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The eclectic style: where your diverse tastes come together

If you’re confused by the large number decorating styles and don't know which to choose—or are torn between several at the same time—the eclectic style might be the right choice for you. Your many, diverse tastes can become a bold, unified style. What’s the secret?


The word “eclectic” (Greek, εκλεκτός selected, chosen, εκλέγω to choose, select) is used in architecture and the decorative arts to describe the combination, in a single work, of elements from different historical styles. Eclecticism gained popularity in the 1830's in Europe and Russia.

History of the eclectic style

Efforts at finding a new direction in art, architecture and design hit a wall at the beginning of 19th century. Everything that might be considered a new style had been done before. The novel solution was to borrow and mix features of already existing styles: the eclectic style was born. 

The eclectic style is now a useful tool for modern designers, as it affords a wonderful opportunity to combine old and new as well as eastern and western décor into a fresh, modern interior.

Style constants

The eclectic style is more than just a mishmash of different elements. If you want to create an eclectic style interior, choose a combination of a few decorating styles—usually no more than two or three.

They can be styles that are similar to each other, such as renaissance, rococo and imperial, or totally opposite, such as eastern and western or classical and contemporary. To achieve comfort and uniformity in such a far-reaching style, there must be a connecting element. This can be a pattern, color, space design or a motif taken from your hobbies and passions.

An abundance of colors and textures, plenty of décor objects, cozy furniture and a variety lighting solutions—taken together, these elements can make your home a comfortable space that reflects your inner world.

The main goal of eclectic design is to create a personality-asserting, comfortable interior for fine living.

To each his own

For those who thrive on constant adventure, changing tastes and explorations of the unknown while still wanting to preserve and display mementos of happy times past, the eclectic style is the best fit.

It is also suitable also for someone who just wants to create an interesting interior by combining elements and objects from different decades.

Because the eclectic style displays all the interests and tastes of an interior’s occupants, it’s not for the shy or faint of heart.


Color can play an important role by welding together all the elements of the interior, yet care must be taken that it does not overwhelm them.

Use caution when employing particolored patterns on fabrics, black and white ceramic tiles on floors, colorful stained glass, Moroccan patterns, ornate mirrors, etc. But bright, deep, vivid tones and colors make an interior vigorous, interesting and unpredictable.

Floor and walls

Comfort is the main concern of the style and the goal of its fusion of elements.

Wall cabinets and contemporary, built-in closets can be mounted to enhance comfort. It is necessary to plan your storage space, shelving units and wall space beforehand for the placement of art and photographs. A lot of space should be left for décor elements in an eclectic interior.

Tiles, parquet, laminating material and hardwood are the major flooring materials.

Walls are usually plastered, painted, wallpapered or — in the most recent trend — decorated with smooth, seamless, solid-colored or printed stretch wall coverings.

Choose flooring and wall coverings base on your personal style, practical concerns and budget. Decorating material is very important, as it is the base and background that sets the mood for the whole interior.


Furniture should generally match the styles you initially chose to combine in creating your eclectic interior, although some pieces, like contemporary coffee tables and modern armchairs, fit with any mood.

Bright, solid-colored or even multicolored upholstery can be used for furniture decoration. Many diverse elements and forms can be combined, such as straight- backed and rounded armchairs, hand-carved elements and various kinds of wood as well as velvet, leather, plastic and satin.

Free-spirited use of textiles and décor elements

A combination of styles, eras and regions of origin is the essence of the eclectic style. Little details make a big difference. The freedom to choose is yours!

The power of the style lies in its ability to blend the unmatchable: velvet or silk blankets with handmade African carpets, rough-hewn furniture with eastern-style embroidered fabrics or the works of world-famous artists with your own paintings.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Carpets, curtains, blankets, decorative pillows and other textiles with eastern motifs and patterns

  • Crystal, glass, forged or wooden chandeliers

  • All types of picture frames

  • Mirrors with curved frames

  • Books and collectible items

  • Forged elements and plaster decorative molding

  • Antiques and vintage decorating elements

  • Souvenirs from trips to other countries fit well in an eclectic interior.

Ceilings and lighting in the eclectic interior

A ceiling in the eclectic style can be either single - or multilevel, the latter of which visually expands the space. It can also be curved and create a pattern that unites the interior.

You can rest assured that decorating your ceiling will be the easiest part of your renovation: NYCeiling offers you the latest modern technology, a range of colors to choose from and the option to create multilevel and curved seamless stretch ceilings.

You can print any pattern or image on your stretch ceiling and cover the old one in a matter of hours, with no mess and even at the final stages of interior decoration.

Stretch ceilings are compatible with all types of lighting, which makes it easy to implement any lighting design.

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