What is Eclectic taste anyway?

If I were to ask you what your decorating style is in your home, would you tell me your style is eclectic? If so, your answer is a common answer but it doesn’t tell me a whole lot about your style. What does ‘eclectic’ mean to you?

One commonly published definition of eclectic is blending 70% of one design style and 30% of nother. That common definition makes me giggle. Isn’t the spirit of the word ‘eclectic’ free flowing, artsy, unrestrained and without rules?

The commonly accepted definition of eclectic in interior design is a mix of several styles that make up one individualized look. With this definition, I think all of my clients have eclectic taste. If you tell me what styles make up your eclectic taste, I will begin to understand more about your individualized style.

For those of you that have attended my design classes, I recommend easy to remember ratios when designing in your own home. Try a 60%, 30%, 10% formula when implementing eclectic design in a space. (This also works for color combinations in a room, but I digress.)

This client’s family room located in Wilsonville, Oregon is an eclectic mix of Craftsman (60%), traditional (40%), and Asian Styles(10%). The Craftsman style is primarily reflected in the architecture of the room and in the Mission styled case goods and square ottomans. The traditional element is found in the sofa and chair, the traditionaly styled piano, and many accessories throughout the room. The actual room’s layout also lends itself to a traditional floor plan. The Asian influence in the room is primarily in the artwork (Thai Temple transfers), but can also be found in accessories like the vases and jewel box purchased in the Orient. Also note the fabric pillows tie in the traditional and Craftsman styles with a subtle reminder. We selected these fabrics and had them made via a local workroom.

The master bedroom featured at the top of this post is from a client’s master bedroom in Beaverton, Oregon. It is a blend of traditional (60%), contemporary (40%) and Hollywood Glamour (10%) styles. The traditional element is found in the nightstands and triple serpentine dresser, the tray ceiling and the moulding in the room. The damask bedding is a traditional design expressed in contemporary colors.

The color palette isn’t your grandmother’s idea of traditional design, so the color itself expressed contemporary design. The two chairs at the end of the bed are not only contemporary styled chairs, but the placement of these chairs expresses contemporary layout.

You also see contemporary design expressed in the mismatched dressers (they aren’t predictably symmetrical), the simple linear window treatments, and the clean lines of the room’s artwork and accessories. The 1940’s Hollywood Glam influence is subtle. It serves as icing on the cake (or bling in the room). You also note it’s influence in the crystal knobs on the case goods, the uplight sconces, the leaning brushed silver mirror, and the shape of the lamps and headboard of the bed.

To select your style ratio, start by accessing the architecture in your room. What is the style? If you have furnishings are they a certain style? Try using what you love most in 10% of the style. Your special pieces should placed sparingly for a “wow” factor, so they serve as eye candy to you and all that enter the space.

The infused styles in your home are an individual expression of your families personality, style and activities. The next time someone asks about your personal decorating style answer that you are an eclectic mix of (insert style 1), (insert style 2), with accents of (style 3). Then tell them about your color palette, architecture and furniture selections.

What did you learn about your decorating styles from this post? I welcome you to comment on this blog about your decorating styles. Your eclectic blend of styles is uniquely you and we look forward to learning how your space expresses you.
Angela Todd works with clients to design exceptional, personalized spaces throughout the Portland metropolitian area.
Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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