Have you ever fallen in love with a piece of furniture only to talk yourself out of it because it doesn't match your existing décor? Why not consider an eclectic approach to decorating? Eclectic home design encompasses a wider variety of tastes. And it doesn't have to be a mixed bag of accessories and furnishings with no direction. By striving for balance in decorating styles and incorporating functional needs into the design plan, eclectic decor becomes a style unto itself.
"For a space to work it needs to have balance and harmony," California interior designer Marjorie Marcellus told RentalDecorating.com. "[Furnishings] should relate to each other, but that doesn't mean they have to match, be of the same era, same price or quality." Here are a few guidelines to help you with your project.
Start with Room Basics
Plan to pull together a mix of furnishings by first addressing the practical needs of a room — light and heat — so you can enjoy the results in comfort. For example, overhead lighting is needed for room-wide illumination, but targeted task lights are used for reading or brightening a particular section of a room.
Selecting a classic floor treatment that will go well with myriad furniture styles is another consideration. That also presents an opportunity to add in-floor electric heating, which generates energy-efficient radiant heat. Floor-warming systems work well with most types of flooring materials, including tile, stone, concrete, laminate, carpeting and hardwood.
Choosing radiant heating allows you to control room warmth at the touch of a switch and without air ducts that reduce air quality by blowing dust particles and allergens into the air. When installed under wood floors, radiant heat warms the surface without harmful temperature fluctuation.
Allow a Main Style to Show
Eclectic decorating makes it easy to add new furnishings without giving up existing furniture you've collected over the years. If you favor a particular design style, but don't want to commit to it completely, you can weave elements of it into the overall scheme.
For instance, you may be inspired by a southwestern landscape, with its earthy colors and rusticity. One example featured by MyHomeIdeas.com was a sunroom that included modern wicker furnishings with seating made of wide-striped gray and white fabric. A wood beam mantle on which artwork or large pottery vases could be displayed was the embodiment of the natural colors and materials of the Southwest region.
HGTV recommended using a neutral palette for walls and allowing fabrics and finishes to play up the differences in home styles chosen by homeowners. Several patterns and textures in fabrics along with a variety of hard surfaces — wood, metals and ceramics — will bring out the best in eclectic design.
Mix the Accessories
A mix of styles really shines when it comes to wall art. If you're an apartment dweller, you can add displays to your home without fear of damaging the walls by using removable adhesive hooks. That offers flexibility to change your displays seasonally or when you want to perk up a room with something new.
Wrought iron accent pieces are versatile enough for eclectic designs because they work with many styles of decor. If you love to visit antique stores, you may find vintage accessories that will look good with traditional furniture but also add character when juxtaposed against contemporary pieces.
Whatever your vision, you can add a little warmth and personal style with any or all of these ideas. Have you recently remodeled your home by adding radiant heat? Let us know about your project on the WarmlyYours Facebook page, or tweet us at @WarmlyYours.