Eclectic Chic, 101

(picture features the Cloud Sofa by BeModern ) "Eclectic Chic"…what does that mean? The word "eclectic" is used in interior design to describe a room that does not match. The furniture and accessories may come from different genres. The pieces and accessories do not look like they were purchased to go together. They look as if they have been gathered or collected over time. But somehow, everything comes together to create a finished look. In some rooms it is as if the pieces tell a story…a very unique and personal glimpse of the owner. Many designers feel the word "eclectic" is over used and that it doesn't quite describe this look properly...perhaps a better way to describe this design style is by using the word, "collected."

This style is not the easiest look to pull off, but when accomplished it definitely can be chic. It is a major design trend for 2012 and the nice thing about it is that you don’t have to buy a lot of furniture pieces at once. You can collect pieces and put them together over time. The idea is to put pieces together that look and work well together, but are dramatically different in style. A modern sofa with an antique set of end tables, or maybe a modern bed with some traditional dressers can be a great start. But you need to have a common thread or theme to pull the room together. The pieces can also be of different colors, materials, patterns and textures. But be careful…it is easy to create a room which instead of saying “eclectic” says “yard sale.”

Here are a few tips for a “collected” look that can help you create this design style in your home.

1. Find a starting point and branch out. Maybe you have a beautiful rug that has great colors running through it. Start with that piece and design around it.  If the rug has coral as a prominent color, you may chose to highlight that color for your room. Coral may be the color for several items, like throw pillows, a painting or a few ceramic pieces. The color will bring your room together.

Here is a roomscape courtesy of Houzz.com that uses a shade of coral as the common thread to pull the design together. The painting, flowers and chairs all have a similar color and work together even though the chairs do not all match.

2. Use neutral colors for your backdrop. In an eclectic room, you will have many colors and textures. To give your room a grounded feel, choose a neutral shade for your walls.

3. Texture. Bring in different textures. From your accessories to the furniture you choose, multiple textures and materials will give your room an instant "eclectic" feel.

This room, also from Houzz.com, shows tons of textures. The open loft brings an inherent texture to the room from the unique rough shape and design of the loft itself. Other textures are also brought in through a tufted leather sofa, a uniquely crafted chair and metal stools for the eat-in kitchen.

4. Select a theme for your room. Maybe you love the ocean, or the forest or just beautiful plants and flowers. Picking a theme to work around can help give the room a feeling of belonging even when the pieces are from different genres.

5. In addition to mixing your textures, mix your patterns and finishes. Maybe you have an upholstered sofa and a leather chair and a uniquely patterned area rug. The finish on wood furniture does not always need to match. Bring in light and dark finishes into the same room.

This roomscape, courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens (bhg.com), shows several colors and textures, but they all work together for a complete finished and interesting decor.

This foyer, (courtesy of House Beautiful) brings the "eclectic" look to an often overlooked area in a home and really makes a beautiful captivating statement. The symmetry of the lamps and pictures pull the look together, and the accessories add that "collected" feel to the space.

It's not so much the piece you begin with, it's how the entire room comes together that makes an "eclectic" look. The Rowe Nantucket slipcovered sofa  shown with a unique cart cocktail table.

This Bernhardt Newburg transitional sofa is displayed in a beautiful eclectic yet chic room. Notice the interesting accessories and the stunning zebra print Connor Modern Chair with Chrome Metal Legs and Arms.

An accent chair can be used in so many rooms and settings and could be the start of the collection for your "eclectic" space. Take a look at this Zebra patterned Olive Linen chair, pattern, texture and style...this chair has it all!

If you are looking for a small but interesting piece to add to your living room, this Rafferty round end table with wooden top and metal legs adds a touch of character.

For a bedroom, a few interesting choices include the Hooker Furniture Ludlow King-Size Bed with Open Fretwork Headboard & Two-Drawer Low-Profile Storage Footboard. The intricate design would be a beautiful starting point.

This Somerset Metal Garden Bed by Kincaid Furniture brings in a new texture and material with a metal frame instead of a more traditional wood one.

The Classic Portfolio - Louis Philippe bed by Stanley Furniture is shown in a meticulously designed bedroom complete with a chandelier.

Don’t be afraid of "eclectic" style…but if you are...alleviate that fear by starting on a small project. Try creating a tablescape with collected items. Use the tips above to create the table first and then move on to tackling a room and remember an "eclectic" room will be a work in progress.

When all else fails and you just don’t feel comfortable putting this look together by yourself, Belfort Furniture is ready and willing to help. We have a team of talented and professional interior designers who know how to bring a "collected" beautiful look into your home. Our interior design team knows how to bring your vision to life and come up with a look that fits your style and tastes.  They can bring an "eclectic chic" look to life any room in your house.

Belfort Furniture is conveniently located in the Dulles area of eastern Loudoun County, Virginia, and is easily accessible from Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Whether you live in Northern Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, or Washington D.C., we have the selection, styles and prices that make Belfort Furniture worth the trip! Belfort Furniture was voted “2012 Retailer of the Year” by the National Home Furnishings Association and has been voted “Best Furniture Store” in Loudoun County for 17 years in a row.