What is eclectic decor: How to mix and match styles in your home

An eclectic decor scheme in interiors encompasses the beauty of different eras and movements and is not restricted to a single design style. ‘Eclecticism’ is derived from the Greek word ‘eklektikos’, which means ‘selected’ or using the best elements of different systems. It is a fusion of different design styles like the art déco, mid-century modern, farmhouse style, minimalist style, or any other to create a unique aesthetic. Eclectic decor is one of the best ways to bring one’s personal style into the home, as it has a bit of everything and does not stick to strict rules and trends. A blend and mix-and-match of furnishings, furniture, vibrant colors, patterns, and surprising accents create a maximalist look.

Origin of Eclectic Style

The eclectic style originated in Paris during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the Victorian era was obsessed with global fashions. Its leading design school, École des Beaux-Arts, was renowned for its decorative arts program, where students from all around the globe came to collaborate and create new design aesthetics while keeping some classic styles. Instead of adhering to a single design movement like Neoclassicism, Byzantine, or Art-deco, architects selected the best from each design movement to create a brand-new look.

Designer: Daniel Espensen Østergaard

Characteristics of Eclectic Design Style

The eclectic design style can be broadly classified into ‘boho eclectic ‘, which sticks to a bohemian style, and ‘glam eclectic,’ which uses a vivid and saturated palette to create a glamorous and colorful vibe within the space. Although no distinct design element defines the eclectic style, it is a well-curated blend of aesthetics and practical elements. If you love a rich design that highlights different eras and movements, here is how you can embrace eclectic decor for the interiors of your home.

Mix Visual Elements

A brilliant mix of prints, patterns, and textures into a cohesive theme lays the foundation of the eclectic design style. Different shapes, compositions, and design elements that do not complement each other combine together to create an additional layer of interest. Dark colors add depth to the interiors, while lighter tones infuse a calm vibe. Additionally, contrast forms one of the core elements of an eclectic style of decor, and a fusion of rough and smooth textures adds interest. For instance, materials like marble, wood, steel, and leather can play wonderfully against textural materials like woven rugs, exposed brickwork, plaster, and fluffy throws.

Designer: Highboy LA

Fusion of Vintage and the New

Eclectic style is a fusion of furniture and accessories from different design styles and periods that transform into a harmonious and beautifully designed space. It’s the contrast of old and new and vintage and modern to create unique decor. It’s a great way to combine vintage furniture with minimalist decor. Plus, introduce patterned rugs, throws, and patterned cushions to introduce different periods into the room and showcase your vintage and artisanal pieces of furniture.

Designer: Chloe Hisako May

Opt For Well-curated Design

Eclectic is a curated decor that looks effortless and embodies richness and abundance. An eclectic does not have to be a maximalist but can also have a subdued decor. Utility should also form a part of the design in the form of storage solutions like baskets, bookshelves, and wall-mounted shelves that can create a cozy, lived-in atmosphere. Also, be consistent and let a single decor style run through each room of the house.

Designer: Jojo Steinberg

Explore A Uniform Color Palette

Choose a core color palette to create a harmonious space and tie the design elements together. Stick to a few neutrals, as it works as a fantastic base to layer over and prevents the space from looking overwhelming. Next, add a touch of vibrancy and punctuate the space with sparing yet bold color accents or statement wallpapers. Introduce plenty of greenery with live plants. Note that dark-colored walls add warmth, while lighter hues create a bright, airy look and add an element of spaciousness. Finally, create a unifying theme with color, texture, or a distinct focal point.

Designer: Arcedior

Set Up A Focal Point

Add interest with an accent wall, gallery wall, or accent piece of furniture that can draw the eye towards it. Depending on the size of the room, introduce a focal point in the form of an accent wall, a bold decorative item, or a vintage piece of furniture. Statement accessories like vases, sculptures, chandeliers, table lamps, and floor lamps can effortlessly complete the look.

Create Balance

Less is more forms also form an important part of an eclectic style. Forming balance in scale and symmetry is essential so that the decor does not look messy, cluttered, and busy. It is recommended to go for neutral walls and heavy furniture or incorporate patterns and textures on the walls and opt for subtle furniture. Do not overcrowd the space with extra pieces of art, furniture, or design elements, as it may look chaotic, and the individual components might compete with each other. Instead, there should be a well-designated space for every piece so that it looks gorgeous and steals the show.

Designer: Marzena Wójcik-Ługowska

Mix-and-Match Patterns

A purposeful mix of juxtaposing patterns and contrasting colors forms one of the key design elements of the eclectic décor. This style aims to create harmony by artfully mixing different materials, expressive patterns, and textures throughout the space. Keeping the walls straightforward and introducing patterned upholstery and vibrant accessories against a plain backdrop is advisable. Create a light-hearted atmosphere with geometric shapes and even polka dots. Introduce different textures in small doses and try to repeat the textures to achieve a cohesive look.

Designer: Ari Afshar

Incorporate Global Influences

If you love to travel and collect furniture and accessories from different cultures, then the eclectic style is for you. Mix things and let a vibrant gallery wall add personality and character to the space. The best part of a gallery wall is that it provides an opportunity to display motifs, global-inspired patterns, and beautiful pieces of art in different frame styles. Decorate the space with a collection of trinkets from global travels and showcase your wonderful art pieces. For example, you can combine a Chinese lacquered cabinet with a Persian rug, vintage Uzbek suzani cushions, and Indian block-printed upholstery. Be selective instead of displaying everything in one go. Rotate your accessories seasonally for variety.

Designer: Theresa Prather

Introduce Negative Spaces

Have a blank wall and some vacant spaces so that the decor can breathe and the eye needs to rest. The space should not feel overwhelming or impart a visually cluttered look.

Designer: Anne

Add Elements of Surprise

Free yourself from the standard and rigid decor styles and let your imagination and creative juices flow. The best part of an eclectic design style is that there are no strict rules and a lot of scope for experimentation in the decor. One can disrupt the space with an unusual combination of patterns and colors. You can even add wallpaper or color to the ceiling where you will least expect it.

Designer: Verdana Piric

The eclectic decor style is the best way to show your personality and display your treasured possessions and pieces of sentimental value. Unfortunately, there is a general misconception that eclectic style is casual and only needs to bring pieces from different periods, but it can be challenging, so these tips will help you get it right.