Guest Post by Jessica Perry (Interior Designer)
What does it mean to have an eclectic style? This word is tossed around freely in discussions of interior design. If it’s done right, the use of eclecticism in home decorating can make a bold and fashionable statement. Done wrong and you have a room full of clashing designs and an uncomfortable atmosphere.
The concept of eclecticism is used in fashion design, architecture, even music. In home design, eclectic style involves combining elements that would traditionally not go together in an interesting contrast that, while opposing, is complimentary. It can be a difficult concept to grasp as a decorating perfectionist because you don’t want the room to appear mismatched.
Using contrasting fabrics is a favorite way to incorporate an eclectic style. A wide array of fabrics in a room give a comfortable feeling. Long elegant curtains or window treatments can be combined with soft, plush rugs or sofa throws. Use kitschy patterns, fringe, tapers, tassels, soft, rough, or any kind of fabric to create a sensory wonderland. Mixing fabrics not only looks stylish— it also feels wonderful.
Opposing patterns can be the most difficult tools to work with. If they aren’t brought together perfectly, you may risk making the room look like a flea market. Instead of incorporating a lot of different patterns, repeat the same shapes or designs throughout the whole room. They can be different variations or colors but using just two or three contrasting patterns in several places gives the feeling of repetition and the room will look planned and put together. if crafted correctly, you could even use paisley and zebra print to create a room that looks straight out of a magazine.
Styles & Eras
Decorating a tiny room in modern styles can look cold and uninviting, and only using traditional decor can look too old-fashion. Combining two styles is a great way to balance a room. A vintage-modern fusion is a very popular way to decorate these days. Stick to the unexpected. A sleek and contemporary living room can look like a designer’s dream when you find the right vintage sofa to use. You want to pleasantly surprise guests without making them think too much about if your design is working or not.
For a more subtle approach to eclecticism or if you’re just trying it out, experiment with blending textures. Who ever said wallpaper was outdated? Wallpaper is so versatile and can be used to achieve almost any look in any room. A patterned wallpaper looks traditional and looks great with leather furniture or dark wood. Erinn Valencich, a blogger for HGTV, told the Queens Chronicle that the floor is a great place to start when designing your eclectic room.
“A new floor is a great place to start for a fresh look and feel,” Valencich was quoted. “Floors not only ground the room, but they provide the design foundation.”
When you combine opposing colors, you want to make sure they don’t conflict in a way that clashes. Always use a neutral or muted color as your base to avoid color chaos. Choosing unlikely color matches like purple and turquoise or navy and lime is striking and trendy. If you have a lot of solid colors in your room, dramatize it with a multi-color rug, sofa or bed spread.
Jessica holds a degree in interior design and has her own small firm in the Southwest. She loves helping people incorporate their personalities into their living spaces.
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