Design 101 Interior Decorating

How to Create an Eclectic Style

An eclectic style is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single style or set of assumptions but instead draws upon multiple styles or ideas.

It’s about harmony and the coming together of different styles, juxtaposing textures, and contrasting colors to create a cohesive, beautifully realized. Eclectic designs are all about experimentation and play, so have fun with the freedom it allows.


When selecting a series of core colors to complement your eclectic design, seek something that inspires you. Inspiration can be found in a picture, paint color, furniture, graphics, toys, food, textiles, fruit, it can be found anywhere. But most inspired ideas come from nature. Taking cues from Mother Nature is a great starting point.

If you’re not sure about what colors to choose, select one neutral hue (white, gray, ivory tones) and one accent color to get started. Using a calm and serene neutral throughout your design will allow you to layer over, and prevent the room from feeling too overbearing. The neutral hue will work well with your chosen accent color especially when applied to different characteristics of the room to create a harmonious space instead of an erratic one.


Playing with patterns is where your personality starts to come through and you get to be more expressive when creating an eclectic space. Play with bold, dramatic patterns; mix and match styles to see what works well together and what doesn’t.

Continue using similar tones and colors throughout your process while keeping in mind your two core tones. Feel free to disrupt the space with unexpected combinations of patterns that don’t necessarily go together. Pair items that usually oppose one another and be audacious with it, this will help you create a one-of-a-kind feel.


The same goes for texture – have fun with textural items and bring in different surfaces to make your eclectic home sing a song of happiness. Use contrasting textures against one another for an unforgettable feel.

You want your space to be visually appealing that will keep the eye interested, visual eye-candy. A stylish way to make this happen without being overt is to introduce different textures throughout the room in small doses.

Place smooth surfaces like marble against wood grains, and the soft with the hard, like a velvet sofa with throw pillows next to an industrial coffee table.


Mixing and matching different furniture styles is another fun and clever way to master your eclectic living space. In essence, this is what eclectic style is all about – mixing the old, the new, the modern, and the classic.

Think using a pair of wingback chairs as Captain’s chairs with a modern dining table, or an Art-Deco mirror above a Victorian fireplace mantel.

Take advantage of the features you already have in your home and contrast these with new pieces to make the most of what you already have.


Last, but not least, make a statement. Whatever that statement is, it needs to be bold.
NOTE: Depending on the size of your room, one or two statement pieces will be more than enough to catch the eye and stimulate the brain.

If you have too many, they’ll eventually compete with each other for attention by overwhelming the room and by dismissing the eclectic edge you were aiming for.


Create an eclectic style by choosing your design elements wisely. It’s easy for eclectic designs to turn into a messy, cluttered, and overly busy room. Everything should have a place and each piece should tell a story.

Let your accents and accessories speak for themselves without weighing your space down. Step back and view it from a different perspective. Feel free to take a photo and look at it in detail.

An eclectic interior is all about showing off your personality in a room. Eliminate boundaries and free yourself from rules associated with traditional interior design. Allow the creative side of your brain to run free and live an eclectic lifestyle.

About Author

Shandra Ward is the and CEO/Principal Designer for Signature Designs Interiors + Events + Custom Decor. She is also the Editor of Signature Living-Design & Lifestyle blog. This native Houstonian is a skilled design professional with an exceptional eye for detail. Inspired by her father, who is an engineer, her mother, who was extremely crafty, and her Grandmother, who was very stylish, she knew she wanted to be a designer of all things beautiful.

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