By Alex Moore
Eclectic is one of the harder styles to nail down. Unlike other styles, it does not have a particular theme or time period to help the designer. But this is exactly what makes eclectic wonderful!
You do not have to pick and choose what fits the style. Eclectic is about arranging carefully collected items that suit you. It IS you – carefully curated.
What makes it great, though, can also be its downfall. There is a fine line between pulling together seemingly random elements from different styles and periods to make a statement and throwing together random elements to create a mess.
Here are some tips to help you get started decorating your space in the eclectic style.
When decorating a room in the eclectic style, a good place to begin is layout. It is important to know where will things go and how will spaces be used. Think practically! This will give you a framework to use when deciding less practical things like where to place artwork.
Furnishings can be both decorative and utilitarian. Knowing where you are likely to enter a room and what you will do there will help you decide how to arrange furnishings and lamps. It can determine where you place coat racks and storage and may give you a good idea where there will be vacant space waiting for a wall of your favorite curated art.
A good rule of thumb is to pick a go-to color to pull your look together. For example, you may use neutrals as your base and then pile pops of color on to it with furnishings or an accent wall. You can then add accents like candle holders and cabinet pulls for a little shine.
Lamp shades and throw pillows may mirror the neutrals used for your base. When your neutral accents are set against a colorful piece of furniture, it can help tie the parts of the room together.
Even so, there are people who aren’t afraid of using bright colors when decorating a space, going for powerful accent colors only. However, this is a bolder approach to the eclectic home design and in order to pull it off, you may need the help of a professional designer.
Contrast and Layering
Using contrasting colors and textures is part of the fun of eclectic style. If you can pull an outfit together from a thrift store, then you will enjoy creating an eclectic space. Place a small oriental rug on top of a coarse sisal mat, a chrome table next to a soft couch, a blue chair against a white wall. The one makes the other stand out. The trick is to get them to work together rather than have them fighting against each other.
Just because you are pulling together different elements from different styles and time periods does not mean that you do not need a focal point.
Having one place that draws the eye can help to prevent the other items in your room from fighting for attention. In fact, they can support the focal point by helping to point the eye in its direction.
Common focal points can include a fireplace, gallery wall or a single stand out piece of art. If you’re leaning towards choosing a fireplace as a focal point but you’re afraid that a traditional one will take up too much space, you can always go for a contemporary electric fireplace. Check out the best electric fireplace TV stands of the year and take your pick!
This isn’t just a great décor item that will fit perfectly in your eclectic home, but it’s also a practical one, as it enables you to accommodate your TV. In addition, it’s an exquisite asset to your home and it also provides storage solutions such as cabinets and shelves to help you save space. Having a focal point gives you a conversation piece and can also be another beginning place for your design.
Being eclectic does not mean that you have to choose a different look in each room. In fact, in order to create flow in your home, you need to create spaces that complement each other. They do not all have to be the same, but certain themes – like floral patterns and arrangements – might carry from one room to another in order to create that sense of flow.
You might then differentiate the spaces with color or textures. Whatever you decide, make sure you are consistent so that you create a sense of harmony rather than discord among the spaces in your home.
Whenever trying something new, you may need a little time to acclimate. Change can be challenging!
If you try something and don’t like it, give it a couple of weeks before changing it. The problem may only be the fact that it is different from what you are accustomed to. Given a little time, the new look may grow on you! If you are patient, but afterwards you still find that it grates on you, then by all means try something else! It is your design and your home. You do not have to live with something that does not appeal to you.
Designing with an eclectic sort of style involves a combination of styles and eras, bringing together elements and pieces that appeal specifically to you and trying to get them to live harmoniously together.
The possible pitfalls are that you could go too far in the direction of quirky or you may try to pull together too many of your favorite things. This can result in a cluttered or overwhelming space. It is a fine line to walk, but by carefully curating your furnishings and artwork, you may just find that you can pull it off.
Alex Moore is a self-taught seamster who has always been fascinated with the ability and agility of the women who used to sew with his mother. Having struggled with insomnia and other stressors while being abroad studying, he started researching the intricacy of sleep and the psychology of interior design: what aids relaxation and what inspires action and energy. Follow Alex on Twitter.