The 'fine' art of creating an eclectic interior
Are you an avid art lover and do you have trouble fitting in your artworks in your interior? Then consider an eclectic interior design. The meaning of eclectic and how you can ensure that every element comes together as a whole, you can read in this article.
What does eclectic actually mean?
The word eclectic comes from the old Greek word "eklegein" which means to choose. Eclectic literally means "best choice". By an "eclectic interior" or "an eclectic art collection" we actually mean: "combining the best of different styles into a new whole". An eclectic design takes guts and is adventurous and you are actually trying to create a successful, well-considered miss match. An eclectic interior often breaks with traditions and rules.
Main principles of eclectic design
An eclectic interior is not a license to just put the most beautiful objects and the best styles together. This entails the danger that the whole thing will eventually come across as sloppy and random. There are a number of starting points to prevent this. Ultimately, the sum of the parts will have to become larger than the individual components. Next we will give some practical a tips and examples.
Example of an eclectic interior with the effect of a dark ground colour and cupboard space
Focuspoint and a calm base
It may be wise to choose a specific focalpoint within an eclectic interior. This means that within a ‘crowdy’ eclectic interior in which different styles emerge, you provide a certain centerpiece. Something that stands out when you enter the room. Choose a calm base in colours and shapes so that divergent items will be noted. This way you maintain peace and at the same time you ensure that attention is drawn to certain points.
Keep it tidy and calm
With a quiet base, the (busy) eclectic interior can still retain a certain tranquility. So ensure a tidy interior with, for example, sufficient cupboard space. Use mainly white or off-white as a basic colour, so you can easily combine it with all the different styles, colours and materials. It is also possible to choose a dark base colour, this gives a much more intense, intimate and deeper feeling. You might also think about a daring, ‘tone on tone’ effect, combining different materials with the same colour to create a surprising effect.
In this eclectic interior, the focus is mainly on the art on the wall
Unity and connection elements by colours
The purpose of an eclectic interior is to ultimately, create a balance in which shapes, scales and symmetry are can be accompanied by different fabrics and patterns. What important is that there is a main colour that connects the elements. And if you are using multiple colours, also try contrasting colours like blue and yellow or green and red, black and white combined.
Good example of an eclectic interior with a white base color with blue as the connecting color
Make it personal
A beautiful eclectic interior breathes out the atmosphere of authenticity and especially your personality and character. So beside of your favorite art, you can also combine with other personal objects, such as: heirlooms, photos, old maps, collectables, drawings of the children or souvenirs from your trip or other personal accessories. A hint is to put it in frames on the wall or present your favorite souvenirs together in a beautiful cupboard. A beautiful plant and flowers also often provide a more personal touch in an eclectic interior.
Shapes and materials
Different materials such as velvet, leather and wood are beautiful in an eclectic interior. Just think of the mix of a velvet Ottoman, a leather rug and a wooden floor.
Eclectic interior including framed personal photos and various materials such as a vintage leather sofa and a wool rug
A mixture of old and new
Use old and new objects as a contrast to the type of home you have. For example, if you have a 19th century mansion with vivid ornaments, you can easily combine this with sleek industrial elements or modern art. If you live in a more tight, modern house, than old or somewhat more baroque art can provide more warmth and variety. In alle these cases it is also important that cohesion in shape or color is maintained and that the basis must remain calm.
Example of modern art and furniture in a Victorian mansion, note the contrast of the wool rug and wooden floor
Combining different styles and periodes
Ethnic, modern art, old, classic, Japanese, art deco, art nouveau or industrial. You can also choose to consciously combine different design periods. Just think of the mix of the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s with the retro style of the 1970s. Or Midcentury modern with Scandinavian minimalism. Enrich the whole with some oriental, African, ethno or Bauhaus-inspired elements. Almost anything is possible and allowed! The nice thing about the eclectic living style is that you don't have to choose. Do you like a Scandinavian chair? Place it with confidence next to a classic coffee table. And that minimalist sofa is fantastic next to Jungle vibes next to colonial atmospheres? Cuban style in combination with maritime elements? From purism and Danish design to opulent Baroque and shabby chic! The idea is that you can start an eclectic interior from any interior style. Important to know is that an eclectic style is independent of trends.
Got inspired? Have a look and easily search on our online Gallerease collection for artworks for sale in different styles, colours, materials and periods!
* Did you know that many celebrities are eclectic art collectors such as (the late) David Bowie as well as fashion designer Paul Smith? Check out the inspiring video below to take a look at his eclectic collection!