'One of the hardest styles to perfect is definitely the eclectic style. It's a look that seems the most laid back and effortless due to the mixing of different styles and elements, but it is so easy for this look to become cluttered and in disarray.
The eclectic style is a highly personal, curated look and highlights unique and personal touches as the main focus. With this style, you are able to combine pieces from different eras and styles to create a truly cultivated look.
Because of its personal look, the biggest enemy of this style is matching furniture sets. Having all of your furniture pieces match can take away the opportunity to bring personality into your space.
A lot of people find that scary because it is easy for your room to feel uncoordinated when you are bringing in so many different elements, but there are several ways to make sure your unique pieces still work together harmoniously.
One of the easiest ways to keep this style cohesive is by the use of color. Keeping your colors mostly neutral allows the personality of your items to really stand out. Now, just because you're using neutral colors, it doesn't mean it has to be boring. While a soft neutral wall color such as white, cream, taupe, or a soft gray keeps your room feeling light and airy, you can also use a charcoal or a navy to give your room a dramatic or moody feeling. Also, following a color scheme will help avoid the cluttered look. Again, stick to mostly neutrals, but feel free to bring in an accent color.
The next big part of creating your eclectic style is making sure your furniture pieces all work together and fit your room. Like I said earlier, if you buy a matching set of furniture, you lose so much personality in your space. So instead, choose pieces that have similar lines and proportions. Don't be afraid to mix your styles here. Just make sure the proportions, scales, and shapes of your furniture work well in the room as well as with the other decor. This helps you create your look while also feeling purposeful.
Just like furniture, fabrics are a key element in creating the eclectic style. Having a multitude of textiles with different textures and patterns is an easy way to achieve this look, just make sure they draw from a shared palette. One fun way of using fabrics to bring cohesiveness to your room is to reupholster two different chairs in the same fabric. This allows you to find that creative feel with your furniture selections while minimizing the distractions of having too many unique individualized pieces.
Textures are a big part of keeping your space interesting while sticking with a more neutral color palette. Use a natural woven window shade or a fluffy shag rug to add dimension. Feel free to layer textures as well. Pair a woven rug with a hide rug, or throw a furry blanket on top of a jute chair. Because most textures affect a room in the same way as a neutral paint color, you can fill a room with varying textures without it feeling too overwhelming.
Tips and Tricks
If you follow these main rules, you should be on your way to creating a personalized, eclectic space. But here are a few more tips and tricks that will help you along the way.
- Art: when using artwork on your walls, try finding one thing to tie them together, whether it is all black and white pictures, a collection of items featuring the same type of subject, or matching frames.
- Accessories: a unique blend of accessories is what really pulls together the eclectic style. A fun way to create a focal point out of accessories is to use several of the same type of item but in different styles together, such as a bunch of candlesticks on a mantle. Because they are the same type of item, they can each look different and not feel like clutter.
- Don't forget to keep a focal point in your room. Your eye will wander the room because of the multitude of unique pieces in there, but having a focal point will ground the room.
- Contrast plays a big part in eclectic design, whether it's through texture, color, or finish. Feel free to play up the contrasting features in your room to help set the atmosphere of the room.
- Make sure your room feels personal to you- that is the whole purpose of the eclectic style!
Do you pick up fabric samples you like and then wonder if they go together? Does this print look right with this stripe? Can a geometric pattern work cohesively with a floral? Fabrics with their wide color choices and infinite possibilities of pattern options can get overwhelming and down-right confusing. There are three main things to consider when choosing your fabrics: color, scale, and style.
Let me try to walk you through some of the aspects of fabric color selections.
First and foremost, the fabrics that will be used together should have similar colors and be in the same tonal families. If your colors are bright and pure, all of the fabrics should have that pure color, although it’s not necessary for them to all have the same intensity. If you have a more muted, greyed out version of colors, the rest of the fabrics that were picked should have that same greyed out color range.
It’s not necessary for all of your fabrics to have the exact same colors in them, but there should be a few colors that are found in all of the fabrics in order to keep them cohesive. So, if one fabric has blue, green and purple in the pattern and another has the same color blue and green but has a mahogany color with it, as long as they are in the same tonal family it should work.
The next important factor in picking fabrics is the scale of the patterns. In order to make different patterns work with each other and not compete, mix up the scale of the patterns. If your main fabric has a large floral design, pair it with two more floral prints by finding ones in a small or medium print. This same tip goes with geometric or striped patterns as well. Also, this rule helps you combine multiple styles of patterns such as a floral with a stripe.
Lastly, fabrics translate as different design styles such as traditional, contemporary, and farmhouse to name a few. You shouldn’t avoid a fabric just because on its own it doesn’t fit the style you are creating. Mixing fabrics from different styles is what will make your combinations more interesting and diverse. That being said, some fabrics definitely read too strongly of one style to be mixed with another. Below the two fabrics on the left are too traditional to pair with the two contemporary fabrics on the right.
Those styles are a little too different to blend together nicely.
Now, take a look at these three fabrics, they definitely read as farmhouse style,
but if you take one of these fabrics and pair it with this traditional style fabric,
they all work with the traditional fabric.
Since I am having so much fun mixing fabrics, here is an example of a contemporary fabric mixed with traditional patterns.
The middle fabric is definitely a contemporary style fabric which I have paired with traditional style fabrics. Any pairing of those surrounding fabrics would look great with the middle fabric.
Now I think by my example above, I have answered my next question. Can you mix florals, stripes, plaids and geometric patterns? Yes, as long as the scales are mixed and the colors are similar with the same tone. See some more examples below.
Finally, now is the time to inject some fun into your room by using some fun fabrics that show your personality! Here are a few samples of the type of fabrics out there to choose from.
There are so many choices of fabrics out there and there are endless possibilities for combining them to create your own individual style!
Now that I have made these fabric combinations, I love them all. I can’t pick one that I like best! What is your favorite combination of these fabrics?