An eclectic approach to decorating can be challenging. For advice on how to pull off this unique aesthetic in your home, we share some of the do’s and do not;
DO: MIX TEXTURES
Incorporating both rough and smooth textures adds interest to an interior, especially when you choose a simple color palette. Consider shaggy throw rugs or pillows, nubby or thick, weave fabrics on furniture, rough wooden treasures or furniture, and soft, smooth finishes on iron or other metals.
DON’T: FORGET TO USE ONE TEXTURE MULTIPLE TIMES
While combining textures is key, there’s also room to use one texture at least three times in different spots throughout a home. It helps to maintain a cohesive look.
DO: CONSIDER NEGATIVE SPACES
When it comes to an eclectic decorating style, know that your eye needs a place to rest. Keep some spaces on shelves and tables empty, and consider the outline of an array of artwork for an interesting shape of the wall behind.
It’s not just about what you display. Sometimes it’s about what you leave out.
DON’T: DISPLAY YOUR ENTIRE COLLECTION
There is no need to put your entire collection on display all at once. To maintain an environment that is full of character, try and mix things up. Edit to just your favorite few, and rotate the pieces for variety or seasonally.
DO: CONSIDER LAYOUT
When planning out an eclectic style space, it is easy to get caught up in which colors, textures, and patterns will bring the look together. However, don’t forget about placement.
The layout is one of the most important things in a room, more than the color or the fabrics. The layout of the furniture is what will make it comfortable and feel like a room you want to be in.
Before you start purchasing decor for the room, nail down where each piece of furniture will go. You may find you actually don’t have space for that quirky floor lamp or 19th-century chest.
Related Article: 7 Common Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
DON’T: FORGET A FOCAL POINT
When you arrange your layout, remember: Though eclectic style does involve combining styles and periods through a wide variety of items, the curated look should not lack focus. Create a focal point (or accentuate an existing one) with an eye-catching element — say, an accent wall, fireplace, or bold decorative item.
DO: CONSIDER UTILITY
As you determine the decor you will incorporate into your eclectic design, do not forget that the room is meant to be lived in. Let utility inform your decorations.
It is quite daunting to be faced with an empty room and have to consider the colors and fabrics you will use to decorate it, but utility is a great decorator. Think of how you use a room to help pull it together.
Consider baskets, bookshelves, drinks trays, and card tables. These elements lend a cozy, lived-in atmosphere to your room.
DON’T: BE INCONSISTENT
The nature of eclectic style is varied, but each room in your home should still complement the others. Carry eclecticism throughout your home to create flow.
Your space will look disjointed if the style changes abruptly from one room to the next. If you decide your home is ready for an eclectic upgrade, make it a commitment that’s reflected in each room throughout the house.
DO: PICK ONE GO-TO COLOR
One-color should serve as a unifying factor throughout your design. Let color serve as the great equalizer, pulling together the overall look. Whether your go-to color is an olive green or off-white, consistently return to it while decorating for a cohesive look.
DON’T: COMPARE HUES
When you are picking your go-to color, don’t be tempted to sample paints on the wall, making your decision from a lineup of colors. The colors will do weird things to each other, and it will get very confusing.
Paint the colors you like onto boards, then look at them in isolation. Painted boards also come in handy for reference when you are shopping for decor or fabrics.
DO: PRACTICE BALANCE
Make it a goal to find balance in scale and symmetry. Similar lines create design harmony, even if the pieces are different styles, textures, or from different periods. Do not sacrifice organization for diversity.
DON’T: MISTAKE ECLECTIC FOR “ANYTHING GOES”
Styling eclectic rooms does not mean tossing every rule. There’s a very fine line between layered and collected to busy and distracting.
Put a cap on the number of contrasting styles in one room to avoid things feeling random.
DO: GIVE NEW STYLES A CHANCE
When you try a new eclectic style, and do not like the outcome, do not give in to the temptation to change it right away. Wait until the room is complete and live with it for a while.
The things that feel like a big deal when you are first decorating a room [like an unexpectedly bright paint color] fall into the background once the space becomes filled with furniture and other items.
DON’T: BE RESERVED
Eclectic style is characterized by a multitude of fabrics, patterns, and art items. Home accents like rugs, paintings, objects d’art, and throw pillows are convenient ways to bring a considered mismatch into any room.