If you can't quite put your finger on the era or style you are experiencing in someone's space, but you love it, it's probably "eclectic." It's so fun to enter the home of someone who appears to have effortlessly thrown together an assortment of mismatched furniture pieces, colours and textures and has somehow managed to make it all look wonderfully cohesive. There is something very attractive and self assured about this style because it feels like you are privy to that person's personality, a little window into their heart and soul.
Follow some of our style tips on how to find your "inner eclectic."
1. What defines eclectic style?
Your personality is really the defining style here. An eclectic look is achieved when you derive ideas, style, and taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.
Pieces that feel like they are "perfectly you!" It can be characterised by using lots of fun fabrics, patterns, textured items from various countries and eras. Successful eclectic decor combines elements from different design periods and decorating styles in thoughtfully edited ways. Personal accents like rugs, paintings, objects d'art, blankets, throw pillows are ways to bring a considered mismatch into any room. Handmade bookshelves filled with personal treasures, unique woven baskets, drinks trays, and card tables are elements that lend a cozy, lived-in atmosphere to your room, giving people a better idea of who you are and what makes you tick.
2. Try not to second guess yourself or overthink things.
It's super important to pick pieces for your home that you genuinely love; items that truly reflect you and your personal style. When you are out and about you'll find things you're automatically drawn to, these won't necessarily be pieces that other people would choose but these choices are what will make your space unique, so don't shy away from it! Generally, there will be a common thread that underpins what you love and therefore what you choose will likely blend and work well with existing pieces. So be bold and display sentimental favourites in bold ways to personalise eclectically styled spaces. If you have a vintage surfboard or your husband's old skateboard collection in the garage, maybe think about hanging them in a guest room, living room or hall way.
3. Spend some time thinking about the layout.
Being able to pull together furniture and objects that look great in each other's presence takes a little time, so play around with your chosen items to see how you might arrange them in little vignettes that are aesthetically pleasing and remember the rule of three! Layout is one of the most important things in a room, often more than the colour or the fabrics. The layout of your furniture is what will make it inviting and comfortable, a room that people genuinely want to be in.
Get excited about using your favourite furnishings, colours and personal collections. This is the perfect opportunity to layer in a diverse array of textures that will visually link different decorating styles. For example you might choose bamboo blinds and pull in a vintage tripod lamp with a 60's shade that balances well with a Moroccan style side table. Then you could easily add a more modern sofa and a plush area rug. From there, add sheep skins, blankets, patterned textiles and throw pillows that draw on a shared colour palette. Weathered or well worn vintage collections contribute interesting textures that perform as neutrals in the space.
5. Find a starting piece, a muse.
You may find it helpful to pick a statement piece as starting point when building an eclectic space. If you happen upon a beautifully upholstered armchair with vibrant colours you fall in love with, this could easily inspire the room's colour scheme and help guide your choices. You may already have a prized piece of art, maybe even one that your child made in 5th grade and decide to build your breakfast nook around it. Don't be afraid to make it personal. If you and your partner have differing styles, you don't have to sacrifice one for the other, see if you can creatively combine your styles and tastes into a fun eclectic space that reflects your whole family and their individuality.
6. Eclectic must still have focus.
When you start to think about your layout, remember that although "eclectic" combines styles, textures, colours and periods using a wide variety of items, the overall look shouldn't lack focus, so practice restraint and forge color connections. You will definitely want to continue the eclectic vibe throughout your home to create flow. If your style changes abruptly from one room to the next you run the risk of the aesthetic appearing disjointed, so really commit to the style and repeat it in each room to varying degrees to create that cohesive appeal.
7. When is enough, enough?
Resist the urge to over-decorate. We have learned that if you overdo the eclecticism you may go from a space that's layered and collected to a place that's busy and distracting. We suggest that you limit the number of contrasting styles in one room to avoid things feeling random or overdone, then the pieces you choose are easily seen and appreciated. Adding in too much stuff or too many design ideas can result in visual chaos. You can look for ways to unify eclectic elements, such as through a more neutral colour scheme. Try grey walls and more neutral linen curtains, along with accessories in neutral finishes that will give the room a more cohesive feel and highlight the eclectic items. Then it's easy to shift things around in the space as you feel inspired.
We hope this was helpful, now go have some fun creating your eclectic space!
Kimberley & Georgina xx
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