Some people think that the eclectic style is easy to handle and to incorporate in a house – after all, it allows you to mix different styles, so they think that it’s basically using whatever you want and then calling it eclectic.
Let me just tell you outright, that’s wrong – the eclectic style is the hardest type of design to achieve. There is a very thin line between eclectic and plain chaos, and if you take one false step, that’s exactly what you will unleash in your house – pure chaos.
Designing a house that’s to stay true to the rules of eclectic style is a bit like preparing a very complicated, fancy soup – you have to take plenty of different, often seemingly mismatched ingredients and put them in the same pot, then mix them together and after all is done, you’re left with result – either a masterpiece, or a total disaster.
In my opinion, the kitchen is the best interior to be arranged in the eclectic style – as I’ve already used the comparison to culinary endeavors, cooking indeed has the eclectic feeling to it. After all, where else do you do try all the different types of food, often from all around the world? That’s right – in the kitchen.
If the eclectic style kitchen is what you would try to design in your house, there is a lot to learn – in this article, I’ll try to help you turn your kitchen into a masterpiece of modern design, as a successfully arranged eclectic style could be called.
Let’s start off by saying that it’s best that you take it easy until you’re absolutely certain you can pull off a successful, impressive eclectic design. For that reason, it’s best if you try experimenting with additions that can be added and removed at will – if you mess up the smaller decorations, and the final result doesn’t really satisfy you, it’s not all that bad, you can just remove what you added and try again with different decorations.
However, if you turn your kitchen into the realm of chaos and headache by repainting it, or worse yet, adding some costly foreign furniture, which you might not be able to return, that’s a different story. Don’t meddle with costly, irreversible elements of your kitchen, until you really get to know what you’re doing and become sure that you’re up to it.
So, start with the small things – exchange your decorations, even paint or wallpapers. If the effect is satisfying, go one step further.
Modern and traditional
One way of achieving the eclectic feeling in your kitchen is mixing the modern elements of design, with the traditional soul of more rustic or classic furniture. For example, you can get yourself a modern, luxurious and multi-functional kitchen island, with the countertop made from composite, but surround it with rustic, wooden bar stools.
A modern and rustic kitchen with granite counters.
In the picture above you can see a really stylish mix of sleek, elegant countertop with the traditional look of the brick wall and wooden cabinetry. Does that not look just great?
That’s just an example, however – playing with furniture and appliances is rewarding, but risky. The eclectic style is less about going crazy with the contrast, and more about actually being subtle and restrained. Don’t add too much of contrasting elements, start slow – two, maybe three different styles are enough to get the eclectic character, without going overboard.
Check out the picture attached. In this kitchen, you can see a very stylish mix of rustic, wooden feeling introduced by the floor and the countertops, as well as the brick wall and potted flowers. All of that, however, has been contrasted with the hanging lamps and modern illumination system on the ceiling.
The designer of this kitchen also added some humor and cheery character with the use of blue paint, which turns the island into the focal point of this kitchen. Additionally, the white cabinetry and stainless steel range hood would normally be more suitable in a modern kitchen. All in all, a very successful attempt at the eclectic kitchen.
Different parts of the world
The eclectic feeling in your kitchen can also be achieved by underlining elements that come from different cultures. Remember, that the eclectic kitchen is not only mixing different styles – we also work on the regions, colors and illumination.
An oriental-modern kitchen. | Photo by: Rikki Snyder
Above, you can see a great example of an eclectic kitchen that incorporates a stylish, foreign carpet, which makes us think about the oriental parts of our world while the rest is extremely modern and sleek. However, the mirror and works of art in the corner again create a bit of a different, more traditional feeling.
The cutting boards on a modern countertop also seem kinda out of place, if you ask me – if it was a standard, and not an eclectic kitchen, that is.
And then, last but not least, there is the awesome painting which creates a great focal point.
Incorporating elements of oriental culture, and mixing them with very modern, sleek furniture or cabinetry can yield awesome results. For that reason, it’s best to use rugs or table cloth, as well as backsplashes and paintings. These are also very mobile objects, so if something goes wrong, you can always remove them and try out something different.
Additionally, to meddle with the regional feeling of your kitchen, you could try incorporating some foreign plants in your kitchen – just make sure they are safe to be around the kitchen, as some oriental flowers surely aren’t.
Nonchalance and humor
In an eclectic kitchen, there is no need to always be very serious. It’s a perfect design for those of you who consider themselves to be humorous and artistically talented. As long as you know what you’re doing, and are certain you have the skills to back it all up, you can go all crazy in your kitchen – have fun with the colors, the textures, and shapes.
A striped carpet and a colorful modern painting. | Photo by: Corynne Pless
Take a look at the kitchen in the picture – of course, what instantly draws our attention is the painting on the brick wall, which although normally would be very mismatched, we’re talking eclectic here. Next, the carpet resembling a tiger skin, and all of that while the furniture fits a rather rustic, traditional style kitchen. When you add all the colorful, small elements of decoration, I’d say that’s a very successful attempt at the eclectic kitchen.
Of course, colors play a very important role in creating an eclectic kitchen. If you’re sure you can handle them, then it’s best to use very radiant, aggressive colors, contrasted with traditional, wooden elements. Check out the backsplash in the picture below.
A sligthly “complicated” backsplash in the eclectic kitchen. | Photo by: David Boyle
Whoa, now that’s what I call eclectic. I don’t even know how to describe this backsplash, as I’m not sure what exactly it is what I’m looking at, but for some weird reason, it seems to fit.
Now, of course, there is no need to use bold colors when designing an eclectic kitchen, but it surely is pretty effective. Notice the cutting boards, wooden elements and that very simple, old fashioned coffee maker. The kitchen in the picture is overall very traditional and old fashioned, but that backsplash makes it absolutely unique.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with using both the colors, as well as elements of decoration to achieve the eclectic feeling. To see how it’s done, check out the next picture.
Okay, that’s pretty colorful, but it’s not only the colors that are at play here. The lamp in the background is not cohesive in style with all the circus going on in there, yet managed to be a suitable addition.
A well-planned chaos
It’s not only the artist who will have some fun while designing the eclectic kitchen – if you ever dreamed of being able to clutter your kitchen with all sorts of weird, small decorations that nobody else except you appreciates, you will love the eclectic kitchen.
Jokes aside, as I’ve said before the eclectic kitchen can’t be chaotic, even if the line between eclectic and chaos is so thin. Everything has to be well-planned, and only pretend to be a chaotic, messy pile of decorations. If you want to see an example of such a kitchen, that’s seemingly cluttered and chaotic, then look at this one:
A seemingly messy and cluttered eclectic kitchen. | Photo by: Carolyn Reyes
If it wasn’t for the little tree decoration at the window glass, I’m not even sure if it would be a successful arrangement. However, that extra little bit of color creates a focal point which hints our brains where to start. That’s an important lesson to remember – creating a focal point in the eclectic kitchen that’s supposed to be a bit cluttered can be what saves it from the chaotic feeling.
Now take all of that and combine it
After you feel certain you know what the eclectic style is all about, you can try to work on more than one aspect – instead of playing with color, textures, cultural decorations or styles, play with all of them at once. If you don’t think that’s even possible, look at this.
A red wooden oriental and eclectic kitchen. | Photo by: Andre Kleyn
I think this is the best example we’ve used so far, as it incorporated all that I was talking about, and mixes it together into an awesome, stunningly fashionable eclectic kitchen. You’ve got elements of oriental art, presented to you in the backsplash. Next, there is plenty of bold, contrasting red paint. Modern, sleek appliances and countertop, but rustic and traditional cabinetry and furniture, as well as the brick elements around the oven.
This kitchen is what I would like you to think about when you’re thinking about an eclectic kitchen – I don’t think I would’ve changed a single thing in it. In my opinions, it’s a perfect example of the eclectic style in a kitchen.
Now that you’ve seen so many examples of the eclectic kitchen, I’m quite sure you already know what we’re dealing with here, so there is no need to go on. You’ve seen unusual mixtures of colors, styles and all the other elements we talked about – now is the time you try to play with them yourself.
If you’ve carefully read this article and are still certain that the eclectic kitchen is something for you, then there is only one last thing I can tell you – good luck!