Ever visited a friend’s house and wondered how an earth they’ve managed to make such a random selection of furniture look so effortlessly stylish? Decorating in one style is hard enough, never mind a multitude of styles. So what’s their style secret?
There is one simple rule to mastering the eclectic look and that is: don’t follow the traditional rules. In fact, bend them. Twist them. Lock them in a cupboard and throw away the key. Eclectic is all about making your favourite items look stylish in a way that’s not too ‘try hard’. So let's reshuffle the rulebook, shall we? Here's an easy guide on how to nail the eclectic look.
1. Combine different design eras together
Eclectic decor is a complete and utter melting pot of styles and time periods, so don't be afraid to marry the old with the new. Mid-century modern chairs will look great huddled around a Victorian farm table, for example.
2. Create focus
Yes, eclectic encompasses a variety of styles, but that doesn’t mean it should lack focus. Statement pieces help to break up the busyness as well as create interesting focal points. Whether it's an iconic chair, oversized lampshade or vibrant rug, make sure you punctuate your space with attention-grabbing items.
3. Ensure balance
Find the right balance. Too much vintage and not enough modern, and your space can end up looking like a crowded junk shop. Create visual symmetry by incorporating an even spread of styles.
4. Find a common thread
The most successful eclectic spaces are tied together by common threads. Of course, eclectic is about doing things off the cuff, but there still needs to be an element of cohesion, otherwise one piece of furniture may end up dominating the other. Look at how pieces relate to one another, whether that’s colour, texture, shape or size, and group these together accordingly. Pair each item with at least one companion to create a sense of flow.
5. Give it a personal touch
An eclectic interior should capture your tastes and personality to a tee. After all, one of the joys of decorating in this style is being able to fill a space with your favourite items, without the worry of whether they'll match. So, unearth those treasured knick-knacks from their hiding place — now's the perfect time to give them a prime spot to shine.
6. Use a variety of woods
Wood is a great ingredient for an eclectic setting, conjuring up a relaxed yet lived-in feel. Texture's best friend, wood can be easily layered — even if you combined pine with ash, they'll seek common ground through their earthy DNA.
7. Opt for a neutral backdrop
Seen as everything else is so busy, opt for a calming backdrop to bring things down a notch. A neutral shade is a smart choice and will blend in effortlessly with a range of designs as well as pulling the theme of the room together.
8. Scatter your art
Don’t scatter your art sporadically around the room, otherwise your space can end up looking cluttered. Instead, group your art together. This will trick your eyes into perceiving all of the objects as one rather than drawing attention to the fact that individual pieces might be clashing.
9. Use too many different styles
Stick to a maximum of three styles. Anything more than this requires a lot of experience and can be tricky to pull off. Too much variation can also be confusing as your eyes won't know where to land.
10. Cluster each style in one area
Don’t pin a style to a particular area. Let’s say one half of the room is French country and the other half is bohemian — such an obvious divide can look harsh and haphazard. Make sure you distribute the styles evenly across the room to ensure balance.
Products above: 1. Jellybean Rug, Teal - from £69, 2. Rogate Bed, Black - £175 3. Elsie 3 Light Bathroom Chandelier - now £89, 4. Fraya Chairs Set of 2, Black - now £80, 5. Riley Dining Table - now £255
*Prices correct at time of publishing. Prices subject to change.
Feeling inspired to mix more styles together? Check out our article on how to combine country vs scandi.