inspiration4 min read

Interior trends: what is eclectic decor style?

Two living rooms with colourful eclectic decor by Erica Mathiesen

WordsMegan Lambert

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Can’t decide between rustic farmhouse or mid-century modern decor? Or perhaps you want a bit of a boho home decor style with elements of maximalist decor thrown in too? Well, you might have found your match in eclectic decor style. With its focus on carefully curated interiors that express your individual tastes, if you want the best of all worlds and don’t want your home looking too matchy, then read on.

What is eclectic decor style?

Whilst maximalism is all about more is more, eclectic decor focusses on a sparing yet deliberate use of statement colour, texture and unique finds. In other words - don’t overcrowd. Eclectic decor is characterised by careful curation and unpredictability. Blending old and new, incorporating pieces from different periods and styles, an eclectic home will always be entirely unique. Feel free to mix things up and tell your story through vibrant gallery walls and collections of trinkets from global travels—giving your furnishings space to breathe and room to shine.

The history of eclectic decor style

Stemming from the Greek word eklektikos, meaning 'selective' or 'to choose the best', the term was initially used in philosophy to describe the process of picking the best of a range of arguments to form your own. The idea transitioned into architecture from the 19th century with the Victorian-era obsession with global fashions. Rather than sticking to neo-classical or Gothic revival, many architects of this era selected elements from a variety of styles to create a brand new look. From philosophy to architecture, it's no surprise that this process of selecting the best elements of something and repackaging them to create your own trickled down into the interior design world.

Characteristics of eclectic decor style

Eclectic decor characteristic: playful colour palette

Whether on your walls or through your furniture choices, eclectic decor is all about a playful colour palette. Pick one paint colour to anchor the room, and then add a touch of vibrancy with accent colours. For example, you could pair bold furnishings with neutral colours or use a statement wallpaper with colours that you love to inform your palette, like Electric Poppies 02. Take a look at our guide on how to make a mood board and get inspired by these 6 colour bedroom and living room ideas.

Image of a playful eclectic colour palette featuring Lick Pink 01, Pink 02, Yellow 02, Teal 03, Green 06, Red 03 and Lick Electric Poppies 02 wallpaper

Eclectic decor characteristic: incorporation of global influences 

In keeping with modern times, a big part of eclectic decor is incorporating global influences into your decor. This could be in the form of a Chinese lacquered cabinet or a pair of Moroccan pouffes arranged on an enormous Persian rug. Or what about a headboard upholstered with a vintage Uzbek suzani paired with an Indian block-printed quilt (ok those last two might be a bit much together, but you get the idea)?

Take a look at our guide on how to reupholster a headboard to create your own.

Erica Mathiesen's eclectic living room with green painted wall and colourful furniture
HOME OF @ERICAMATHIESEN FEATURED IN VAKRE HJEM & INTERIOR MAGAZINE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY @ODABERBYY

Eclectic decor characteristic: a curated mixture of old and new

Just as you can create a curated collection of global influences with eclectic decor, you can mix vintage, antique, and new pieces together. The golden rule is to be selective rather than have loads of "stuff". Don't overdo it. How about pairing a rustic antique dining table with modern shaped Saarinen Tulip chairs or an art-deco inspired upholstered bed with perspex side tables and modern pendant lighting.

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