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Eclectic Décor: Not as Random as it Might Seem

For a long time, I equated “eclectic” style with chaos. Random bits of everything, colors and textures and eras and forms, randomly thrown together in a whirlwind and spat out into a space and, viola, you’ve got yourself some style. Eclectic style. Or so I believed.Upon closer study, I have come to find that eclectic style thrives on the unexpected, on the seeming mismatch, and on the varied articles. But there is also a sense of structure, of continuity, and of method that makes or breaks the eclectic space’s success. Here are some examples of eclectic wins:

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Set amidst the backdrop of warm honey neutrality here, bold, modern accents pop and vintage furnishings thrive. Furnishings don’t match – far from it – but together they add curves and depth to a place that bursts with bright art. We’ve got a bit of industrial, cottage, Victorian, warehouse style here, all combined into a pleasing space where there’s definitely something for everyone.

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In this eclectic gallery wall, emphasis is placed more on form and tone balance than on subject matter. Of course, with the combination of floral, abstract, and oriental art in a variety of mediums (e.g., watercolor, oils, prints) and frames, it would be hard to create a sense of cohesion. Yet it’s done here, masterfully, in balancing the top and bottom of the wall with larger darker pieces (yes, I consider the case sitting on the floor as part of this vignette), peppering vertical reddish rectangular items throughout, and going heavy on the gold. Weathered-looking walls and an unexpected pop of aqua from the window pane help us realize that the unexpected is actually expected here.

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In this white-walled space with light wood floors, we come face-to-face with a well-traveled eclectic style. Or should we say styleS. French chairs meets Moroccan rug meets Asian chest…and more. Sweet cottage wallpaper merges with hard-core industrial pipes, and a little bit of nautical stripe is thrown in for good measure. What makes this work, however, is the commonality of each piece being interesting in its own right but not stand-out. Except for the bright pink artwork, which is unexpected and most definitely eclectic incarnate. I could spend a lot of pleasant hours soaking in this space.

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Again, an eclectic collection comes together into a cohesive unit via a gallery wall. Everything vintage is the name of the game here, from the old school clock to the vintage-print china to the partial-framed mirror. Plenty of white space surrounding each object leaves enough white space to appreciate the individual items, and the cohesion of shapes (circle and rectangle) brings it all together. I really think whoever sleeps on this bed could have nothing but sweet dreams.

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And, lastly, this space is definitely eclectic in its hard-core “rocker” design aesthetic. An emphasis on black and white, with metal accents, keeps the space full of random items feel like a unit. Metallic throw pillows work with the metal sputnik chandelier. A mounted skull matches the vintage lamp and chairs. Artwork and the entire color palette is loosely held to a black-and-white vibe with subtle bits of rebellious color coming through. One certainly gets a feel for who lives here and their appreciation of the varieties of life.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Posted in Interiors on February 12, 2013

About the author

Brittney Smart
Brittney is a wife, a mom of four young children, a writer and editor (B.S. degree in English/Technical Writing), and a lover of interior design. She thrives on finding inexpensive ways to DIY her own home into a stylish yet family-friendly space.

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