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A RECIPE FOR
ECLECTIC STYLE
by Georgina Callan


It’s a word that is often used when we can’t think of a substitute. It’s a word that is employed to describe a
space that appears to lack a clearly defined style. Its use may imply a free-wheeling jumble of objects and
The idea of eclectic style is to express a highly personalized look that incorporates new
and old, high style with low brow objects, introducing those of humble origins to sleeker
more contemporary versions in a carefully planned manner.

Creating an eclectic style is like cooking. As every good chef knows, the relationship
To be successful eclectic style needs to be balanced. One odd funky chair from a
different era in a room otherwise occupied by a sleek sectional sofa, gives the room
a point of interest and a visual punctuation mark. It provides a balance in terms of
contrast.

Substitute a pair of chairs, in the same room, from a different time or made of rougher
materials, or even more refined materials, and the attitude of the room will visually shift.
Two formal chairs, upright and carved, offer the room a very different personality than
two chairs of simple structure that are laid back and casual. Against a modern sofa,
both work. But an assortment of chairs from different times and places with many
varied heights, and styles, may give the resemblance of a waiting room,
anticipatory and ultimately disappointing.
Kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms are ideal candidates for eclectic
style. Dining chairs may appear to have little relationship to a dining table but it is
the contrasting elements of the table and style of chairs that make the scenario work.
The colors may need to be the same but the shapes are different, or the table is matte,
for example, where the chairs have a high gloss finish and a painted. If the furniture, a
dining table and chairs, for example, are trying too hard to speak in the same language,
when their linguistic bases are very different, you will need to translate. Instead, opt for
a relationship where the chairs and table are easily identified as having widely different
origins by their color and shape and they will recognize and respect the unique roots
of the other.