Tag Archives: eclectic furnishings

What Makes Eclectic Style Work?

If – like us – you are thrifty, it is good to also be eclectic.  Our own homes are a mix of old and new, pulled together with things we’ve inherited, made, scored at thrift stores, or saved up to buy.  It is perhaps not by accident that images of rooms we’re most drawn to on the web also have a mix of old and new.  None of them could be designated wholly mid-century, antique, country, or really anything other than . . . eclectic.  There’s always a risk that a room intended to be eclectic will veer toward jumbled mess, so we thought we’d take a critical look to see what makes some of our favorite eclectic rooms work.

As we looked at images and talked it over, we realized that the eclectic spaces we love most are often actually quite unified, but with one disparate element.  Something that throws the whole look charmingly off-kilter, and that elevates a room from pretty to stylish.

In this room everything is sweet–the pale pink walls, the sloping ceiling, the rose bedding, the ornate vanity.  The addition of a space-age tulip chair gives this pretty princess chamber a much needed edge, and makes it a room we love.

Everything in this entryway calls out to us (including the scruffy dog), but what really makes this room sing is the contrast between the sleek modern lamps and the ornate wallpaper and mirror.

This antique filled room is decorated with beautiful furniture and details, but without the quirky touch of the dome-shaped lamp and the zebra cut-velvet upholstery on the couch, it might feel cloying.  The modern touches tip the balance from just another beautiful room to being in our all-time favorite top three best rooms list.

This kitchen is another favorite of ours, but here the balance is achieved by adding a single antique piece to an otherwise modern space. The cabinet makes a room that might skew stark into an interesting room with a story.

This kitchen is a bit more industrial, but like the kitchen above it benefits by the addition of the antique cabinet. The curved ornate lines balance out the linear shapes that dominate the rest of the room.



In this room the painted cabinet might be a little shabby chic for our taste, but paired with the upholstered Danish armchair, it drops the shabby and is completely chic.

This chair wears its history proudly, and next to the modern lipstick-colored table it’s reinvented as perfectly now.

What do you think makes an eclectic room work? Do you mix decades with wild abandon, or do you prefer to stick to a single era? We’d love to hear! Come back Wednesday for an update from Katie about the progress she’s made in her Chamber of Secrets.