Classic Eclectic: What Is It?
Classic Eclectic interior design style is a blend of several different interior design styles, but the foundation of the style is very classic. Classic Eclectic will be the most diverse style. You will usually find contemporary elements mixed with mid-century, industrial, traditional, and neo-classical.
Classic eclectic can also have a global look to it, often blending in Asian, African, and South American influences with contemporary and traditional North American and European elements.
Studio McGee, Marie Flanigan, Laura Thurman, and Laura Hodges are designers that have a lot of the Classic Eclectic look in their portfolios. All four of these very talented designers know how to strike just the right balance to create harmony and avoid “hodge podge,” which is the key to successfully creating a Classic Eclectic look.
Typically, Classic Eclectic spaces will be more casual than formal. However, you will often find high-end finishes and custom details incorporated in the design, such as drapery and other custom window treatments. These classic custom design details are elements help root Classic Eclectic style in tradition.
Another hallmark of Classic Eclectic is the use of vintage and imported furniture and accessories. Usually you will find period pieces, period artwork, and imported pieces incorporated in the design.
As with all Classic styles, Classic Eclectic usually has light neutral wall color, but the color palette for furniture, accessories, and rugs can be a lot bolder. I like to see colorful rugs, sofa, and art in Classic Eclectic spaces. Right now the trend for this style is jewel tones and bright accent colors. Bold, distressed Oriental style rugs are very typical of the style, as is abstract or global art with a lot of color.
With Classic Eclectic, it would almost see that anything goes, but you must be careful in that approach. To create the look without it looking like a mess you should repeat each sub-style at least 2-3 times in the furnishings.
For example, if you have a Danish mid-century console cabinet you will want to have at least 1-2 more pieces in the space that are from that period. However, you don’t want too much within one style type or you will lose the eclectic feel.
Key Tip: Feel free to mix and blend various styles of furniture, but make sure you keep the mix even!
Accessories are where Classic Eclectic gets a lot of style. Smaller accent pieces of furniture should be fun, funky pieces that you don’t see every day. These can bring in a sense of playfulness and intrigue that is synonymous with the style.
However, to keep it classic, you may want to use some restraint. Keep the intrigue to just a handful of accessories and art pieces. Give your eyes a place to rest. In a classic style, you do want the overall look to be pulled together and relaxing.
If you want to learn about the other classic styles, make sure you check out the posts for Simply Classic, Classic Transitional, and Classic Coastal. Want to take the quiz and see which type is your type? Download the Sophisticated Living Guide to Cohesive Style and take the quiz!