Master This Mix: Spanish Colonial Collage

Peter Dolkas

When we stumbled upon this living room on Remodelista, it was clear we had found something special. Martha Mulholland, who designed the space, demonstrates her ability to match unexpected pairings and layer an array of styles. "I have always been partial to mixing materials, patterns, and eras when I design," Mulholland says. This latest project is a mélange of midcentury, Moroccan, and Colonial that all comes together to form a home stylish enough for a modern family. "The clients wanted a laid-back, California-modern vibe to their new house, which lends itself nicely to creating more kid-friendly spaces, as there isn't the issue of preciousness that often comes with an antique-filled home." Our favourite shot on the tour, from photographer and one of our Instagram obsessions Laure Joliet, is of the multi-functional living room. Here are three tips to master Mulholland's mix in your own space.


Although it may seem like a blessing to have a cavernous room as a blank slate, it can also be daunting. Mulholland conquered the space by dividing it into two living areas, one for TV-viewing and one for relaxing by the fire "I opted to turn the front of the room into a more formal parlor where guests could sit around the fire and chat," she says. Even if your room isn't as spacious, dividing your room by different areas is a skill worth mastering.

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 Kennedy Chair, $899, Thrive Furniture  NK Farm Table, From $3300, Nickey Kehoe Pair of Arthur Umanoff Chairs, $1350, 1st Dibs 


One trick Mulholland has up her sleeve involves two rugs, one much cheaper than the other. To establish the TV-lounge area, a jute rug was laid down large enough for a bulk of the furniture to sit on it. "It sort of creates a room within a room by adding that boundary," she says. But, to add texture and pattern, a vintage Beni Ourain rug was layered on top of the jute, "Luxurious textiles, soft lighting, and beautiful scents instantly make me feel comfortable in a room."

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 Brass Sarreid Console, Price Upon Request, 1st Dibs  Moroccan Beni Ouran, $2495, One Kings Lane Jute Boucle Rug, From $39, West Elm 

_3At first glance we wondered if the mustard-peridot velvet sofa in the living room and the emerald green drapes in the dining room, were a harmonious match. But, after noticing Mulholland's magnolia placement, we began to sing along. The bicolored magnolia leaves bring together the two hues, reminding us the benefits of mixed greens. The emerald wasn't only unexpected with the peridot, but also on its own in an otherwise neutral dining room. "I tried to keep the other materials in the room sort of soft and neutral - bleached oak, woven straw and linen - but then painted the ladder-back chairs dark so the room wouldn't wash out and be overwhelmed by the strong colour in the curtains," she says.

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Amba Organic Green Fabric, $14 (Per Yard), Premier Fabrics Rochelle Sofa, $2499, Crate & Barrel Faux Magnolia Branch, $41, Pottery Barn
To see the full tour, head over to Remodelista.  Photography: Laure Joliet

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