“Out with the old and in with the new” is just an old outdated cliche for those who are not creative enough to make the harmony of old and new work. The eclectic design style is not only easier to make (than to start all over again), but also more affordable, since you can gradually complement it with other pieces, and you get to keep the ones you bought earlier. There are some rules defining what can and what cannot be combined, and to what degree some style should be present. If you are keen on creating this harmonic chaos in your home, here are some mistakes you should avoid.
Going with the 1:1 Ratio
The balance in interior design isn’t normally achieved by applying both styles in a 1:1 ratio. If you represented both vintage and modern styles equally, you would get a confusing and badly designed space. You should always pick one dominant style and introduce the second one with accessories or smaller furniture pieces.
From Chic to Cheap
Accessories are the simplest and most affordable way to incorporate different styles into a space. Still, grouping together many different styles of accessories will create clutter and make your room look like a yard sale. In transitional spaces, you should try to display accessories that tie both styles together.
Different styles incorporated into one room can already seem busy, even without a colorful backdrop. Too many colors can overpower the space and swallow all of your hard work. Mixing old and new pieces together works best on a neutral backdrop, where you can show off various furniture pieces and accessories such as decorative stickers on the wall, colorful cushion covers, photo frames, pots & planters, lighting, and more.
Thinking that Old Equals Antique
Antique means a decorative piece created in an earlier period that is valued for its workmanship and age. Old doesn’t have to be antique, but it can still look nice and fit into your space well. Many old pieces can be updated to appear better. If they’re well kept, the only renovation work they will require are a new coat of paint and re-upholstering.
Overlooking Permanent Features
Your house is not an empty canvas that will accept every artwork the same. Wall finishes and flooring will also determine what some design styles will look like. So, when you try to incorporate a glass table near an old brick wall, don’t look for another old element to complete the picture. That’s why eclectic design requires a good dose of reflection, and sometimes even professional help.
Treating Lighting as an Afterthought
Do you think no one will look up after you are done designing your space? Don’t kill the messenger, but that neon lamp isn’t doing your old-modern room any favor. Lighting gives a space character and flair, and not only does its function count, but also its design. Lamps and chandeliers are made in various styles, and they can be placed in the most unexpected places (e.g. a crystal chandelier in a bathroom). Also, lighting can be used to accentuate a certain design feature, for example, a focal point that will anchor the dominant style.
Doing these six things properly will make all the difference between a potentially hectic and hopefully eclectic style. Luckily these missteps are simple enough to avoid. All you have to do is to have the bigger picture in front of you all the time, know what some space should look like, and not get carried away with including more styles, colors, and accessories. Less is more in this case.