Interior design is a topic that is often either overlooked or misunderstood.
Some people might discount it, thinking it’s just something that someone does as a byproduct of their own personality, but what they don’t realize is that there’s intention behind true interior design.
That intention requires a lot of forethought and knowledge in the different styles and how they mix and match with the right homes and spaces.
With that in mind, we know that there are a lot of interior design styles to choose from, even to create our own hybrids, but what we want to cover today is Eclectic interior design, and how that can be used to transform almost any home.
Let’s start with…
What is eclectic interior design?
You can think of eclectic deign as this:
Imagine a mixing pot, and you take elements from styles of all sorts of eras and countries, and mix them together, and the result of that mixture is what you end up with.
The eclectic design style uses a variety of elements through the use of color, shape, texture, finish, and enhanced details.
The style came to be when designers in fine arts wanted to create uniqueness and take inspiration from others around the globe.
An interior designer can take the space and the personality of its owner and use that as a base to create a new, unique style.
From there, elements can be hand-picked from other styles, often creating a theme among categories of fabrics, colors, or textures, that results in a space that has its own unique personality and identity.
How to start creating an eclectic design
The first step to designing an eclectic space is identifying what kind of space you’re really working with.
What are the walls, floors, and molding/trim like?
Additionally, how’s the natural lighting?
Aside from understanding the interior (and owner preferences if it’s not you), it’s also important to understand the placement of the home.
Is it by a coast, in the city, near a woods or desert area?
These are all factors that can make or break a style, where some styles may not really match the background of the home.
The next step is to identify styles from other periods or eras that have elements that will match what you’re aiming for.
For instance, if the home is going to move towards a more “wooden” feel, then there might be elements in Traditional interior design that will fit.
But you might also be looking to couple that with a raw and unfinished look, which will move more towards an Industrial design style.
Mixing the two styles together can create a perfect combination for the space, but you might decide that there need to be some accent colors and textures, which leads you to explore a Bohemian style for only one or two elements (rather than the entire style).
Check out this video for more steps on beginning your eclectic design:
Taking it a step further
Now that you’ve got an example of how to start putting together an eclectic style, you might want to take it a step further from a designer’s perspective.
It’s not always just about colors and textures.
Creating a unique and unexpected design involves means you need to find a over-arching motif, which is unified and connects the elements of your space.
You might want to start doing this by having a core design, with which you can reference back to, when build around it and add more elements from other sources.
You can begin with either a chosen core style that you are sure will be in place, or with neutral colors like black, white, and beige, which will get you a lot of room as far as choices of other colors, shapes, textures, fabrics, and furnishings.
From there, you can begin taking color and texture and start playing with combinations of objects from different styles and periods.
You might get a baroque-style table with a contemporary sofa, which can then be linked together via different kinds of accessories of the same style or color.
The only downside to going this route is if you take on too much different styles into the mix — try not to overdo it, and find where things complement each other without forcing it to happen.
Where to begin looking for furniture, art, and accessories
There are a lot of commercial places that sell design items from different styles, but these are generally going to be a premium for common things.
If you want to find the most authentic, and cheapest, objects, you’ll want to start looking for estate sales, antique shops, and some auctions.
Estate sales are nice because you’re going to find things that are usually in good condition but are being sold at a super reasonable price.
Antique shops will sometimes have a higher mark-up, but they’re still going to be very authentic items at a much cheaper price than buying them brand new (and unauthentic).
Auctions can often give you some nice pieces that won’t necessarily cost and arm and a leg, but you might have to compete with others if they’re popular.
On the flip-side, you can also get furniture, art, and accessories that are new and unique.
Some designers will go to vendors or online commerce stores that have very unique designs which will fit the styles that they are going for.
You could even check out this modern eclectic furniture store — some of the items might be more costly because they are genuine manufactured pieces, but they’re going to be cheaper than a lot of competitors because of the vendor relationships that they have.
As long as your budget has space for it, getting quality pieces is going to make the style really pop and complete it.
The most important thing to have is your vision and a core to design around it.