eclectic design

Eclectic Living Spaces

I am working on a project right now that needs to be eclectically decorated, which is why I’ve been investigating this design style recently. The key to eclectic is having a strong common denominator. So, you can gather a range of items, but they must have something in common. For example, a particular colour could be the dominating design feature, texture can make the design feature by having a variety of it, or a particular type of line or shape throughout the room.  The most common connecting factor I find in photos of eclectic design is colour. It’s an easy one to choose, because people often inadvertently gravitate to particular colours, and find themselves with a whole lot of things that mesh well into a scheme by colour.  I’ve been searching one of my favourite sources of inspiration… http://www.houzz.com. Here are a few photos I found, that mainly have colour as their design element.

I’m such a sucker for the eclectic-frames-on-the-wall look. I just love it. It’s such a good way to collate a range of interesting photos and art and other items, and looks really attractive in the right room. The high ceilings in this room are good because too many things on a shorter wall can look too cluttered.

The cool colours and raw concrete of this room would be the perfect work or sitting space in our hot Brisbane climate. I love the simple mixture of frames, and a plant on the table is such an easy way to spruce up the room. It provides necessary oxygen too!

This modern styled room is eclectic, but not cluttered. The limited colour palette allows varying patterns and shapes to bring life and vibrancy to the room.

How much fun is this room! It’s vibrant, comfortable, light and refreshing. I love that it looks loved and easy to live in.

Connected by black and white and grey, with splashes of colour, this small loft space has been divided into zones by texture and varying styles. It may feel somewhat cluttered and busy to some, but it certainly feels well lived in and interesting.

Decorating Inspiration: How to do eclectic like a designer.

By default, my current home design style is rather eclectic. I get so excited about objects, and have an appreciation and love for so many different era’s and styles, that I’ve managed to collect a myriad of varying furniture, art and homewares. The thing that I have come to realise is that if they aren’t very deliberately put together, it can look bad.

Eclectic is a mixed style, embracing the good things from a variety of genres and times, but then carefully unified by one or more design elements. The real key to beautiful eclectic design style is to put items together based on a relationship.

For example, you could unify a room with a limited colour palette. Say, mostly neutrals, with orange and blue. You can find and collect a whole manner of items that are from any decade or style with different shape and line elements to them, but are just in blue and orange hues.

The one above, I found from Vogue on Nicole Scott Designs is a good example of limiting the colour palette. It’s pretty neutral with some key pieces of colour, and strong contrasts of dark and light. It’s busy and active, and erring on the side of cluttered, but is definitely eclectic.

Another eclectic decorating trick is to collate things that are all similar shapes, but differing sizes, colours and textures. This super cool coffee table found on Cococozy has done this really nicely. Squares and circles with varied colour and size.

vogue coffee table vignette clear table cassina 4 sections books flowers objects cococozy

Eclectic is a great way of decorating that allows a variety of tastes, if you enjoy many different styles and activities, it can reflect that. Most photographs of an eclectic design style make the home looked lived in and loved. It’s the style that is the most true to real life, where we can’t always afford the cost, or time to simplify to just one design direction.It’s a good way to decorate on a budget. You don’t have to find things to suit one particular style, but can have some cheaper items in amongst key pieces.

Now, I’ve found some delightful rooms to show you.

Eclectic doesn’t necessarily mean messy and cluttered. It can be a tastefully fresh and clean decor featuring some subtle differences in style. Like this kitchen. It has mostly a country feel to it, with hints of current trend in the tiles, an understated industrial style lamp, and I love the customised counter with pet bowls built in! It has a mixed design, but tied together by colour and materials.

This is a superb collection of shabby chic and recycled pieces on a vintage industrial backdrop. Things like wooden crates, that gorgeous old iron bedframe and the lace bedding make a relaxed and light atmosphere. The variety of textures make texture a strong feature, and neutral and pale colours are consistent, and make the industrial brick stand out. This compilation of varied home items makes an informal and interesting room, with a vintage vibe.

Wow! This next room is so beautiful and opulent…yet eclectic. There are some choices here that you wouldn’t automatically make when decorating your dining room, but somehow they all work. The furniture and light fittings are really classic shapes, with organic flowing lines and decorative elements. This is juxtaposed with some really modern bold colours and patterns that surprisingly aren’t too overwhelming. It’s well balanced, and very pleasing. If you are going for an eclectic mix of patterns, or colours make sure you have an amount of plain to rest the eyes. Mish mashing needs to be done in a mathematical way, I think the ratio here is about 1:3.

So if you’ve found yourself with a range of differing items, see if you can group some together with something in common, like colour, shape, or texture. You might find you can redecorate really easily and cheaply by being more deliberate with what you have! Good luck.