Is your style eclectic?
Many of today's furniture stores offer an all-in-one shopping experience where you can coordinate any room in the home in modern, traditional, and even shabby chic. But what if you prefer a more personal, eclectic look for your home? Eclectic style refers to a blend of furniture and furnishing that are brought together harmoniously to create a look that is as personal and individual as you are.
Far from being a display advertisement for a secondhand shop, eclectic style should make guests feel that all the pieces in the room were carefully selected to create the look. Perhaps you are a collector, or regularly bring pieces back from your holidays, The principle of a perfectly styled eclectic room is that all the elements merge into a cohesive decorating scheme.
Decorating with an eclectic theme in mind is a lot of fun as there are fewer guidelines that need to be followed. Interiors should reflect the basic components of interior design, which generally include repetition, texture, emphasis, line and colour. Even though eclecticism means not following some of the rules, there needs to be a unifying element - most often the wall colour.
Colour schemes used can be diverse, but as a general rule, neutral colours are important both as a backdrop and for large furniture pieces. Neutral colours or earth tones work especially well. These muted shades help to transform what could otherwise be a chaotic room into one of balance.
Guidelines for eclectic interiors:
- Neutral background colour palettes
- Combination of different styles - Your furniture will give structure to your interior. Don't be afraid to mix modern and old furniture
- Collections and sets of similar pieces
- Collector pieces or one-of-a-kind items
- Global pieces from around the world
- Contrast in colour or finish
- Heavily textured fabric mixed with elegant silk and chenille
- Worn surfaces combined with refined surfaces
- Trust your instincts! An eclectic interior reflects your personal taste and cannot be copied.
When combining various furniture pieces, assemble complementary items based on their shapes, fabrics, or finish. A curvy, French sofa can be paired with a modern chaise lounge when the materials have some commonalities – perhaps coordinating fabrics are used on each piece. While an eclectic room’s fabrics should harmonize with each other, that doesn’t mean they need to be boring. Use interesting mixes of patterns and textures which have a similar hue in common, then add details like beaded trim or fringe.
Combining different finishes can also increase the feel of eclecticism in a room. For example, gray walls accentuate a silver statue which contrasts nicely in front of an antique tapestry. Mix and match furnishings by their finishes and textures while keeping an eye on their relationship to each other in the overall room design. The goal is a controlled contrast of diverse elements.
To keep your furniture and accessories in line with true eclectic style interior design, combine pieces that are no less than two eras apart. This technique will keep the pieces in greater contrast to each other. For an informal provincial look, you could combine furnishings such as Windsor style colonial chairs, a French country armoire, and southwestern style textiles.
Fun or witty, bold and free from constraints, eclectic design is always highly personal. You can still have a clean-lined, almost minimalist environment, or more of a hodgepodge. But if you are going to mix it up, then really mix it up!
[via vicente wolf]