Living Art: A Brief Look At Eclectic Design


‘Eclectic’ is a popular adjective in interior design vocabulary used to denote a decor that comprises sundry elements — a mixture of textures, time periods, styles, trends, and colours.

It’s the ideal style for the veteran flea market shopper. Those mounted antlers, the set of reclaimed leather armchairs, that quirky assortment of glass bottles or that antique wooden trunk find the perfect home in this space.

So anything goes, right? Not quite.
While eclectic decor requires a mix of personal treasures and found items, there is a line between stylish heterogeneity and straight up clutter. The goal is to highlight gems and objects of significance, not to become a hoarder. The cardinal rule of design still applies: edit your collection to create balance and focal points.

Eclecticism is a canvas that works best when tempered with more modern elements. Walls are a great way of introducing a more spare and contemporary aspect to the overall look. Shabby-chic pieces pared with displays of modern grids of art for example. Painting a wall in a solid focal colour can also help to ground an otherwise ‘busy’ space. It’s best to keep to neutral colours however, so the attention is never drawn away from your prized bric-à-brac.


Conversely, the use of modern pieces allows for the creation of more bold focal walls. Keep the furnishings clean and simple and give yourself room to construct a keenly personal exhibition. Plaster the wall with framed vintage magazine covers, selections of your favourite pop art or groupings of impressionist paintings. It’s yours to do with what you will.

Gilded bird cages? Assorted photo frames? Delicate ceramic art?
Showcase what you love!

Eclectic style appeals to the home owner with an idiosyncratic point of view, the design of such rooms shift according to the owner’s mood and inspiration, they are breathing and animated spaces your own personal living work of art.


Sarah Lubala