Eclectic décor is, at its simplest, a mix of styles, designs, or periods, combined in one space. It’s not the casually thrown together look of a college student’s first apartment, however. Instead, it’s a lovingly curated look that may be based on accumulated décor items that have collected over years, changing interests, and evolving lifestyles. It’s an easy-going look, that requires some effort to pull off, but following a few simple guidelines can help keep your eclectic décor out of the realm of chaos.
- Watch your scale.
One of the biggest challenges when combining styles can be the mix of scale. A delicate Victorian side table is not going to look right next to the oversized Midcentury Modern piece. Keep proportions similar and complimentary for the best look.
- Embrace high contrasts.
High contrast in scale may not work, but high contrast in style is a definite yes! Combining styles that are distinctly different gives a better result than combining styles that are sorta close. The former creates high drama, the latter creates a sense you were trying to be matchy, but failed.
- Mix it up everywhere.
Avoid the temptation to create a theme room with all your Midcentury Modern in the dining room, and all your Transitional décor in the living room. You don’t want your home to look like a furniture store. Mix things up throughout for a more visually appealing look.
- Strike a balance.
Your best bet is to combine equal elements from the different styles to create a balanced effect. Just one or two pieces can look as if they’ve just been tossed in. An accent piece or two can work, if they have sufficient visual impact. So, go ahead and pile those Chinese brocade pillows on the sleek modern sofa.
- Find common ground.
Color can be the great equalizer when it comes to eclectic décor. Play up palette similarities to make contrasting styles work well together.
- Edit, and then edit again.
Take a good look at everything in your space and edit for balance to achieve that polished final look. Accessories are your best friends when it comes to blending styles, edit yours to create the best blend, and move everything else to another space.
- Narrow your focus.
To avoid the chaotic look, keep your mix down to no more than three or four different styles, periods, or themes.
An eclectic style is harder to pull off than it looks. When done well, it’s cozy, intriguing, and can be dramatic, relaxed, or whatever you make it. It’s unique, one-of-a-kind, authentic and interesting down to its core, just like you.