Eclectic Works!!!

By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder, Color Marketing Group International

Beaux ArtsYou’ve heard the word ‘eclectic’ used more and more often in interior design.  What exactly does that mean, and could it be a definition that describes your style?  Webster’s Dictionary defines eclectic as:

: selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles

: composed of elements drawn from various sources; heterogeneous

In more common vernacular, to combine different elements of design that range from traditional to contemporary, equates to an eclectic design.  There are so many benefits to utilizing the eclectic mode that it’s becoming more the norm than the exception.  First of all, you don’t have to throw out everything but the kitchen sink to create a new design.  It’s okay to mix vintage pieces with contemporary pieces, as long as you tie everything together using color, patterns, or texture.  If you have treasured pieces that you really want to Art Decoincorporate into your new design, my advice to you is: DO IT!  What better way to add character and your own personal touch!

Interior design is going through an interesting evolution.  Good design still pays attention to line, shape, form, color, texture and pattern.  However, there are no longer hard-drawn boundaries that label designs.  In a recent interview with a renowned design firm in San Diego, California, I spoke with their staff of award-winning designers and got their insights as to what’s hot in the new world of design.  Here’s how they described trending interior modes:

Beaux Arts Design:  design elements rooted in both vintage and contemporary styles join forces to produce this new style of design.  Curvilinear edges and a mix of old and new exemplify Beaux Arts.  Vibrant colors in artistic combinations are a signature of this style.

CoastalArt Deco Design:  this isn’t a new design style, but it lends itself to some pretty clever interpretations.  Art Deco originated in the 1920’s and flourished right through the WWII era.

At its best, art deco’s linear symmetry represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity.  Black and white always played a significant role in Art Deco interiors and that continues.

Oceanside/Coastal: We can’t all be fortunate enough to have a seaside home, but we can certainly enjoy an interior design that brings beachfront living to our world.  Watery blues, crisp linen whites, crystal and chrome touches, combine with marine motifs to accomplish ’beachy’, casual interiors.

RRustic-Modernustic/Modern: Imagine combining rich natural woods, glass, and chrome in the same room.  This is exactly the hybrid style represented by Rustic/Modern.  The comfort of a mountain retreat merged with high-style contemporary makes it unique and challenges traditional rules of design.

Contemorary/Organic: This design style is intriguing.  Clean lines and interesting neutrals are punctuated with organic shapes and natural materials.  As an example, rough sawn wood combined with smooth white foil cabinetry, creates a dichotomy of style that pleases the senses.  Add greenery to taste and Mother Nature has come home.

TContemporary-Organicake these individual styles and blur the design lines even further, and you’ve got the true meaning of eclectic.  Included with this blog are some excellent examples of eclectic at its best.  If nothing else, I am hoping this article gives you a bit more confidence to proceed with design, knowing there is no longer a right or wrong way to do it.  Seasoning your designs to your tastes is the key, and the days of following rigid rules are gone.  If you need help, don’t forget you have a wealth of talent available at (American Society of Interior Designers).  Perhaps you just need an hour’s consultation, or would feel better letting a professional interpret exactly what you want.  A great design makes you happy every time you walk in your front door, and nobody can put a price tag on that!