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Bixby and Ball owners exhibit transitional style in their Cardiff Condo


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1. Mix something old
with something new

In other words, work with what you’ve got. Don’t be afraid to blend traditional furniture pieces with more modern ones. A little of this, a little of that—it’s foolproof for the indecisive design maven who wants and loves it all. Use artwork and accents to bridge the generation gap. Like so many things, beauty lies in the details. In the office below (fashioned out of a broom closet!), Melissa spruced up old baskets from Ikea with vintage label plates from Van Dyke’s Restorers (vandykes.com). Yes, even organizational items can occasionally use a face-lift!

2. Build from a neutral color palette

Beiges, grays, and creams increase the options when seeking a mix ‘n’ match style. This goes for wall color and big furniture pieces like sofas, chairs, and rugs. Once the basics are set, use coffee-table books, lamps, and glassware to add pops of color. For Betsy’s condo, the girls chose a putty-colored palette. Melissa says, “Choose something other than white, and keep it neutral.”

3. Make it multifunctional and fun

Using items that serve more than one purpose is key when working with small spaces. This vintage bar cart from Society Social comes in handy during cocktail parties, but on a daily basis it works as an entry vignette (shopsocietysocial.com). “It’s on wheels, so it’s easy to move,” Betsy says. Another must: Make the most of your accents. Betsy shows off her playful side with a Jonathan Adler vase, aptly named “Kiki’s Derrière” after Kim Kardashian’s infamous backside. “It’s a little girly and a little funky. I like there to be a little bit of humor in every room.”

See more photos from their home here »

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