Eclectic Interior Design—Mismatch Made in Heaven

karen b wolf eclectic interior design ideas living room

For most of the past decade, Scandinavian-inspired minimalist home design reigned supreme, and with good reason. These interiors aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, but they’re highly functional as well, relying on the philosophy of only keeping what you really need. However, while keeping your possessions (and the clutter in your home) in check works well, it can, sometimes, feel a bit faceless. After all, is it truly possible that absolutely everyone feels comfortable in a simplistic white-walled living room, with a light gray sofa and practically zero storage space? Or is it high time to re-think our approach to home design and bring in a bit of an eclectic influence?

My guess is, we could all benefit from a bit of mismatch in our lives.

What Does Eclectic Design Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term eclectic refers to something “composed of elements drawn from various sources.

In terms of architecture and interior design, the word eclectic describes different periods of the 19th and 20th centuries. These periods saw the popularization of incorporating different aesthetic influences into the design process to express individuality.

But the thing about eclectic interior design is that it’s not a hodge-podge of completely unrelated items. In fact, to achieve a visual effect that’s true to the philosophy, the many elements must be in perfect harmony, following a few basic rules.

Creating a Cohesive Whole

The most important thing to understand about the eclectic style is that, while it may look busy, it’s far from being chaotic.

In fact, this aesthetic direction aims to take the best of everything. And that means choosing not just beautiful furnishings. But also ones that are functional and comfortable for their intended use as well.

For example, take a look at this project by Kris Turnbull Studios. You’ll see just how seamlessly it incorporates Georgian period furniture with the needs of a contemporary family. Yes, it’s visually stunning because each piece of furniture has a story to tell. But much more importantly, it’s an inviting interior that oozes charm and comfort. All the while being a living work of art.

kris turnbull eclectic bedroom design
Interior by Kris Turnbull featuring Spellbound Night Tables by KOKET

Tying Elements Together Through Repetition or Patterns

One of the most difficult parts of getting the eclectic style just right is making the different elements work together.

Because the furniture pieces in eclectic homes vary in color, shape, and style, the best way to go about furnishing such an interior is to rely on a few fail-proof techniques.

For one, in choosing color palettes, it’s always a great idea to start with a neutral basis then add the different focal elements. Once those are in place, you can utilize repetition or opt for pieces that are similar in lines and shapes.

It’s also not a bad idea to have a recurring theme when creating an eclectic interior design. It could come through using organic elements. A particular style period you combine with more modern pieces. Or, you can achieve it with a carefully selected shade of color. Mixing it in so that it pops up in different spaces throughout the home.

cotton house hotel luxury barcelona eclectic design
Cotton Housse Hotel

Incorporating Unique Decorations

Of course, eclectic home design wouldn’t be what it is without adding a touch of innovation to the handpicked influences of eras gone by.

To get that coveted look of perfectly cohesive mismatch, try to use as many unique decorative pieces as you can get your hands on.

For example, you could create a show-stopping gallery wall. Alternatively, you could choose a bold piece of furniture like the Enchanted sofa by Koket. Then play with the gilded branch structure in a way that’s reminiscent of lush abundance and fairytale-like comfort.

Interior by Valeria Mikheeva featuring a nature inspired dining table and sofas by KOKET
Interior by Valeria Mikheeva featuring a nature-inspired dining table and sofas by KOKET

More to Love:

5 Ways to Bring Natural & Organic Elements Into Your Interior Design


An Emphasis on Handmade & Sentimental Items

Finally, when thinking about turning your home into an aesthetic escape from monotony, don’t forget about the essential characteristic of eclectic home design—individuality.

Whether you’re an artist yourself or just prefer to support other creatives, make sure to enrich your home with pieces that have a deeper meaning.

A handmade item (yes, even one made by your clumsy seven-year-old) can take center stage in an eclectic home and do it with winner results. So can a hand-me-down piece of furniture you’ve inherited, be it a well-worn leather armchair or a pair of hand-embroidered curtains handed down through generations.

living room design by b pila design miami florida
Interior by B. Pila Design

Wrapping Up

There’s something deeply satisfying about making a space truly yours. And, unlike many strict aesthetic directions, the eclectic interior design style may just be the perfect way to allow each aspect of your personality to shine through.

Whether you choose to redecorate by yourself or employ the help of an experienced designer, there’s no doubt that setting up your home in this way will allow you to fully express your personality. And the best part is the only real rule to follow is that the space needs to make you happy. That’s it!

Words by Holly Schaeffer
Feature Image: Interior by Karen B Wolf

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