Did it begin when the taboo about mixing metals, especially gold and silver tones, dissipated? Did it growth in strength during the recession? That’s when many of us put off major furniture purchases and instead starting using accessories, and personal items, to refresh and enliven our homes.
Whatever the impetus, so many of us now express our design personalities with “eclectic” furnishings that it’s actually going beyond a trend to instead be recognized as an established interior decor style.
While sometimes a room done in “eclectic style” may seem like a random mixture of materials, colors and textures, pulling if off actually takes a more disciplined approach. For example, About.com’s design writer defines this style as “a careful gathering of interesting elements that all work together.” Go to the Oxford Dictionary and this is described as “deriving ideas, style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources”. Whatever the definition, it provides freedom from design restraints and multiple opportunities for self expression.
How to get started? Think of your space as a stage set. Backgrounds are usually kept on the minimalist side, using wall colors such as shades of white or beige (although stronger color statements can sometimes work too). Then, don’t be afraid to mix furniture styles from different periods, as shown above. In fact, new mixed with old is almost mandatory when decorating in this style.
The new mixed with old adage also applies to accessories, with layering in vintage pieces highly welcomed.
Another major component when carrying out this style is to layer in items that reflect your individuality, and especially those with personal meaning. These can be an inherited item, something found at a yard sale or flea market, or a new item that just says “that’s me.” Such items have particular punch when used in unconventional ways, or combined as dramatic display elements.
One other tip. Because accessorizing (but done in an organized way) is so key to this style it’s possible to easily change the looks of a room, on either a seasonal basis, or “just because” by rotating items in and out.
The pillows shown here are different patterns, colors and textures but still combine with other colors to make a strong style sttement. Pillows can also be changed, refreshed to shift the mood of the room. (Photo courtesy of SimplyGrove.)
In other words, find the items you love, see how they can be combined in new ways, and voila, you are starting to embrace your own eclectic style!
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