“Eclectic Decor” Is Back in Style for 2024, According to Designers

published Apr 5, 2024
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Decorated living room with gallery wall and brown leather couch
Credit: Julie Florio

Ask what eclectic decor is, and you’ll get a variety of answers. The dictionary definition of eclectic is something that “derives ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.” So you could, for instance, combine mid-century modern with a bit of boho, integrating both into one room to achieve an eclectic look.

Although eclectic design isn’t a new concept, many people today think “eclectic” is interchangeable or synonymous with quirky Gen Z decor (think: wavy mirrors, neon LED lights, and fuzzy checkerboard rugs). But Kailee Blalock at House of Hive Design (@houseofhive) argues that there’s a distinction between the two.

In a popular TikTok, the content creator and designer differentiated between eclectic design and Gen Z design by pointing out a key difference: In an eclectic room, only a few items stand out, while Gen Z decor is dominated by pieces that are all quirky and therefore become focal points. That can be a tough needle to thread if you’re trying your hand at creating a room with true eclectic design.

Designer Antoinette Allande, owner of Antoinette Allande Interiors, describes eclectic decor as “an avant garde approach to interiors; mixing multiple design styles and layers of furnishings to create unexpected and innovative spaces.” If you’re wondering how to achieve this look, she has some tips so you can better understand what eclectic means.

Focus on the key elements.

“Your statement piece should be the hero of the room,” Allande says. “Once you have that, you can add your supporting actors.” Start with your sofa, and it doesn’t have to be a standout color or pattern, either. “A neutral couch is a great way to ground a room, so you might want to opt for a sandy color, “ she explains. If you’re set on a little more color, she recommends something like a dark blue, which she uses so often that “it’s become a neutral” to her. 

Think beyond the obvious for a statement piece.

While couches and coffee tables might seem like obvious statement pieces, she emphasizes that anything can be a statement piece. “You might want to opt for a vibrant rug or even a heavily patterned wallpaper,”  she says. “My personal favorite is Moroccan tiles — the floor is a great way to make a statement!” 

Invest in vintage items. 

Because eclectic is a mix of styles, Allande points out that vintage stores and estate sales can be a great source for older pieces. It’s important to mix them in with contemporary pieces — both to reinforce the eclectic theme, and to prevent your living room from “looking like a period piece.” 

Build balance with pattern mixing.

If your statement piece is busy, like colorful paisley drapes as an example, consider making other patterns complementary but less busy, like small fans on your couch pillows. Mix patterns by varying scales, textures, and intensity. “You can mix patterns, but make sure you balance it out with solids,” Allande says.

Accessorize carefully.

Use complementary colors for accessories, art, and smaller pieces of accent furniture. “Edit carefully to make sure everything doesn’t look too cluttered,” Allande advises. Quirky decor can veer into maximalism, so try to introduce some restraint if that’s not your goal.