Eclectic Style Interior Design Ideas
The best interior designs have always drawn inspiration from different countries and cultures to add richness and excitement, and eclectic describes a highly original, slightly bohemian look.
This rather unstructured and personal style does need a deft touch to succeed. The cosy, intimate atmosphere works particularly well in bedrooms, dining rooms, studio apartments and one-room living. Reclamation can play an important part — either the restoration of an existing feature or discovering the right architectural detail in a salvage yard. Recycled materials, such as driftwood and metal, can work as accessories.
With no single period or look to follow, furniture can be in assorted shapes and styles and local house clearance auctions or junk shops are fruitful hunting areas. Veranda andfurniture in cane, wicker, bamboo and cast iron are often used in sitting rooms and dining rooms. Continue this subtropical/colonial feel with open-work screens (used to divide the space or conceal clutter), rattan blinds and perhaps a traditional mosquito net (dyed a vivid colour) over the bed. Painting disparate items the same colour will integrate them into the overall scheme, and throws and embroidered or antique textiles and animal prints can disguise slightly battered pieces.
Floorboards can be bleached, scrubbed, stained or painted. Any natural flooring is good, such as stone, slate, brick, terracotta tiles or, for a softer feel underfoot, a woven floorcovering such as sisal, seagrass or rush matting. An interesting alternative, if you have an artistic bent, is a painted floorcloth. Add colour and cosiness with a selection of rugs in ethnic weaves or perhaps animal print.
Window treatments should incorporate layers of pattern and colour. Combine wooden venetian, rattan or fabric blinds with heavily textured or richly patterned over-curtains. Team a pierced screen (suggestive of a Turkish harem) with a sheer drape in muslin or an exotic sari fabric. Rather than a conventional pelmet, a lambrequin, with its exaggerated side panels, provides an interesting, different look.
There is no need for monochrome restraint. Walls can be papered, perhaps in panels, covered with fabric or an unusual texture such as grasscloth or hessian, or painted. They could be highly decorative, with a collage or even a mural. Paisley, ikat, flame-stitch and swirling geometrics are all patterns that work well, and a bold, plain colour can be enhanced with a patterned border on both walls and fabrics. Tiling in bathrooms and kitchens should be anything but clinical. Intricate geometric patterns or mosaics give an Indian or North African feel, or use plain tiles in different colours to create a patchwork effect.
Colour can draw together a mix of styles and patterns into a cohesive whole. Favoured colours are strong and earthy — terracotta, ochre, Indian red — or the brilliant hues of oriental silks — peacock, turquoise, lacquer red, purple. Combine them with natural textures in neutral colours for a slightly calmer look.
An important element of the eclectic style. Open shelves displaying books, china, glassware, personal collections and mementoes set the scene. Cushions can be covered in an assortment of fabrics and trims and subtle, dimmable lighting (including lamps and candles) is preferable. Plants, rather than cut flowers, are ideal, such as pots of herbs in the kitchen, wicker containers of steam-loving plants in the bathroom and larger palms and ‘jungly’ plants in the living room.