The eclectic decoration style is usually defined by what it’s not: rigid, bound to a specific style and harmonious to the point of becoming dull. In the eclectic decoration philosophy, one is allowed to mix and match different styles belonging to past and present style periods in order to create a fun, charming and unique atmosphere. Combining shapes, colors, periods, lines, heights, and patterns can lead to the creation of a versatile, surprising and gorgeous urban space, where minimalism, retro, industrial and shabby chic can coexist in harmony.
However, just as specialists say, while unexpected and rich, the eclectic style has at least one major drawback: it can look cluttered, messy and confusing. While some recommend us to mix and match two styles tops, some eclectic designs pull off even three or four styles – and still look collected and neat. How can such a goal be achieved? Quite easily, if you follow the next five rules and principles!
1. Start with a Basic Color
The eclectic style allows you to mix and match various colors and patterns, but if you overdo it, you can create a cramped campy space that hurts your eyes. Choose a base color for a room and try to repeat it in different nuances, textures, prints and shades no matter if you put together an Asian-inspired minimalist couch and an antique Victorian coffee table. Color is the main element that binds together everything, and you can make a room look pulled together with the help of carpets, curtains, throw pillows and other accessories. Color theory allows you to blend in complementary colors as well for a harmonious look that is versatile enough to allow an eclectic design.
2. Line and Balance
The eclectic school of design favors the mixing of different types of furniture coming from different style periods, modern pieces, countryside accessories and so on. However, you should avoid making your room look like a storage box or garage where you piled up different objects that are clearly not related to each other. The secret is that no matter what you bring in a room, everything from furniture to accessories should feature the same lines. You can place together an industrial urban chic kitchen bar with a country-inspired wood stove and Shaker style kitchen cabinets as long as they share the same lines.
3. First Comes the Furniture
When going for an eclectic style, many make the mistake of choosing the accessories first, as they are the spice that makes this dish so lovely. However, the furniture is the one that sets the tone of a room. Choose a sofa carefully and place all your pieces to make yourself comfortable and at home. You might find out that the 19th-century lamp might not go well in a specific living room corner as is overwhelms the armchair. Once the furniture is set, you can style up your coffee table with silver candlesticks and carved wooden trays.
4. Don’t Trade Utilitarianism for Looks
Another common mistake in eclectic design is that some people go overboard and decorate the room with beautiful objects of little utility. You may love the idea of having a retro 60s style shaded lamp reflect in a Renaissance Italian mirror, but is it really useful to you? Never forget you need to live in that house and feel comfortable. If you want to follow the eclectic principles, don’t forget about storage facilities (country-inspired rattan baskets, oriental hand-painted treasure chests, American classic Shaker chests, etc.), illumination, book shelves, multifunctional tables, drink trays, cabinets and so on – even if they come from different styles and designs, they still should be there.
5. Give Every Piece a Chance
An eclectic décor means to be able to combine art, furniture, patterns, textures, lights and accessories so you can achieve an original, entertaining and surprising room that doesn’t suffocate or hurts the eye. In order to achieve that you should probably go through a trial-and-error stage where you add and remove pieces until you find the matches that truly work together. You may not like a specific chair, but it may go amazingly great near a specific coffee table or cupboard. Similarly, you can be hopelessly in love with a certain minimalist piece that might tone down things a bit – and yet find out it ruins the whole atmosphere. Give each furniture piece and each accessory the chance to find its place and become a delightful ingredient of a larger, charming picture.
Have you ever tried to design an eclectic décor? Or are you into more traditional designs that follow a specific style?