Embracing Eclectic Style - Interior Design DIY

A Journey Through Individualized Style

The eclectic style has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. Celebrated for its ability to blend diverse elements into a cohesive and visually stimulating space. This trend allows for individuality and creativity, combining various styles, periods, and cultures.

How do you achieve an eclectic home without crossing the line into clutter? Let's explore the principles of eclectic design & how to acquire items like a collector.

eclectic striped fabric dining room with multiple styles and decorations
Interiors | Aude Malbat Christin
eclectic living area with collected art on a grassclot feature wall with a focus on wood tones
Interiors and design | Kelly Wearstler

The Rise of Personal Style Through Eclectic Interior Design

Eclectic interiors are not new but have resurged in popularity. This can be traced back to a growing desire for more personalized and creative living spaces. Minimalist interior trends have dominated the last decade, emphasizing clean lines, paired down silhouettes, uncluttered spaces, and neutral palettes. In the last few years, spending more time both living and working at home, warmth and character emerged as a comfortable counterpoint.

Old and new, bold, and subtle, combined results in a space that feels curated and less predictable. The influence of global travel & vintage shopping alongside Instagram and Pinterest have also fueled this movement. As people share their diverse and personalized homes, they inspire others to embrace the eclectic approach. Each person possesses items that reflect their experiences and interests.

breakfast room seating with silk wallcovering and vintage furniture
Interiors | Dimorestudio

A Collector’s Approach to Eclectic Design

Creating an eclectic home often involves finding items over time, like a curator assembling a gallery show. Curating your space creates an enjoyable environment which inspires and satisfies without following a specific design theme or style. The collection of items in your surroundings – from kitchen faucets to art - should reflect your interests as well as the lifestyle you live.

As you craft a plan to procure an eclectic interior, here are some tips for integrating pieces into your space:

Start with what you own...

Evaluate your current surroundings, furnishings, and objects to identify which items you truly enjoy. Items that don’t make the cut for the space can be released back into the world by selling or donating.

It can be especially difficult to reduce if everything in your house sparks joy. As Marie Kondo says, “The key is to make the change so sudden that you experience a complete change of heart.” With that in mind, curate thoughtfully and choose to keep pieces that you love and that have meaning.

a perfectly appointed sitting room corner with vintage chair and side table and modern purple Indian block printed pillows and wall covering

Nostalgia is powerful... 

Embrace hand-me-downs and unique family heirlooms. These items will always be unique to you and your experiences. Make sure heirlooms work with the way you currently live—too many sentimental items can verge on clutter if they don't conform to your individual styling.

Even the most mass-produced items of the past can hold our interest simply because of positive associated memories. An inherited item you don't like is referred to by veteran antiquers as having "semi-mental value" to its owner. Live like a millennial and embrace your grandmother's rocker, covered in a new modern fabric.

Make efforts to include these items by featuring them with other styles—use modern Kelly Wearstler lighting over a vintage dining table and chairs. Remember, one of the most powerful tools you will have for bringing together your eclectically designed space is your individuality.

a vintage lucite chair upholstered with needlepoint sitting aside a table collection of African artifacts
Interiors | Vladimir Kagan   Photography | Leslie Williamson

Find the good stuff...

Hunt for unique finds and items that fascinate. Whether you are more inclined to a vintage look or to one that is simple and modern, do not be afraid to bring a mix of styles to your space. A vintage ebonized music stand for vinyl records could be repurposed as a towel stand in a bathroom. A repurposed church pew can be used in an entry hall for putting on shoes.

These items often have history and character and will add a layer of individuality and depth to your home. Mix antique pieces with newer elements to build a truly gathered space. The key is to tease out how everything can work together in harmony, while still sparking interest in their individual pieces.

A good mix of these things can make your space feel more dynamic and less predictable. Think decorative textiles, collections of birds’ nests and groupings of vintage ephemera and décor. As with all collections, a unifying element, consistent color, or recurring pattern can tie different pieces together.

corner of a gathered sitting room complete with  several styles of upholstered chairs, an oriental screen  and  a large antique portrait
Interiors | Gloria Vanderbilt

To each their own...

Incorporate existing items in your décor in new ways. Try playing with the duality of an item and use it in an unexpected way. Eclectic interior design can be about putting together atypical items, consider altering your objects to attract interest. You can assemble different styles together by upholstering an antique French settee in 1970’s Larson fabric. Or an overlooked vintage crystal ashtray could be used as a catchall on a side table.

Much like art newly created by the artist or craftsperson, something that is unseen and new in the world will draw attention. Remember, it is the interplay between familiar and unfamiliar that can pique our interest and leave us charmed.

Pink dining room with modern chandelier and vintage platner chairs

All the elements matter...

Given that we are not aiming for a historically accurate interior, don’t shy away from mixing styles and different finishes. With an eclectic style, you simply need to incorporate and add new defined elements. Are you leaning toward a more vintage inspired interior but still want functionality in your home?

A vintage inspired brass faucet can pair beautifully with a modern design sink and will create an interesting contrast. Are you curious about mixing styles and still hesitant about making changes? Try combining Mid Century Modern cabinet pulls with an antique beveled edge mirror in a bathroom. Sometimes the most subtle changes can produce great impacts on your space.


eclectic modern kitchen with Calacatta Gold slabs, modern dark blue cabinets, natural brass faucet,and picture rail complate with vintage paintings
Interiors and design | Heather Kane

Wrapping Up: Final Tips for Perfecting Your Eclectic Space

Creating an eclectic home is a rewarding journey of self-expression and discovery. By approaching your interior design as a collector, you can build a space that is uniquely yours, full of character and charm. Thoughtfully chosen fixtures, balanced curation, and an eye for harmony will help you achieve a look that is eclectic yet cohesive, avoiding the pitfalls of clutter. Embrace the beauty of eclecticism and let your home tell your story, one piece at a time.

Resource Ideas:

Kelly Wearstler Lighting  https://www.kellywearstler.com/lighting

Diane Kersey Ceramics  https://www.dianakersey.com/

Domi Goods  https://www.domigoods.com/

Lost Art Salon  https://lostartsalon.com/

Sean Scherer, owner of Kabinett & Kammer is a great inspiration