Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Decorating A Colorful Eclectic Room Can Be Tricky



Brazilliance by Dorothy Draper – Society Social

This is a post I have wanted to write for some time now.

To be honest I did not begin to write it because it felt as if it would get too complicated, and involved to write, and I was fearful I would not be able to articulate what I wanted to convey to you my dear readers.

Please bare with me as I try to uncomplicate the subject of:

DECORATING AN ECLETIC,
COLORFUL ROOM!!

As 2015 is moving onward, and forward, the design trends are becoming more, and more evident.

color study of pillows and patterns
The rooms are becoming more of a mixed bag of goodies, not only in the style of the pieces, but  also the patterns, with lots of color against white backdrops, or at times even a darker vibrant colored walls and sofas.

WINNING WAYS WITH CHARTREUSE ~~
I am definitely NOT an expert on this look that seems to lean more towards a bit of a Bohemian look, but I  can enjoy any style if it is done well.

color and pattern study  Adelaide Daniell's home - via the design files
 via
Let me mention here that design will always be subjective, and you and I might not have the same sense of style, or opinions, but hear me out if you will?

With Spring arriving we all want to add a fresh look, and maybe a little bit more color to our lives.

Personally I have always loved color, and have lived with medium value colors easily. Mixing patterns has not been difficult for me either. 

Craving Some Color In My Home For Spring
However this look I am talking about goes beyond colorful rooms, and coordinating patterns.

It is a mixed bag of goodies that JUST WORKS for no apparent reason at first glance. However, upon further studying a well done room in this style, you will notice that there is a formula of sorts.

Most people can not achieve this effortless  look without a great deal of effort. I am one of those people. 

I lean towards a more classic, and preppy design aesthetic by nature.  

An eclectic, Bohemian style, as appealing as it can be, does not fit my natural inclinations, therefore making it a difficult look for me to achieve.

Bold family room and house tour of SAS Interiors eclecticallyvintage.com
Throughout blogland I have seen more, and more of this style emerge, some very well done, and some not well done at all.

WARNING,WARNING, WARNING!

One of the mistakes I am noticing over, and over again is the homeowner is trying to incorporate this look with everything, and I do mean everything, they already have in there room already. They keep adding more and more of what is new to them, with what they already have. Big mistake.

What makes one room look great, and another look like a hot mess?

Today I am going to try, and figure that very question out with you, my dear readers! I will be learning right along side of you.

We are going to look at a couple rooms, and dissect them, and we will come up with some points that hopefully will help all of us achieve this look so it is cohesive, and visually pleasing to the eye, and not a hot mess!

A BOHEMIAN CHIC CALIFORNIAN HOME | THE STYLE FILES
I chose this first picture because of it’s mix of patterns. You will notice that not one single patterned pillow on the sofa is the same or for that matter, not one pattern is repeated in the entire room. So why does this work?

Same colors are being used.

You will notice there are different blues, pinks, and corals in the  sofa pillows, rug, throw, and pouf.

Fabrics are a good jumping off point when trying to pull together a color scheme in a room.

Try to stand back from your fabric, and look at what colors are dominant, and pull from that. 

Often times it can be a big mistake to pull one small area of a color out of a fabric pattern, and introduce that in the room as the new kid on the block.

When using all different patterns make sure they have something in common in the form of the design,  and/or have the same feel.

In the above room all the patterns have the same tribal feel, and it works. If a floral, or Chinoiserie style fabric were thrown in, it would all of the sudden not been as pleasing to the eye.
In the above
Solid backdrop is used in sofa fabric

Keeping the backdrop solid is another good idea when using so many different patterns. Crisp white walls, soft gray sofa are both wonderful backdrops for all the color and patterns in the above room.

Artwork that ties the colors,feeling, or patterns together.

In this room they chose to keep it simple by using black and white artwork that falls in line with the tribal feeling. Black and white is also the color combination they chose to add to their coffee table vignette.

They tied it together further by framing the artwork in the  tone of the wood on the coffee table. That was a very smart choice.

NEXT!

How to Decorate: The easy formula for a well-designed room
In this room we have another mixed bag of goodies. Colorful, mix of patterns and styles, and it all works.

Pull together your rooms color scheme with one of your fabric choices.

In this room the floral pillow fabric is the combiner fabric.

This is what I like to call a fabric that pulls together the colors of the room. 

The pink of the pillow, the black and white of the rug, and the green of the sofa are all combined in that one pillow. 

It sure gives a lot of power to that one fabric, doesn’t it? Keep this in mind when choosing patterns for your room. Make one fabric your star, or your combiner fabric.

Your star, or combiner fabric should set the style or feeling of the room.

I want you to notice the two patterns in the room, the floral, and the rug. 

Can you see the different scale of the patterns? One is large, and one is medium. It is good to vary your scales when mixing patterns.

When mixing patterns a good guideline is to have a large, medium and small scale, or solid in the room.

Look at the different styles of furniture used in this room, the sofa has  more clean contemporary lines, and so does the coffee table. 

Then to the left of the sofa sits a little tufted settee with the Queen Ann legs, very traditional. Next to the sofa appears to be an antique side table. This is definitely a mixed bag of goodies, and yet it works.

Tie together different styles and era’s of furniture by painting them the same color.

They took the white top of the coffee table, and chose to paint the legs of the settee, and the end table in white, this is what makes this combination of different styles work.

The artwork in this room pulls out some of the fun colors in the room, but they used simple black frames on the wall to bring out the black, and white rug.

The sofa legs remain black as well which helps ground the sofa. White legs would have looked very matchy, and contrived.

Make the eye flow gently around the room by using like colors throughout the room.

Try to not make everything match, or look contrived. However, be careful to sprinkle colors around the room in order to make the eye flow easily around the room.
Living Locurto Studio Tour! Beautiful modern work space. LivingLocurto.com @Amy Locurto | LivingLocurto.com
So if you want to achieve this fun, colorful, carefree look in your home, keep in mind all of the above points I have highlighted in BLUE for you.

It is not an easy look to achieve, but it can be done. Planning is key, have fun and use some restraint in not adding too many patterns, colors and elements. Use what you truly love and you will be happy with the outcome.

If you would like to see more examples of this style of room take a look at my pinboards by clicking on the titles below…..

 
 
 

8 comments:

Rattlebridge Farm said...

I love deconstructing a room to figure out the nuts and bolts, but I have trouble knowing when to stop. lol Take the room with the white-topped coffee table and painted white table. I have such trouble knowing when to quit. I can see that a problem is developing at the ranch because I have such a hodgepodge--French, English, The Unknown, and a strange breed called Southern antiques, for lack of a better term. I'm going to save this post on Bloglovin so I can go back. I've already read this post twice and learned something new each time.

Kathysue said...

Thank you so much for saying that Michael. I really appreciate your feedback and I am extremely happy that your learned something from this post, that is exactly why I wrote it!

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

Excellent job on your analysis of this kind of look. I enjoy an eclectic look but I don't like it when it becomes too busy. I like the 2nd and third pictures. They are more organized in design and appeal to my instincts. If I wasn't so invested in traditional furnishings I would give a try at a more modern look and a bit eclectic.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

It sure is hard sometimes to pull an eclectic look together! And describing how to do it or why and when it works is difficult, too! And when it isn't done well it can end up in a real mess, I know what you mean. Great job on explaining a tricky concept and giving some good pointers. Fun post, Kathysue!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Great job explaining and some helpful tips!

Carla Aston said...

This is a difficult look to pull off, I know. You've got some great tips here. It's helpful to understand the how and why so you can achieve the look you want. Great post, Kathysue! Now, for some pinning!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI, Kathy, very good post. There sure are a lot of ways to decorate a room these day! I sure am not an expert either and I'm quite sure I'll make some mistakes on this process, but I'm going with my plans and hoping that it turns out the way I envision. I'm moving furniture around and hoping to achieve a more balanced look with the changes. My eclectic look is not going to be as contrasting as the examples you show. I'm adding jolts of color but overall I think it will work and feel good in there. Here's hoping!

Aida SofĂ­a Barba Flores said...

Hello Kathy ! Great pos, I learned so much! I just have a question, if I want to achieve this colorful, pattern, modern style to my house, should I follow same color combination to every room in the house? Or, is every room of the house a whole new world for decoration?
Thank you!

Aida