and "driftwood" sign are perfect additions to this light and airy kitchen.  The height of the wire fruit stand creates interest and a slight pop of soothing color.  The chicken wire on the cabinet doors allow for the homeowner to display her favorite dishes and glassware.
Perfect little hooks for her coat or miscellaneous items she needs quick access to.
What works beautifully in this room is the way your eye sees the rustic wood sign above the cabinet and your eye then moves down to the shutters on each side of the window and they then land on the island making it a very balanced kitchen.
These are all things that designers know to do to make it feel perfectly fabulous!
One of the reasons why these rooms work so well in this cottage is that they share a noticeable lack of bright color.  Instead their hues are unified and share varying shades ranging from the lightest of beige to faded robin's egg blue. 
I'd love to own this cottage by the sea!