Suggest eclectic interior design to some homeowners and they’ll balk at the idea. Mixing colors, patterns and textures that don’t quite fit together? If the thought sounds intimidating, there’s nothing to fear. It’s entirely possible to combine eclectic design elements into one beautifully cohesive look – you just have to know how to make it work. Follow these tips to get started.
Eclectic doesn’t necessarily mean jumbled. You can create a sense of balance even in a space with a number of diverse elements. Bring some order to your decorating scheme by keeping objects roughly the same size and height, and spreading them evenly throughout the room.
As a rule of thumb, keep your background more muted to avoid overwhelming your space.
“If you go really bold and exciting then the foreground needs to be a little more subdued and more muted, and vice versa,” says Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets in Tennessee. “It’s really about balancing how many things are catching your eye and how you’re allowing your visual field to move through the space.”
Find a Common Thread
With so many different pieces at play in an eclectic space, it’s important to highlight a common element that pulls the room together, like a recurring pattern that appears on sofa cushions and carpeting.
Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland, Ohio, recommends selecting a few principal colors that transcend your design scheme. Integrating a pop of the same colors automatically makes your space look more deliberate, even if the motif is difficult to pin down.
“If you can carry those key colors throughout the home it will look unified but still funky and eclectic,” Wadden says.
Gradually Build Your Space
An eclectic space takes time to develop. As you find pieces that you speak to you, gradually incorporate them into your space and continue to refine to your liking. That way, you won’t end up with a hodgepodge of items all at once.
Pierce describes it as “more of an additive process, taking on little bits at a time until you feel comfortable with the style you’re creating.”
Eclectic design is all about taking risks, so don’t feel like you have to hold back. Combine antique pottery with a modern dining room set or a monochrome countertop with a rustic table setting – whatever suits your taste.
“Just by the nature of the definition there’s no way to do eclectic wrong because it’s a very [personal] collection of pieces that are meaningful to the individual,” Pierce says.
Have fun with the design process. And if you feel like you’ve gone overboard, you can always rein it in later by removing or rearranging certain elements.
“There’s a real opportunity to move things in and out, shifting things around and trying new things and experimenting and changing furniture,” Wadden says. “When I’m working on an eclectic interior I always ask myself, ‘Is this weird enough? Is this too safe?’”