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Eclectic Design Style

When discussing design styles, "eclectic" is a term (adjective) used in the design world to describe a particular aspect of a design. However, recently it has found its way into the industry as an actual "Design Style". What, though, are the properties of an eclectic design? How can you tell when you see it used in the interior decorating industry or in a specific design?

What Eclectic Is Not

Although the eclectic design style has become one of the popular choices for interiors, its characteristics are not fancied by everyone. Still, that does not diminish the effectiveness that can be attained when utilized properly. By its very nature, eclectic design is not for those that prefer uniformity. So if you tend to be drawn to design elements that convey a feeling of similarity and match closely, this design style will probably not be high on your list of decor choices.

Eclectic style is not rigid and uniform, it does not adhere to the "matchy-matchy" mode of looks and feels. It does not center on one central theme or "flavor". However, that is not to say that eclectic design is a hodgepodge of items from a variety of design styles. Do not mistake this alternative way of design as a catch-all category or an "anything goes" method of decorating. Yet, it does carry a certain degree of freedom that allows for multiple design styles to be represented in one compatible arrangement.

What is Eclectic Style Design?

Eclectic style design, as mentioned above, is a blending of multiple design styles into a harmonious presentation. It is a reflection of a "courageous" type of decorating that uses contrast and harmony to present appealing features that are attractive to the individual for whom the room is designed. But what goes into an eclectic design?

Particular elements and features of eclectic designs may at first seem to contradict one another. And that is what makes the design style so different from other extremely popular design "modes" (if you will). Let's briefly look at some specific characteristics of the eclectic design style.

Features of Eclectic Style Design

  • A Blending of Multiple Design Styles - utilizing various elements from other styles into one presentation. This could be a combination of up to three or even four other styles.
  • Light, Neutral Background Colors - making a "canvas" on which to work is accomplished through the use of neutral colors selected for the background. The other elements of the design are comprised of natural colors.
  • A Balancing and Blending of Styling Elements - mixing a range of design elements such as shapes, textures, patterns and colors together to create a unique, yet comfortable look.
  • Utilizing the Age of Elements - combining "old" feeling items with "new" ones to produce a blend of time periods. Also, handmade design elements can be utilized as well.
  • Making Use of Contrast - using contrast between elements to communicate through the design. Textures, colors, patterns, and materials are all types of elements that are often times contrasted.

In conclusion, although eclectic design is a bit more varied and diverse than other design styles, it is still harmonious and comfortable for those that enjoy a "mix" elemental types. And even though the eclectic style of designing is relatively new, it has shown itself to be a real design style that is for those with a taste for freedom in design.