A little bit of this. A pinch of that. Sounds like a recipe for success.
Just as in cooking, when it comes to decorating your home, mixing ingredients — or elements of design — can produce some delicious results when blended properly.
Gone are the days of matching suites of furniture throughout the house. Instead, today’s home experts are gathering furnishings from different collections and made from various materials to make it look as if the pieces have been collected over time and from around the world.
“Mixing different and unique pieces together creates layers of style rather than living with one linear look. It’s an opportunity to be authentic rather than being predictable,” said Aimee Beatty, in-house stylist for Pier 1 Imports.
Varying contrasting accent pieces can create an eclectic but harmonious look, according to Beatty.
“For instance, Pier 1 Imports’ mosaic platter could be a lovely addition near our Chinese doors art. By combining the two in the same environment, the dynamic duo can really amp up the eclectic, well-traveled look,” she said.
Call it the melting pot effect, said designer Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton LLC. She was named Design Icon at the summer event at World Market Center Las Vegas.
“At one point, we favored the English style; then, we favored the French style. But we have recognized that we can do anything. We are the first country to wholeheartedly and with confidence pick from any style and combine it all,” she wrote in the event’s First Look guide.
The eclectic look was one of the trends in home decorating that was singled out by First Look seminar presenters Emily Henderson, host of HGTV’s “Secrets From a Stylist” and season five winner of “Design Star,” and Julie Smith Vincenti, a trend spotter of Nine Muses Media.
Although many furniture manufacturers are offering entire collections featuring this look as well as accent pieces that can easily be incorporated with other furnishings, sometimes it just happens naturally.
“One of the reasons I find my clients wanting to make more of an eclectic look is that they don’t want to redo an entire room and have things that they love. It may have a sentimental value or they love the texture or color of it,” said Liz Werner, co-owner of Furniture Market in Las Vegas. “If they can incorporate that piece into their new look, it adds depth and texture.”
Werner said she has always been a fan of the eclectic look.
“I’m not a matchy-matchy person. I’m always incorporating different feels into a room,” she said.
One of her favorite tricks is to use dining chairs that do not match the table. “It creates more of a unique vibe,” she said.
The key to success with this no-style decorating style is to find pieces that speak to you, Beatty said.
“If a particular style speaks to you, then own it, because it’s perfect for you. Decorating styles are personal and different for every individual. Try to not concern yourself with the fear of making decorating mistakes,” she said. “I’ve found that expressing myself by making a statement is a fun, simple way to enjoy my life.”
That, however, does not mean just throwing a bunch of different items in a room, Werner said.
“There’s a balance to it,” she said. “I think if you are going to approach this, then you have to do it a little more carefully. There’s more thought to it. The color and feeling has to work throughout the space … you have to tread more carefully. If you have orange in one area, how are you going to balance it out. It’s all about layers at this point.”
An easy way to add layers is to mix the materials your furnishings and accessories are made of.
“A simple approach to this might be layering pillows with different textures and patterns on a sofa, while adding the mirrored Hayworth floor screen in front of built-in bookcases is a bolder way to experiment with different materials,” Beatty said.
Werner said adding items made of wood adds instant warmth to space, especially with contemporary furnishings that are sleek or made of metal or glass. She also likes the look of a paisley rug in front of a ultracontemporary leather and chrome sofa; coordinating colors will pull the pieces together.