Eclectic Decor: Mixing Old and New Styles

Eclectic Decor: Mixing Old and New Styles

Catrin Morris
Dec 14, 2010

"Eclectic" is a popular adjective in interior design parlance, meaning a decor that comprises heterogeneous elements — a mixture of textures, time periods, styles, trends, and colors. There is a fine line, however, between a beautifully eclectic room and a room that is merely haphazard and chaotic, with no unifying themes or motifs.

These images capture eclectic decorating at its best. In culling these photos I focused on rooms that manage to bridge design styles and sensibilities across multiple decades. To put it more simply, these are rooms that marry old and new, antique and contemporary, serious and fanciful. For example, a heavy velvet Victorian armchair may be paired with a Lucite coffee table so as to highlight — through contrast — the independent beauty of each piece. Eclectic decorating also appeals to me because it provides a dynamic canvas for my evolving taste and whims.

1 A room by interior designer Darryl Carter, who once again has orchestrated an elegant pairing of old and new. My Notting Hill.
2 HGTV. Here a contemporary room is punctuated by dramatically old-fashioned artwork.
3 Graphic designer Ashley Putman pairs Chippendale with Eames in Lonny via High Gloss Blue.
4 Elle Decor. Here a West Elm headboard, John Robshaw linens, Saarinen tulip table, limed-oak armchairs and a 19th-century English portrait create a truly eclectic point of view.
5 Loftlife via Coco + Kelley.

6 Made by Girl via Canadian House and Home. Here leather and glass contrast with refined antique furniture to create an interplay between archetypal masculine and feminine decor.
7 Apartment Therapy. This eclectic living room (mine) includes a modernist Arco lamp, Crate and Barrel sofa, mid-century modern Danish teak coffee table and an 18th century Gustavian chair.
8 Elle Decor. The living room of Frédéric Fekkai and Shirin von Wulffen mixes vintage Milo Baughman armchairs, an 18th-century daybed covered in a print by Chapas Textiles; the tripod table is by Hervé Van der Straeten and the rug is a 19th-century Oushak.
9 Elle Decor. A modern mobile chandelier by Intérieurs hangs over a Saarinen dining table, punctuated by a dramatic and unique antique console table.
10 Lonny. Here a Louis XVI armchair is paired with what appears to be a West Elm desk.

Images: as linked above

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