"Mixmaster" Eric Cohler combines eras, styles, and price points for a layered, lived-in feel.
Designer Eric Cohler isn't called
the "mixmaster" for nothing. Design magazines herald his knack for blending modern and expensive with bargain, so we were excited to scour his new book for ideas. We found passion, inspiration, and practical advice that empowers readers to infuse their homes with the things they love.
Aha moment: Start with one inspiration piece and build on it.
Reminds us that if we love something (anything!), then it should be displayed proudly in our homes.
Our favorite tip? Cohler's take on TVs is to "just accept them."
Photo: Roy Wright
It's Black and White (and Yellow!)
Geometric black-and-white patterns are stand-out elements that add interest and movement.
Sooty black (on the fireplace, accent pillows, and window trim) brings this airy, white room down to earth.
An almost shockingly mustard-yellow sofa is the focal point, drawing your eye in a neutral room.
"If it resonates with you, then it qualifies as good taste. Even if it's a chartreuse living room."
Photo: Jonny Valiant
Quicksilver Dining Room
A modern rug and contemporary art are clever foils to traditional pieces like the pedestal dining table and window valance. Cohler painted the walls in oxblood, one of 2012's "it" colors.
Tip: Here's a neat trick! Silver-leaf wallpaper on the ceiling reflects romantic dining room light.
"Rooms that reflect our passions surround us with our favorite things. They cocoon us. To me, this is the ultimate luxury."
Photo: Evan Joseph Uhlfelder
An Entertainer's Dream
Note how these adjacent spaces flow together by use of similar colors and wood tones
When you've got a view, don't obstruct it with hanging fixtures.
Banquettes are excellent space savers. (We love the artist-inspired upholstery.)
"Without passion you can't assemble an art collection, can't choose fabrics or find the best balance of furniture."
Photo: Yale Wagner
Playful Girl's Bedroom
Cohler transforms a little girl's bedroom into a pinwheel of pattern, starting with the medallion rug, embellished duvet, and bright pillows. Adding to the whimsy is a chair with cutouts and an azure dust ruffle with a striped border that ties it all together.
Tip: Weave together styles like Cohler does here with a gothic-shape headboard paired with modern lamps and nightstand.
"One of the first things I try to impress upon my clients is this: nothing you have in your home should be so expensive or rare that you're afraid to use it."
Photo: Roger Davies
No Wasted Space
Sneaking a breakfast nook into a tiny room is no small feat. Cohler uses a banquette, pedestal table, and a duo of clear, Lucite chairs that are functional but light and airy. To comfy up the banquette, pillows are used with abandon.
Tip: Combining kids' art class projects and traditional artwork