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Eclectic style: what is it? And why should we be interested? Well, those who are lost in the long corridors of interior design trying to find their path to the right style for them will be glad to know that the eclectic style might be exactly what they are looking for. So, hold on a minute, you say! Is this an interior style for all? No, we answer. This is still one more interior design style. But it’s a lot closer to what we (humans) need. That’s why it is most likely a solution for many of you out there. So let us start with the basics.

Eclectic style 101: What is it?

Eclectic design is borrowing the best ideas from each interior style to create a new trend: the eclectic. It’s the idea of mixing ideas and styles. It’s the style, which allows you to travel in time and bring home a variety of decorating ideas that have thrived in different design periods and match them with modern elements. The intention is to combine different styles to give a personal but refined touch in the house.

What makes the eclectic style the easy interior décor choice?

Everyone’s anxiety is to find ways to mix and match decorative elements and items without messing with the cohesive look. For instance, you might love vintage furniture but wonder how to fit them in a contemporary home! That’s where the eclectic style jumps in to save the situation. This is exactly what this style is all about. Well, you say, do we need the permission of a particular design style to mix & match decoration styles? Hmm, if you want to avoid chaos, you do. And that brings us to our next concern. Don’t be fooled by the liberty this interior style gives. If you step out of line, you can easily fall into chaos again.

Why adopting the eclectic interior design style is NOT easy?

Pay attention to the word “eclectic”. It literally means choosing from a number of sources. To be more exact, it means choosing the best from a number of things. Not just anything. So you don’t choose at random. There are still rules in terms of colors, fabrics, and furniture. The good thing is that this style gives you the freedom to select the best from any architectural and design period in history. The hard thing to do is marry them together. To put it in another way, you can mix and match different styles which appeal to you. And hence it will be you all over with the difference that your personal style will be curated.

How to use eclectic design ideas to spruce up your home

Each design period has provided us with some wonderful decorative elements and ideas. All the same, each one of us has a different taste and so what’s a brilliant design idea for me might be totally indifferent to you. But for the sake of argument, let us just assume that you love dentil crown molding, but also modern furniture, black walls, and colorful accents. How can you marry them all without bringing chaos home?

The secret to succeeding with your efforts is to let one decorative style dominate while the others will play a supportive role. Follow the same pattern when it comes to focal points. One is enough. What’s REALLY important is to focus on the word eclectic. Pick styles and in turn elements and in turn items carefully and without overstuffing the space. Be picky. Choose the best (for you). Otherwise, you will end up with a chaotic room that has everything from any decorating style. You don’t want that. Let us talk specifics.

Fabrics might be textured, striped or patterned. But don’t mix every pattern and style available on the market. Choose one style and one color scheme. As far as colors go, it’s best to stick to neutrals for the base (walls, floors, ceilings) so that the room will host the furniture and decorative elements without creating chaos.

The good thing with the eclectic style is that it gives you room to mismatch styles but it must be done in a methodical way. It applauds contrast and encourages you to use modern and traditional items in one room. The key is to find the main focal point in each room and then build up the design around it. All pieces in the room must provide harmony even if they are absolutely different in terms of style. It takes great attention to fit them all together and keep them from fighting. Or create the impression that your living room is a flea market. Or confuse the eye and make the room too busy for its own good. View the eclectic style in this perspective: it’s like inviting multiple friends to your party. Each one of them must shine but you will be the hostess standing at the center.

Examples of successful eclectic interior decorations

By keeping the walls simple and monochromatic, you discourage competition. The rest of the items will have space to do their own talking without being disrupted by a busy wall. Of course, if you want to make a wall the focal point, do it. Just keep the things around it simple. Don’t be afraid to paint a wall black. You can either enhance its modernity by using colorful artwork or match it with a classic Caravaggio. So when it comes to hues, prefer white, black or grey walls and then play with the color palette for the items.

  • You can match a Chesterfield sofa with a red armchair and Art Nouveau paintings.
  • You can have a modern white sofa and marry it with weathered furniture.
  • Use glass tables or desks and marry them with leather seats.
  • Paint the walls a color of your choice, crown the ceiling, trim the openings, place modern furniture, and hang a huge bronze framed mirror on the wall.
  • Use different seats for your dining table. Choose a wooden table and pick modern chairs in different colors. Or pick a glass table and place different types of wood framed chairs.
  • One way of making one decorative element the focal point in the room is to keep everything simple and harmonious and use one antique chair in a corner to make the difference.

Find Exceptional Design Items & Furniture Here

What’s permitted? What’s a no-no? The Do’s & Don’ts of the eclectic style

The point is to provide continuity by using the rules of the eclectic style right. The number one rule here is to remember that the liberty to mismatch things doesn’t mean that there are no rules. Although you can bring everything you like in the room, you cannot just bring anything. That’s a tiny detail that will make the difference between a messy and distracting room and an interesting and friendly room. The intention of this style is to give you the chance to use different styles to make your home your own. But bringing harmony and balance in the room is important. So although your items will be of different design periods, they must be symmetrical in terms of style. Choose one object you are mad about to be the black sheep in the room and let it stand where everyone can see it. Remember that the eclectic style is about having a functional home that will still meet the scale & proportion rules of interior design. So go wild with your choices without turning your home into a garage sale. Are you confused about the do’s and don’ts?

Eclectic style DO’s

  • Neutral colors for the walls to act as the room’s equalizer.
  • Full focus on a simple and practical furniture layout.
  • Careful mismatch of decorative elements from different design periods.
  • Use an odd or peculiar object in the room as the focal point.
  • Keep symmetry and balance in the room by keeping the lines clean although everything will represent a different design period.
  • Place the must-have furniture first and then experiment with decorations.
  • Make sure your objects get along.

The DON’TS

  • Don’t bring anything you like in the room. It will be chaotic.
  • Don’t mix too many colors.
  • You are free to use different patterns, textures, and shapes but they must make sense.
  • Don’t clutter the room.
  • Don’t use the eclectic style in only one room. Let it flow from one room to the next to create continuity.
  • Don’t forget the importance of functionality. Your home must be easy to live in.
  • Don’t make more than one item the focal point.
  • Don’t mistake the eclectic style with the style free of any rules.

The eclectic style is the paradise of mixed and mismatched design ideas, styles, patterns, and items. It’s the celebration of contrasts that will make absolute sense, bring harmony, and make the home both inviting and functional. So get ready for your test drive. Choose a focal point and off you go.

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Alexia

Written by Alexia

Alexia studied sociology at Essex University and did postgraduate studies at Sussex University in the media field. In Greece she worked for many years in printed and electronic media. She has written and illustrated the children's book "Little Bobby Steps Into the World", which is available on Amazon. Today she is spending endless hours with homedearest.com, regularly writes articles for websites in America and Europe, and is a top rated content writer on Upwork. Alexia has always been interested in interior design and has written relative content over the years.

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