By Lisa Stout
Are you wondering how to design with eclectic décor? Do you love antique store finds, but you’re also drawn to modern design? Are you unable to commit to just one style of decorating? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this design style may be just what you're looking for.
Eclectic décor is a pleasant marriage of different styles, colors, materials, and textures. If done properly, it can be a refreshing break from the mundane. Please keep in mind that this style does not imply there are no guidelines. Eclectic décor is about items being brought together by relationships and references to other pieces in the room. If done incorrectly, the result can be an overstimulating and disheveled mess.
If decorating your home in the eclectic style is something you’ve been considering but you’re not quite sure where to start, check out these five tips. You’ll soon be on your way to creating your own unique and inviting space.
I’m not saying that that you need to have every intricate detail mapped out before you begin, but starting with a good baseline will help ensure a successful result. Start thinking of colors, styles, and textures that you like and will work well together.
The best way to begin is to identify a primary piece of inspiration for the room. This may be an armchair, a piece of wall art, or even something as simple as a pillow. Snap a picture of inspiration piece to keep with you while shopping for new items.
2. Relationships are Key
As you begin looking for other pieces to incorporate in the room, remember that the goal is to somehow complement or tie back to the original piece of inspiration, either directly or indirectly. The elements of your room should relate to one another. An easy way to accomplish this is through color.
Here is an example to get you started. Let’s say that your piece of inspiration for the living room is a vintage floral armchair with mauve, blue, and cream colors. Two blue and cream chevron pillows accent your cream-colored couch. On either side of the couch is an industrial end table. Atop one sits a brushed nickel lamp, and on the other sits a black wooden lamp. Each lamp is capped with the same mauve and cream floral lampshades. Here you have successfully blended multiple styles, patterns, colors, and periods. Although no two items in the room match, they are all tied together by relationships to one another.
3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you’ve spent years bound by the conformity of matching styles, colors, and textures, then decorating in the eclectic style may initially be a little bit difficult for you. You can start slowly by seeking out one interesting or unusual piece, such as a retro lamp or an intriguing sculpture. Let it sit in the room a few days while you get used to it. Sure, it will likely stick out like a sore thumb, but it will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to begin the planning process.
This décor option is a great opportunity to add some personal flair to an impersonal space. If rules are your thing, then let seeking out ways to create relationships with various pieces guide you. However, if you still don’t feel comfortable after reading these tips, then the eclectic style may not be right for you.
4. Use Some Neutral Colors
The use of neutral colors in the room can help ground and unify your space. Remember, you don’t want the room be chaotic.
Neutral walls can be accented by colorful art and patterned window treatments. A neutral couch can be topped off with colorful pillows and a throw blanket. Let the neutral colors tie everything together by being the one constant that continues through the room.
5. Less Can Be More
Once you get going, you’ll keep finding piece after piece that may seem perfect for your unique space. Unfortunately, it’s quite possible to go too far.
Eclectic décor doesn’t mean that the room should be packed with as many items as possible. Be mindful of the floor plan. The room should allow easy navigation. Do you have to turn sideways to get through part of the room? Does the expansive collage on your wall give people a headache? If so, you have likely gone overboard.
I’ve seen many examples of rooms designed in eclectic décor that were minimally furnished and decorated. The rooms exhibited subtle splashes of color paired with a few unexpected or unusual items. These rooms were strikingly posh without being over-the-top.
Eclectic décor isn’t for everyone, but is a great solution for those with a love for a little of everything. Now that you have the basics down, you’re ready to get started.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.dreamstime.com and www.shutterstock.com