Tag Archives: eclectic style

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.

Pinterest Friday – Sifting Through Pins to Define Our Style

A couple of weeks ago we were getting some input on how to improve the look and function of Red House West.  The designers with whom we were speaking asked us to give a description of our style.  We tried to put it into words: Eclectic?  Bohemian?  Granny Chic?  Mid Century?

For this week’s Friday post we thought we would sift through our respective Pinterest accounts to see what themes emerge in an ongoing effort to define our personal styles, and to figure out where they overlap and can be translated into the overall look and feel of Red House West. Often when we pin images, we do it on a gut level, because we just like what we’re seeing. Looking closer with a critical eye helps us identify the things that make a room appeal to us on that visceral level.

From Katie:

As I looked through my Pinterest account, I was surprised to see that there were certain elements and colors that recurred in almost all of my pins.  Similar as the images were, it was still hard to narrow them down to just a handful.  Here are six rooms that kick me in the gut (in a good way) and that I could live in right now:


Bohemian and eclectic seem like pretty good descriptors, and the common elements for me are: Moody blues, textiles (and lots of ’em), Mid-century modern furniture, eclectic art and houseplants.

From Mera:

Sifting through my pins, a few themes emerge.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am always drawn to bright rugs, artfully mixed textiles, cozy nooks, and a mix of old and new.  I love mid century modern pieces as much as the next gal, but I find that the ones I’m drawn to lean toward the feminine, and there’s a healthy dose of ’70s in the mix.  I think I can safely include “bohemian” among the descriptors of my style, and I love rooms that look like a story waiting to be told.  Looking at my image collections I can see that I also gravitate toward warmer hues.  Here are a few photos to illustrate what I mean:

[I can't find a proper source for this, but I know this is another from Amber Lewis].

[I can’t find a proper source for this, but I know it’s another from Amber Lewis].

What do you think Style Detectives? What adjectives jump to mind looking at the above? It’s still a ways off, but the redhousewest.com overhaul is churning–we would love to hear from you about what you like and don’t like in blog features generally, and what you would hope for from us. Talk to us!

Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you back here on Monday!