Eclectic home design explained and how to achieve the look

Why using a juxtaposition of colours, prints and styles in the home is a way to bring sweet design harmony

Eclectic living room by John Lewis
Say goodbye to minimalism in favour of straight up maximalism. Credit│John Lewis and Partners

The eclectic trend is one that is rooted in playful experimentation and self-expression. The goal when styling this look the goal is to strike an aesthetically pleasing blend of objects that were seemingly placed with little rhyme or reason, yet in truth it’s quite the opposite. Here’s how you can create the quirky look at home, or at least dip your toes into the outlandish interior waters.

Hallway with contrasting wallpapers
Contrasting wallpaper is a bold statement that goes along way. Credit│@houghton_habitat on Instagram

Pattern is king

“Have fun with chintzy florals, ikat (or ethnic-inspired) patterns, quirky colour schemes and monochrome geometrics,” says Nikesha McGrath, interior décor specialist at Decovate Designs. “Keep it light-hearted and playful by experimenting with prints via accessories that are easy to change, such as a vintage style lampshade or a statement rug.” Do put a cap on the pattern clashing though, we recommend sticking to around three to avoid a disorientating look.

Yellow sofa with green paint on the walls
Yellow, pink and green shades contrast against each other, while also complimenting one another. Credit│John Lewis & Partners

Go bold on the walls

“Changing your wall colour is the first step to creating the perfect backdrop for clashing patterns, curated gallery walls and other pops of colour. Opting for a deeper, intense wall shade will add to the exaggerated nature of this style.” The deep green on the walls here creates an interesting backdrop for the gallery wall. “A great way to create a focal point is with a gallery wall. Try mixing art styles and colours for a curated, yet collectable look. Tie the pieces together by using skinny black frames for a contemporary touch.”

Retro inspired gallery wall
This room has a distinctly retro theme which unifies the room together. Credit│@emptynestersfeathertheirnest

Pick a slight theme

Though the eclectic look gives you the freedom to do whatever you like, for a cohesive look, it is a good idea to stick to a colour palette or design tone. By choosing one main colour or theme, it will tie together the mis-match of style and pattern. It is also worth noting that if you’re going to go all-out-eclectic in one room, you may wish to carry it throughout the rest of your home – to avoid a style sore thumb.

Mix up the furniture styles

“Place mid-century modern accessories next to a grandiose sofa,” suggests Nikesha. You can do this on the cheap by picking up a couple of secondhand pieces of furniture in a contrasting style to what you already own. “And create a texture overload by combining velvets, silks, cottons and leather.”  Do make an effort to plan out where things will go before purchasing on a whim. Although more can be more with this look, you don’t want to end up with an unpractical space.

Yellow bathtub and floral curtains
The eclectic style can be carried through all rooms, including the bathroom. Credit│@heneddyhouse

Layering is key

There are lots of easy and affordable ways to update your space and embrace the trend, without having to spend a large amount on furniture. It can be as simple as adding a statement rug to a rustic wooden floor, cushions in clashing patterns to a sofa, or placing a pretty china teacup atop a stack of books for a nostalgic nod to the trend. It’s also worth noting that sometimes, leaving space on shelves can actually be just as much as a design statement as filling every empty gap.

Not sure if you’re ready to go this bold? Why not try the bohemian trend or bring a subtle hint of pink into your space

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