design ramblings | eclectic style

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Design Ramblings

In this episode of Design Ramblings, Kriste and I answered a viewer/reader question about the challenge of decorating when you love a variety of styles…

I am, admittedly, not very eclectic.  I like and appreciate other styles, but not for my house.  I think the most out-on-a-limb I get is the industrial cart I use as a coffee table in my living room…


I just love old things and that is reflected in all of my furniture, fabrics and accessories.  Whenever I stray from that, like with geometric fabric or a piece with modern lines, it doesn’t sit well with me and it never lasts long!

As I said in the video, I really do think it’s an art to balance styles that contrast.  It can end up looking like a bad thrift store or college dorm arrangement pretty quickly if you’re not careful.  Here are some bloggers/designers who I think do eclectic style very well…

“The Nester” of The Nesting Place definitely has an eclectic use-what-you-have approach to decorating and I love how her spaces look.  They’re always stylish, but not too serious, and never boring.  I feel like I have to look at her spaces for a few minutes to discover all of the moments hidden within.  Her blog is a great one to check out to see how her style evolved from more traditional to what she calls “cozy minimalism”.


photo via The Nesting Place


Jeanne Oliver of Jeanne Oliver Designs is an example of someone who uses mostly antiques/farmhouse/flea market pieces, but has a few surprises mixed in.  Notice the modern lamp on the left, the velvet gold chair that feels more 1950’s and the industrial coffee table?


photo via Jeanne Oliver Designs


Michael of Inspired by Charm leans more modern, but has some farmhouse/antique/transitional elements as well.  His home is very traditional in style, but his furnishings take it in a different direction.  It’s balanced, though, so the decorating choices don’t look out of place against the symmetrical built-ins and ornate fireplace.


photo via Inspired by Charm


Cassie from Primitive and Proper is basically a professional thrift store shopper, but you wouldn’t guess if from her home.  Her style is an excellent example of collecting things you love that may not “match” and making them work together in a cohesive design.


photo via Primitive & Proper


I think Ashley & Jamin from The Handmade Home can pull off just about any mix of furniture and styles.  In this one shot, there is a modern coffee table, a primitive trunk, a chesterfield sofa, an empire sofa, geometric rug…get the idea?  And doesn’t it all look great together?  They’re also masterful at mixing a lot of colors without things getting too crazy looking.  Their spaces always look playful, yet put together.


Photo via The Handmade Home


Lastly, I want to showcase Loi from Tone on Tone.  He mostly uses fine European antiques in his spaces, but every once in a while, he sneaks in a modern piece and it always surprises me how nice it looks.  His work shows that sometimes unexpected pairings bring more decorating impact to a room than sticking with the same old thing.

mid century lucite table

Photo via Tone on Tone


One thing I noticed in all of these spaces were the neutral elements.  Each of these examples had a neutral wall color and/or large pieces of furniture as a “base”, so their eclectic finds could be showcased.  If everything was a big, bold choice, the rooms wouldn’t look as cohesive.

So, Delores (and everyone else), I hope that gets your creative juices flowing when it comes to blending all of the decorating styles you love!

design ramblings | eclectic style

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