Eclectic style is a trendy look that’s all about mixing different elements together. But what does eclectic mean really? In home design, it often looks like mixing different time periods, decor styles, textures, colors, and patterns together. But, at its best, eclectic styles shouldn’t feel chaotic. Rather, eclectic style is about finding harmony in diverse and contrasting styles to create a cohesive space.
We love that eclectic spaces show the personality of the person who lives there and leaves so much room for individual creativity. If you’re a lover of all things boho, we’re here to help you tackle designing an eclectic space—and today, we’re focusing on eclectic living rooms! As one of the main spaces in your home, it can feel intimidating to try a design style that’s a bit out-of-the-box. But you don’t have to stress. Keep reading for eight tips for designing eclectic living rooms!
1. Combine Furniture in Different Styles
Unlike other interior design styles, eclectic design is all about mixing furniture from different aesthetics or time periods, together in one space. So, you wouldn’t want all of your furniture to have modern lines if you’re going for an eclectic look. Rather, consider curating a mix of foundational pieces that represent different styles.
For example—using the above eclectic living room as inspiration—you could go for a traditional coffee table, minimal or modern accent chairs, a transitional sofa, and a vintage boho-style rug. This interesting mix of styles gives a sense that the space came together over time and is a unique representation of your distinct tastes. (And creates a space that is dynamic and unexpected!)
One big tip when picking out foundational, eclectic furniture: While some symmetry is nice (as seen above) you definitely want to keep it from feeling too matchy-matchy—which is the exact opposite of eclectic design.
2. Go High-Contrast in Your Color Palette
Creating a high-contrast space emphasizes your eclectic style, adding a cohesive and harmonious quality to your eclectic style. This might look like mixing rustic patterns, traditional furniture, and modern pieces together in one space. But what makes this unexpected mix of styles work is a strong and simple color scheme. It’s clean and high impact—a perfect way to keep an eclectic space from feeling chaotic.
In the eclectic living room above, the black and white palette balances the more delicate traditional chairs with the bold silhouette of the leather sofa, giving them equal weight. And how about that floor lamp for an unexpected pop??
3. Embrace Antiques and Vintage-Style Finds
Using vintage or antique pieces in your space will make your living room feel more unique and will really play up the eclectic nature of the style—like the mirror, coffee table, and vintage-inspired floor lamp, pictured above! You can make your space feel historied by collecting items with worn textures and finishes.
But, if you aren’t in an area with access to good vintage and antique finds, you can also fake it! Worn-wood finishes, vintage-treated rugs, and metals or leather pieces with a patina are great ways to give off that vintage vibe.
4. Take an Eclectic Approach to Styling
Don’t want to go full-out eclectic? Consider infusing your space with eclectic styling instead. One way we love to do this is by creating a gallery wall full of funky art and decor. Or even propping art on consoles and credenzas, rather than hanging them up. Both of these are less formal design elements that infuse eclectic vibes into any space. It’s a perfect way to play with some eclectic styling in even the most formal of spaces.
5. Play With Patterns
A classic eclectic move is to play with patterns. Consider mixing patterns across furniture and accessories, mixing both organic and geometric shapes. You can also play with scale, using a variety of both small and large patterns.
Here, strong geometric patterns are given an eclectic treatment through a playful mix of textiles—from throw pillows to wall art, and even a lampshade! But a soft black and neutral palette keeps the look cohesive, for a delightfully eclectic living room.
6. Invite Lots of Layers
Layering items in different shapes and textures adds dimension to a space and makes it feel warm and inviting. Think: rugs on rugs, woven wall hangings instead of prints, and layers of colors and patterns in throw pillows.
A great way to create a layered, eclectic look without it feeling cluttered is to focus on a few items that each have the right mix of color, texture, and pattern. A bold wall color sets the tone for this space, but keeping furniture in more neutral tones and opting for a mix of earth tones in the rest of the colors keeps the space clean.
7. Master the Material Mix
Bringing in lots of texture is another foundational element of this style. So, when creating an eclectic space, go all out with mixed materials. A mix of carved pieces, sheepskin, leather, natural textures, and pom-poms give an eclectic warmth to this space! And it adds visual intrigue for a living room that’s both dynamic and layered.
8. Keep Your Layout Casual
Ultimately, this style is all about making a space feel comfortable and relaxed. So, skip the symmetry and go for an unexpected, casual layout. Think about nontraditional layouts or unexpected furniture choices—like using a pouf where you would normally have a chair. Elements like this will give your living room that signature eclectic vibe.
Design your eclectic living room today.