When it comes to decorating, most people like to think outside the box and try new things. Limiting themselves to just one particular style can get boring after awhile. That’s why it’s fun to try and mix-and-match various styles and furnishings. A mixed design is called eclectic style.
Eclecticism first appeared in the 19th century and originally combined Renaissance, Classicism, and Baroque styles. Today, virtually any interior that doesn’t fall into a specific category is usually referred to as eclectic. However, it doesn’t mean the term can be used loosely to describe any combination of different genres and objects. Just like any other design concept, it has to follow a certain set of décor rules. Furthermore, eclectic is one of the most difficult decorating styles to incorporate. There is a fine line between eclectic style and total failure in terms of tasteful interior decoration.
Here are 7 simple design tips to consider when creating a space in eclectic style:
- Set a limit on the number of styles you want to implement in the space. A good rule of thumb is to never have more than three – use more than three and the room may start to feel like a fancy flea market.
- Keep in mind how many colors you wish to use, and stick to it. Generally, there are three distinct colors in a well-designed space. Using more than four, however, may be a bit too much. Use one color as your “foundation” on the walls and floor – generally these will be more neutral or muted in color. The secondary color is the supportive hue and should be included in key pieces of furniture, rugs, or sofas, and perhaps randomly used in accents throughout the space such as artwork, lamps, and decorative pillows.
- Use texture and color to merge objects from various eras and contrasting styles. For example, a contemporary sofa and a baroque table can relate to one another through accessories with similar colors like tabletop pieces or pillows. It’s important that they have a common denominator, or the look will fail. It’s okay to fill a room with many objects of varying styles. But, they will appear more harmonious if they have some degree of the same color. For example, it’s possible to choose an accent color of green and blue. If those two colors are used over and over again to some degree in other areas of the room – it creates visual harmony and interest.
- Decorate in layers. Layering is a highly effective way to arrange interesting vignettes. Larger objects go to the back, than add in smaller layers the further you progress to the front. This will give depth and appeal to the display.
- Artwork is in a class all by itself. In eclectic design, traditional sceneries can border contemporary art and black and white photos. However, in order to coordinate the look correctly, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve. The first trick is related to quantity. In other words, when several objects are hanging together on a wall, the eye sees the grouping as one unit, or object, instead of several. It doesn’t even perceive the inelegance of their certain coexistence. The second trick is to use the same style of picture frames and mats in order to fuse the work of art in a cohesive manner.
- Break out of your shell and try new things. That’s what eclectic design is all about. Combine unique objects like barn door hardware and traditional furnishings that seem mismatched at first blush. Keep in mind, there must always be a common thread that runs through the design whether it’s through the use of color, pattern, or visual rhythm.
- Don’t be afraid of using too much decor. In truth, eclectic style is celebrated for incorporating diverse objects, which gives the room its cozy, boho-trend feel. Add your own personal touch while getting creative along with displaying unique artwork, interesting souvenirs, and any of your DIY projects if you like. Oriental rugs and tribal cushions are the cornerstone of eclectic home fashions with an oriental vibe.
An eclectic decorating style doesn’t coordinate different elements so much as it brings every aspect in the room together into one giant piece of artwork in and of itself.
Image Source: Flickr
Written by Paisley Hansen. Paisley is a freelance writer and expert in health, beauty, and interior design. When he isn’t writing, she can be found reading a good book, hitting the gym, or playing with her Australian Shephard. Find her on Twitter for more.