Interior Design Style Guide: Eclectic Furniture

Eclectic style guide

[Updated 12/14/2018]

You love handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. Your favorite design style is a mixture of all of them. On a typical weekend, we might find you browsing the flea market or polishing your keepsakes. You are an eclectic style guru.

Repelled by matchy-matchy furniture, you would rather own six completely different chairs at your dining set. The unique character of eclectic living spaces speaks to you. You take it as a compliment when guests describe your home as:

Words to Describe Eclectic Style

  • Mix-and-match
  • Odd
  • Unreserved
  • Layered
  • Offbeat
  • Bold
  • Contrasting (in a good way)
  • Unique

When first reading this list, you may ask, “Aren’t these all nice ways to say messy?” In short: no. Just because eclectic style breaks rules and pairs unexpected items doesn’t mean there isn’t a method to the madness. It’s collected chaos, mapped out mismatching. And when done right, eclectic style can be simply enchanting.

La-Z-Boy Laurel Sofa (blue) | Ashley Hattney Coffee Table (similar) | Sphinx Sedona Rug (similar)

Often, eclectic places are tied together with a shared color scheme or strong anchor piece. For example, the room above mixes industrial, metal tables with the softer lines of transitional seating and a mid-century lamp. Yet, the room is tied together with burnt sienna hues repeated in the sofa, wall art and rug. Whichever pieces you showcase, add a unifying element to strike balance in your home. Here are some well-known eclectic places that you can look to for inspiration:

Famous Eclectic Spaces

  • Monica’s apartment on Friends
  • The House on the Rock, WI
  • The loft on New Girl
  • The setting of Alice in Wonderland

Think about the tea party from Alice in Wonderland. Every chair was different, the tea cups didn’t match and, in some renditions, the long dining table was actually a collection of smaller, mismatching tables. If you want to test out eclectic style, a Mad Hatter-themed tea party would be a great way to start. We’ll wait for our invite in the mail.

Eclectic Style Details

  • Vintage finds
  • One-of-a-kind pieces
  • Handmade goods
  • Pieces with a story
  • Gallery walls
  • Mismatching seating
  • Items from differing eras

Naming the details of eclectic style is difficult because this design is unique for each person. However, there are several accents that repeat among eclectic decorators. For example, vintage finds, borrowed from traditional style, are found in almost any eclectic living space. Whether it’s a bold rug or a leather Chesterfield sofa, most eclectic homes pay homage to timeless classics.

Bernhardt Leather Sofa (similar) | Woodco Coffee Table (similar)

While you’re mixing pieces from different eras, be mindful of proportions. You don’t want dining chairs with fluctuating heights or a coffee table that’s taller than your sofa. Keep similar items relatively the same size to avoid one piece of furniture overwhelming an entire room. The room below is a great example of balanced mix-and-matching. The coffee table is about the same height as the sofa seats. The end table is even with the chair arm, and all the seating is nearly the same height, keeping everyone’s eye level in the same plane.

Show Us Your Eclectic Style!

After reading through our guide, do you think your living space is the definition of eclectic style? We’d love to see your pictures on social media. Use the sharing icons below to contribute!

If you’re looking for more style inspiration, check out our Interior Design Styles 101 blog series. We cover everything from traditional to casual interior design!

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