Pairing items together that are seemingly disparate challenges the eye and sparks visual curiosity. When you flip through the shelter magazines and look at all of those perfectly pulled together rooms, do you want to step into the page, mess it up a bit, and rearrange it all to make it look less predictable and more lived in? Placing pieces together that shouldn’t work — but somehow do — shakes things up a bit and gives a room or garden a distinctive feel. When you see items together that suit each other too well — like a velvet wingback chair and a mahogany butler’s table — your mind’s eye gives a great big yawn. The eye seeks out the different and the unusual in order to be challenged and amused. A touch (emphasis on touch) of whimsy pulls out an inner smile. By whimsy here I do not mean “This way to the beach” signs placed in a seaside house, but rather a subtle pairing of pieces that evoke a “that is fun and unusual” response. Predictable = boring.

Here are some pairings that are like an odd couple marriage that somehow work to complement each other.

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