High-Energy Interiors

Create the perfect eclectic space by selecting a wide variety of purposeful pieces; mix and match the best elements of different styles to make your perfectly pieced-together look.

By Moe Godat

Design: Deborah French Designs


One common misconception about eclectic design is the thought that “anything goes.” For eclectic interior design to be effective, it’s important to carefully select each piece to create a space that tells a culturally rich and interesting story without being overwhelming. Push your comfort zone by choosing each piece with purpose and stop before the space becomes too busy or distracting.

The Perfect Blend: As in many interior design styles, it’s most common to start an eclectic design with a neutral color and build from there. Starting with a neutral wall color allows you to curate your accent colors according to your personal style and travels, being sure to create even more interest with intentional textures.

Pattern-Perfect: Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns! Using several fun patterns and designs that complement each other can help create aesthetic intrigue. However, limit the patterns to throw pillows, rugs, blankets and other accessories that can be easily moved or removed. This gives a room a light-hearted atmosphere without becoming overwhelming. Tip: When using different patterns, it’s important to keep your color scheme in mind. Avoid introducing a color that clashes with your accents.

Give me a Gallery: If you’ve been thinking about adding a gallery wall to your home, eclectic design encourages it! Gallery walls can not only showcase important family moments and travel experiences, but they also give you a chance to show off your unique personality and character. Consider combining quirky art pieces to family photos and professional prints.

Devil’s Advocate: Contrast, contrast, contrast! Creating eye-catching contrast is paramount in eclectic design, but don’t limit yourself to colors and patterns. Mixing textures can often be the most effective way to pull in a level of contrast without being overwhelming. Use smooth, clean lines with marble, leather, wood and steel with fluffy throws, coarse stone and woven rugs.

Artisanal Show: An eclectic design isn’t built in a day. Taking time to pick out your favorite furniture finds and meaningful artistic pieces will make your eclectic style unique to you and your family’s story. By selecting functional furniture pieces with a story or style that you enjoy, you can then go and choose statement pieces to make your space pop! Find a vase or sculpture that speaks to you and give it a special place in your room to showcase it.

Less is More: While eclectic design does allow for a vibrant mixture of styles and pieces, selection is always the most important. Instead of filling your space with small ornaments or packed shelves, choosing a few key pieces that you love can better show off your personality and keep guests interested without overwhelming them!