The Anatomy of a Poised Eclectic Room

One of the first blogs I read (and never stopped) was Desire to Inspire.  They showcase the best interiors from all over the world, and I was stopped in my tracks when they shared this week’s Room of the Week by Andy Martin Architects.  Such a gorgeous example of an eclectic, collected space that shows a lot of restraint and attention to detail.

I love the “undecorated” trend in interior design…instead of creating interiors that feel perfectly designed in a certain style people are leaning toward rooms that feel collected over time and reflect their personality.  But, that doesn’t mean you can stop thinking about principles and elements of design.  This room is a great example of putting together a room that looks collected while still paying attention to the rules of design.
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Even though an eclectic interior is a mix of diverse pieces it shouldn’t (doesn’t have to) look jumbled or like a general mash of found items.  Applying the design principles of unity and variety can turn eclectic objects into a cohesive design.  This lovely room is a great example of using color, rhythm, balance,and texture to unify all the variety. You don’t have to unify every piece, but maybe pick one design element (shape, color, texture, line, etc.) to carry throughout the entire room.

The quickest way to make any space feel put together is to provide balance (as a whole or in part of the room).  The symmetrical seating arrangement instantly makes all the eclectic furniture pieces look like they were made to work together.  And, the symmetry carried through the lighting and artwork continues the cohesive effect.  And, taking a tip from this room, if you’re trying to create symmetry add a few things in pairs.

But, because this room is eclectic, I love the way the open shelving asymmetrically balances the wood doors on the opposite side of the room.  If everything was completely symmetrical this room would feel too stuffy and formal.

The focal point in this room is a beautiful study in using contrast to create emphasis. Contrasts of color and styles and shapes work together to create a beautiful focal wall in this room.  The sofa, the largest and most traditional of the pieces of furniture in the room, contrasted by the white walls and modern abstract art framed in white creates a welcoming spot for your eye to rest (and your body too…that sofa looks very inviting). What other contrasts can you see that help to create emphasis?

I love the way the open shelving has been styled in this lovely room.  The shelf at eye level just has a few beautiful glass objects, which breaks up all the busyness from the other book-heavy shelves.  And, the contrast (here I go talking about that again) between the shelf of mainly glass vases with the top shelf full of the dark earthenware pots makes it even more special.  The contrast and use of the shelves is a bit unexpected, but a very pleasant surprise.

Even though you could get away with some random colors in an eclectic space, I love that color was used more deliberately here.  Every color has a match somewhere else in the room.  The orange-brown of the stone top on the side table shows up in the pillows on the sofa and a statue on the bookshelf.  The black legs on the pair of accent chairs appears again in the throw pillows on the sofa, the artwork and the earthenware pots.  The rug, and the wood on the doors and armchair share the same tones.  Exact attention to color details really helps this eclectic room feel purposeful and cohesive.

All of the colors in the room (minus the orange) are all shades or tones of gray, which helps to unify all the different styles and shapes in the room.  So, if you want to create an eclectic, but cohesive, room in your home this same trick. I’ll go into more detail in a post later this week!

I really could go on and on, and if you love this room as much as I do go look at all the photos of the home…every room is gorgeous.

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