Michelle felt that having a single, comfortable family area was key. “I really wanted to make sure we had only one living room and that it also served as the home’s TV room, the sitting room—everything,” she says. “A TV room can look really nice if you hide the electronics.” Everything is hidden behind doors built into the light oak paneled wall. Slide open the large, windowed doors, and the living room quickly almost doubles in size as the space extends directly onto the expansive screened porch. One of Halvorson’s favorite pieces is the coffee table. She found an old Spanish door and had sleek iron legs made.

Laurey W. Glenn

It’s an easy fix though.

The arrival of a new year means there’s no shortage of lists, articles, and how-tos about the next big trends. If you’ve clicked on any of them, you know they offer a lot of the same big ideas, like 2018’s love of terrazzo or statement ceilings and floors. If anything, they’ve reinforced the idea that you should be matching your curtains to your wallpaper, and NOT your metals, furniture, or wood finishes.

All this advice to mix things up seems to subtly signal the death of a long-time fixture in the home furnishings world though—the full-room furniture set. You name the room, they’ve got a set for it. To be fair, many were a good deal, and they made first apartments and starter homes functional in no time. Now, just a quick scroll through Craigslist reveals post after post of people trying to cast away their dining, living, and bedroom sets, hopefully in exchange for pieces with a bit more personality.

Whether maximalist or minimalist, this applies to all styles, and reinvigorates what is really at the heart of design—expressing yourself. Current trends urge you not to turn to a quick-fix or mass-produced piece with mass appeal, but instead develop a collected, personal style throughout each room. Wood finishes no longer need to match, and metals definitely don’t. Mix and match pieces from different eras, and don’t feel like color palettes have to be super-exact.  This achieves a look that the room has been gathered, arranged, edited, and styled over time—even if you threw it together after just a few trips between the antique shop and the thrift store.

WATCH: New Uses For Old, Bulky Furniture

Plus, an easy fix (that doesn’t require a checkbook) for matchy-matchy furniture sets is to simply break them up. Spread out the pieces throughout the whole house, so that when mixed with other furniture, they can shine on their own.