Eclectic interior decor involves a collection of different styles and time periods working together in one space to create a varied – yet cohesive – design. But, there’s a fine line between a curated eclectic space and a room that feels chaotic and lacks unity.
While some might think an eclectic space is just thrown together, it may actually take more planning than other styles. To achieve a look that feels well-thought-out, carefully consider how each piece will fit together. If you’re ready to experiment with this free-range style, these tips will help you mix and match like a pro.
Eclectic Does Not Mean Anything Goes
Even when designing a room using multiple styles, you still have to follow basic principles and rules of design. To create a space that doesn’t overwhelm, limit the number of different styles you use in a room to a maximum of three.
No matter what look you’re going for, a room without a focal point will feel incomplete. And, while few eclectic spaces lack variety, they do sometimes fail to make good use of contrast and repetition. Keep these factors in mind when introducing new pieces to your eclectic space.
A Consistent Color Palette is Crucial
When mixing different styles and eras, it’s important to create unity in other ways. For example, establish a color scheme before you start decorating to ensure that all of your purchases work together. If you’re unsure where to start, choose a prominent piece – such as an area rug or patterned chair – and pull the colors from it.
Also, be sure to balance your colors and patterns with neutral tones to avoid sensory overload. Include a neutral as part of your color palette and intersperse it throughout the room to help ground the different colors and patterns.
Look for Balance
To keep an eclectic interior from looking haphazard, pay careful attention to balance and symmetry. When a variety of different styles and patterns are used together in one space, symmetry provides order and helps minimize the chaotic feeling.
Scale also plays an important role in eclectic design. Too many small pieces can make a room look cluttered and disorderly. Instead, create balance with larger, visually weighted pieces to anchor the room.
Create a Connection
When mixing different design styles, it can be easy to sacrifice unity and flow for variety. To ensure an eclectic space feels cohesive, look for pieces that relate to each other in some way.
Using similar shapes and lines will create harmony throughout your home. Even if pieces are from different styles or eras, a common wood tone or leg style can create a connection between the different elements.
Make it Personal
One of the reasons people choose to decorate in an eclectic style is because they want a home that doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s. Following the latest trends or recreating a look from a catalog may result in a pleasing space, but it will also lack personality. To make your home truly one-of-a-kind, weave in personal touches that express your individual style.
Family heirlooms, travel souvenirs, and special finds from antique stores and thrift shops will add character that you won’t find in a retail store. Display these items proudly! Eclectic design calls for your unique items to be spread throughout the home – not just carefully stored on a shelf.
Eclectic design doesn’t happen in a day. Don’t just grab a bunch of mismatched items and throw them together in a room. Start small by choosing pieces that speak to you and introduce them gradually.
Artwork is a great jumping-off point. For instance, try adding modern or abstract pieces to a formal room to change the aesthetic.
Editing is Key
If you have many different elements competing for attention, it can be difficult to process everything in the space. When designing an eclectic room, consider the usefulness of each piece before you commit; only choose items that serve a specific purpose. If the function of the room is clear, the different styles and eras will feel like part of a whole.
For a room that feels intentional rather than overwhelming, keep these guidelines in mind when designing your eclectic space.