Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Last week we distinguished modern and contemporary design. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they convey two distinct meanings: modern design refers to a specific era of design (1920-1970) and many of the more popular pieces from this time are dubbed “20th Century Classics,” while contemporary design refers to a blend of design that embodies a more transient style characterized by what’s popular today. The two can often look similar, but rest assured they are quite different. The devil’s in the details.
Today, I want to discuss my favorite design style: eclectic design. I’ve been told before that you have to be rich to be eclectic; otherwise you’re just weird, though I like to think that’s not the case. Eclectic design is really hard to pin down, but you’ll know it when you see it.
Eclectic design is really a combination of all design styles that just works. Indeed, eclectic is defined as: “deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. To achieve an eclectic design, people often use traditional furniture pieces and accent them with bold colors and a variety of decorative pieces. I find that a warehouse style loft condo is the best canvas to turn eclectic, since the exposed ceilings and ductwork offers a strong contrast to just about anything you put in the space.
What draws me the most to eclectic design is that it allows you to completely personalize your living space. Rather than being stuck to a particular theme or style, you’re free to do just about whatever makes you happy. That said, you do need to have an overall plan in mind for your space even if it doesn’t come together all at once. Basic design principles like rhythm and balance are very important when designing with an eclectic palette since you won’t be able to rely as much on uniformity in your furnishings like you would if you stuck to a more conventional style of design. For example, the visual weight of traditional furniture may be harder to balance with modern accent pieces; whereas, if you used all traditional or all modern furnishings they would more easily balance right out of the box.
The best way to perfect an eclectic design in your bedroom, or throughout your home, is to experiment with various furnishings, colors, and decorations to find out what works best in your space. As always, a low risk way to get a feel for eclectic design is to comb over photos of how others have done it, successfully, before. Houzz has a great gallery for eclectic bedrooms, which you can view here.
What style of design speaks to you the most? Let us know in the comments below.