Both personally and professionally I have always been drawn to mixing styles when it comes to design. Thankfully the days of buying furniture from the same store or the same collection are long gone. As a designer an eclectic mix allows for greater creativity since two spaces are rarely alike. Merging different furniture pieces, time periods, colours and textures for clients ensures a more interesting and unique space that is distinctively their own.
Some of my most challenging and favourite projects have therefore involved helping
couples cohabitate for the first time. Although not always the case, opposites do tend to attract. In my experience this statement is rarely more accurate then when it comes to people’s personal style. Finding a balance between personalities, likes and dislikes allows me to play the unbiased third party in helping my clients merge their styles and establish a common ground.
I recently took on a project where a more traditional male client was anticipating the arrival of his long-term girlfriend. Their townhouse was transitional - not quite modern and not quite traditional - in style while she preferred a more modern, streamlined Scandinavian influence. This was no small task given some pre-existing antique furniture, a recently painted turquoise accent wall and the fact that Scandinavian style rarely mixes well with anything else... By following the basic principles of design – line, mass, texture, colour and form - we created a space that is creative, bold and fun. The end result is a cohesive, unique look that represents them as individuals as well as a couple.
Here are some of the essential elements of an eclectic space that we used to design their home:
Combining 2 to 3 (max) different design styles and time periods. In our case it was mixing traditional artwork and antique furniture with bold colour and modern Scandinavian accents in an otherwise transitional space.
Using the homeowner’s own photography as a starting point helped pull the room together. Although the rug injected a lot of different colours it was important the main colours in the photos were well represented throughout the space.
Adding different patterns and textures gave more of a modern Scandinavian aesthetic. It also resulted in a more casual, comfortable feel to the eclectic space.
Balancing the bright turquoise accent wall required a similar colour in the rug and accent pillows. Choosing different blue and turquoise shades in the same family but not the exact tone of the paint colour added more visual interest without being too similar or “matchy”.
Neutral colours in the curtains, pillows and other accents helped ground the bold, bright colours we added to the space and tie all eclectic elements together.
Taking a traditional shape like a globe glass pendant but in a larger scale and bolder colour was a bit of a risk but added an unexpected, unique look that also helped balance the yellow in the adjacent rug.
Although more challenging to find the perfect balance that comes from a well designed interior, an eclectic mix of styles, time periods, colours and textures inevitably results in a space that feels more curated, inviting and unique.