An eclectic interior design has kept its ground for quite a while now and many designers and homeowners turn to it as the best solution for designing a living room. This everlasting style has a lot to offer – versatility, playfulness, character, and a unique allure. It requires you to mix different elements together such as various décor styles, periods, textures, patterns, and colors. This is exactly what opens vast opportunities for expression.
One concern though is being careful it doesn’t feel chaotic. True eclectic style is all about harmony and balance of differences and contrasts that eventually produce a cohesive space. If you love bringing differences together, and you see beauty in unconventional compositions, eclectic design is your path, and this is how to apply it to your living room.
Choose the core palette
To avoid creating a colorful mess, opt for a core color palette. This will form a starting point and guide you through the process of creating a balanced space as opposed to a chaotic and wild one. Before you start decorating, choose a neutral palette and one accent color. As you develop your interior inventory, you may introduce other colors to the core palette. A simple and strong color scheme is what will enable an unexpected mixture of things to work well. It’ll provide a clean base but offer a strong impact which is exactly what you want to so your space doesn’t feel unruly and disordered.
Keep your walls simple as they form the backdrop for your curated interior. Darker colors add more depth and intrigue to the interior, whereas lighter hues introduce calmness and serenity. Unpainted brick, exposed wood, and fabric wall coverings add to the textural element. You should also factor in the amount of natural light the space receives when you begin designing it.
Play with patterns and textures
As the essence of eclectic design is variety, texture prevails in all its forms, from shiny glass coffee tabletops, and smooth marble accents to the knotty feel of an area rug. Combining a variety of textures introduces both visual interest and a homey feel. Rough and smooth textures next to each other work perfectly in combination with a simple color palette. For instance, visualize shaggy rugs, soft furry pillows, furniture with thick, rich fabric, heavy wooden items, and soft, smooth finishes on brass lamps. Combining textures is crucial, but you can also use one texture several times in different areas throughout a home as this will maintain a cohesive look.
Patterned cushions and rugs will subtly introduce design variety throughout a room. Different geometric shapes, florals, or polka dots can create aesthetic interest when combined with other patterns. Seemingly contrasting patterns will add vibrancy and fun to a space, saving little surprises at every corner and bringing in a light-hearted atmosphere.
Introduce a focal point and statement objects
It’s easy to get lost in an eclectic variety so keep one thing in mind – it is all about combining different styles and periods but, in an eclectic layout, you need to maintain focus. In other words, create a focal point. Bring in something eye-catching such as a fireplace, a bold statement piece, or an accent wall. Every item you put in will have its story and history, but those statement objects will give the final touch. It could be a sculpture, an oversized vase, or an unusual floor lamp. Whatever you choose, give it a special place in the room, something like the center stage. Or, you can go for a smaller collection of unique objects that you can proudly display for everyone to see.
Combine furniture and styles
Contrary to other interior design styles, eclectic design favors mixing furniture of different aesthetics and periods and arranging them together in one space. So, if you’re going for an eclectic look, choose a variety of foundational pieces that represent different styles.
For example, you can opt for a traditional coffee table, mid-century accent chairs, a transitional sofa, and a vintage rug. Consider adding a different material as well, such as rattan. There’s something alluring about a beautiful rattan armchair standing in the corner or by the window. It adds a different texture and form and fills the room with character and sophistication. Such a captivating mix of styles gives a sense of history to your living room and represents your unique taste. The room certainly becomes more dynamic and vivacious, and is far from boring!
The overall recommendation is to maintain some feeling of symmetry but avoid being too matchy as this is the opposite of the principle of eclectic design. Pay attention to details as they can truly play up the eclectic essence of this style – think in terms of vintage or antique items such as old mirrors, picture frames, chandeliers, floor lamps, and family heirlooms.
You can even go a bit DIY and create fake worn-out finishes and patinas! Worn or vintage-treated finishes on wood, leather, metal, or fabric are a great way to exude an aged look.
Artwork is a quintessential element of any eclectic room design. Whether you use art as a focal point or just as an element of design, it will blend in seamlessly. Choose pieces of different sizes, shapes, and colors, and arrange them in a seemingly random fashion across an entire wall. Mix up mirrors, photographs, and paintings to imitate the eclectic nature of the rest of the room. Make sure they are things you like and enjoy, and which reflect your own personal preferences.
In addition to texture, layering plays an important part in an eclectic design. Use multiple area rugs of different sizes, and layer them for a distinctive look. As a complement, style your windows with patterned window treatments in a soft shade.
For an eclectic living room, avoid using carpets. Rugs that don’t take up all the space work much better, particularly Persian and Turkish ones. At first glance, their busy, traditional designs may seem too much, but they tie together all the other colors in the room.
Focus on balance and symmetry
Even in an eclectic design, balance and symmetry are essential principles of design. When you have so many visual stimuli in a room, it’s even more critical to have some structure. The reason is that our brains need it to simplify the design. Our brains process information in such a way that they instinctively deconstruct complex designs to their simplest form. With the repetition of recognizable patterns, we allow ourselves to process the room’s visual information quicker. In that way, a balanced space will more likely seem aesthetically pleasing. To achieve this and not get lost in eclectic design, focus on including furniture pieces that have a clearly defined purpose so their function in the room will instantly be recognized. This will enable both your eyes and your brain to relax and enjoy the beauty of the space.
The greatest trick of an eclectic design is to ensure the mixture of different architectural and decorative styles has coherency. You’ll never enjoy in a living room that’s a jumble of ideas thrown around. To successfully pull off an eclectic living room lose focus of direction. Pick a core palette and styles that blend but use a novel approach. With eclectic interiors, too many different styles at once ruin the final product. Aim for balance, symmetry, and uniqueness.