Why Eclectic is Our Favorite Interior Style – & How to Try it Yourself

Updated: July 24, 2024
Eclectic interior design freely mixes styles, eras and genres with vibrant colors, diverse textures and bold patterns. The concept emerged from Victorian era style blending and saw a resurgence in the 1980s as a playful, postmodern decorating approach. Key elements of eclectic rooms include antique furniture, modern art, global objects, geometric patterns, plants and reclaimed wood. Essential tips include choosing a statement focal point piece, repeating accent colors, curating special pieces, artfully displaying collections and blending eras. Embrace adventurous layering and juxtapositions without decorating rules to craft a space packed with visual interest and personality.
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I still remember the first time I walked into my friend’s newly redecorated living room. She had combined antique furniture, colorful abstract art, geometric patterns, and plants of all sizes into one cohesive, charming space. “It’s eclectic,” she told me with a smile. In that moment, I fell in love with the playful, adventurous spirit of eclectic interior design.

Eclectic interiors incorporate a mix of styles, eras, colors, textures and patterns that normally might not go together, yet somehow work. The overall effect is richly layered, visually interesting, and full of personality. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about achieving the eclectic look in your own home – why we love it, its history, key elements, tips for success, and more.

What is Eclectic Interior Design?

Eclectic interior design draws inspiration from a variety of sources to create a curated, creative space. It combines vintage, modern, global and contemporary influences and everything in between. There are no real rules – anything goes as long as it reflects your unique taste and spirit. The overall look should feel curated yet effortlessly thrown together. Mix, match, and layer to your heart’s content!

History of Eclectic Style

Eclecticism as an interior design concept traces back to the Victorian era in the late 19th century. Victorians combined historical styles like Gothic, Renaissance and Rococo along with exotic influences from the Far East. Victorian design paved the way for more modern eclectic interiors that freely mix eras and genres without rules.

In the 1980s and 90s, eclecticism exploded in popularity as a playful postmodern reaction to the strict modernist movement. Designers and homeowners felt free to incorporate antiques alongside contemporary furniture in new and exciting ways. The New York School of interior designers like Bill Sofield fearlessly combined old and new. InteriorxDesign continues this eclectic blending of styles today in fresh, personalized ways.

Key Elements of Eclectic Interiors

Eclectic room designs incorporate a dynamic mix of some or all of these elements:

  • Vintage/antique furniture and lighting
  • Contemporary and modern furnishings
  • Global/ethnic objects like Eastern rugs or African masks
  • Colorful, bold artwork like abstract or pop art paintings
  • Geometric patterns and textiles
  • Natural materials like rattan, seagrass, stone
  • Reclaimed wood surfaces and architectural salvage
  • A diversity of flooring looks from tile to hardwood
  • Plants and greenery of varying sizes and styles

The mix should be unique to your taste – quirky, daring and not matchy-matchy. Each piece should bring a dose of personality while coming together in one cohesive look.

How to Achieve an Eclectic Interior

When designing an eclectic space, throw conventions to the wind and gather what you love. Still, achieving balance takes skill and practice. Follow these top tips for creating a seamlessly eclectic room:

Choose a Focal Point
Anchor the room with a statement piece like a painted antique dresser or lush velvet sofa. This focal point grounds more daring companion pieces.

Vary Textures & Materials
Incorporate a mix of tactile surfaces across furniture, flooring and fabrics. Rough jute rugs, polished concrete floors, steel accents, and nubby linen sofas prevent the space from feeling too busy.

Repeat Colors
Pull one or two accent colors throughout soft furnishings like pillows, art and accessories to build cohesion. Our InteriorxDesign spaces often feature vibrant emerald green, peacock blue or mustard yellow.

Curate Carefully
Search thrift stores, flea markets, Etsy, Chairish, 1stDibs and auctions to hand pick special vintage and antique discoveries that speak to you. Mix in a few new designer statement pieces.

Display Artfully
Arrange artwork salon style gallery walls or sculptural side tables vignettes featuring cherished travel souvenirs and quirky objects. Create pleasant surprises as viewers move through the thoughtfully composed space.

Garnish with Greenery
Scatter in an assortment of houseplants, small trees, and fresh flowers for lively pops of color and texture. Trailing ivy, flowering orchids, mini palms, and single stem peonies add fresh eclectic flair.

Blend Eras
A 19th century fainting couch pairs beautifully with mid century Danish end tables and modern minimalist dining chairs. Tie them together with decorative pillows and layered rugs.

Mix Patterns Playfully
From graphic black and white tiles to ikat cushions, flaunt fancy patterns proudly. Scale is key – temper bold rugs and wallpaper prints with neutral solids.

Play with Proportions & Shape
An oversized gallery wall coexists wonderfully with a petite slipper chair, curvy floor lamp, and lean console table. Mix slim rectangular coffee tables with orb side chairs.

Feature Favorite Collections
Display your unique collections like stacks of colorful coffee table books, artwork of a beloved artist or rows of treasured pottery prominently.

Best Practices for Eclectic Design

Ready to try this exciting style yourself? Keep these top eclectic interior design tips in mind:

  1. Dare to be adventurous – break design “rules” fearlessly!
  2. Express your personality through a blend of old, new, faraway, local, high end and bargain pieces.
  3. Choose one or two dominant colors to repeat through soft goods like pillows.
  4. Mix eras and genres wildly but tie spaces together with common tones and materials.
  5. Anchor with large statement making “hero” pieces then layer in quirky accessories.
  6. Combine artwork salon style gallery walls with sculptural object vignettes on consoles, shelves and side tables.
  7. Allow ample negative space between furniture groupings to prevent congestion.
  8. Limit extremely loud wild patterns to artwork and decorative objects so backgrounds feel relaxed.
  9. Introduce lots of diverse shapes, finishes and organic materials beyond wood like stone metals, rattan and jute.
  10. Lastly, edit constantly – remove pieces that disrupt visual harmony or no longer fit.


If you crave colorful, spirited design that makes you smile, embrace eclectic interiors. This free-flowing style celebrates treasured belongings from all of life’s adventures. Eclectic decor grants permission to decorating without limits – to creating layered, curated spaces packed with visual interest, beloved keepsakes, playful juxtapositions and personality.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the origin, elements, and best practices behind eclectic interior design. InteriorxDesign can’t wait to help you craft your own perfectly imperfect eclectic home oasis. Contact us anytime to get started!

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Mr. BS Parasher, Founder @ Interior x Design & UrbanDAC, For more than 20 years in the industry, He is the Top Interior Designer in Gurgaon & India's Premier Home Theater and Home Entertainment Designer, A Hi-end AV Expert with a deep passion, vision and knowledge about Interior Design.

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