There are so many things we connote with eclectic decorating. People tend to use the term when they have no other words to describe their taste. For example, that very special person who just loves to combine glass bricks, French antiques and cat figurines. But, it’s actually something else entirely. Eclectic isn’t a term to label the mismatched. True eclectic decor actually has cohesiveness. I spoke with several top interior designers to learn their secrets to creating beautiful eclectic spaces.
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What Is Eclectic, Really?
Interior designer Andi Pepper, who recently completed the Breakwater Hotel in South Beach and the Hotel X in Toronto, has a very sensible approach to this style. “To me, the notion of being eclectic is to mix different styles and eras together to create a cohesive space, but you can’t simply put everything together. You have to have a sense of commonality about it, with thought put into the design.”
True eclectic decorating is highly intentional. A good example of this is the Viale dei Romani restaurant at the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood California. Andrew Cohen of Parts and Labor, who designed the space told me, “The concept for the restaurant was eclectic simply because we were combining our own design philosophy with that of the chef, hotel and location. But as with all of our projects, there is always a single conceptual thread tying those eclectic moments together.”
Viale dei Romani features a variety of unique design elements from modern art to parquet wood floors. Proprietor Casey Lane explained, “Being in a dining room that has different collected pieces gives the illusion that various seating arrangements create myriad ‘experiences’ when looking across the restaurant. This ultimately keeps guest interest at a peak, and curiosities heightened.”
People will mix lots of different styles, clash colors or multiple prints, mishmash it and label the space as eclectic. However, that’s just bad taste. Nader Bolour, owner of Doris Leslie Blau rug gallery, explained, “Do not mistake eclectic for anything goes. There’s a fine line between chaos and curated eclecticism.”
Another factor to consider is scale. Lisa Gilmore of Lisa Gilmore Design says this is a problem she often encounters, “People often do not take into consideration scale, appropriate juxtaposition and the fact that even though you are blending different things. There still should be some kind of common thread to carry the space together. Make sure your furniture jives. You can’t have too many small pieces scattered without some weighing factors.”
The true key to eclectic is specificity. Tiffany Brooks, who you have probably seen on HGTV, likes to simplify it down to three different styles at a time. For example, choosing pieces that are “transitional period glam, traditional, and masculine.”
The right rug can easily create cohesion as well as mix it up. Bolour revealed, “Most of our interior designers/clients select antique or vintage rugs for predominantly modern interiors. In an eclectic interior, the rug can constitute the focal point, the piece of resistance that brings all the furniture and accessories together.”
Looking up, Pepper recommends using art to make a space more eclectic. “If your space is more traditional classically French or English, what can update it without touching anything can be simple, very modern artwork. Take inspiration from Franz Klein or Basquiat, with a classic gold frame. The reverse can also be done to a completely minimalistic and modern space, taking more traditional art inspired by Monet and other classical painters to fill your walls.”
Combing metals and wood tones is another way to achieve this look, according to Gilmore. “If you are confident with mixing these elements, you will have a space that has a very curated collected feeling.”
Keep It Eclectic In The Kitchen
While the kitchen might not be the first place you think to showcase this style, it’s ripe with opportunity. Pepper likes mixing a colorful wall with a busy backsplash and then choosing neutral colors for the table and chairs or stools. She told me, “This creates a continuity in a space and minimizes busyness.”
For the original article click here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/amandalauren/2018/07/26/interior-designers-define-eclectic-decorating-and-share-their-best-tips/#67c72764ab08