Eclectic Home Design: Expert Tips to Avoiding All or Nothing

eclectic living room

When you meet the love of your life, you may feel like you're walking on air - until you try to furnish a home together. Couples with drastically different design tastes often struggle to find common ground when furnishing their home. Luckily, interior design doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" affair. According to Kimberly M. Stone, owner of the interior design firm Adore Your Décor and author of the FabJob Guide to Become a Home Stager or Redesigner, eclectic design styles can be used to create a space that has a unique appeal.

Finding Common Ground

LoveToKnow Interior Design reader Suzie R. recently wrote, "I like the cottage chic look and my husband likes the western/cowboy look. Can I merge the two or is that not possible? If I can, then how do I do it?"

According to Ms. Stone, the first step is to search for common ground. If you like the cottage chic look and your husband likes the western/cowboy look, keep in mind that both share a casual, rustic elegance. "Cottage chic style usually involves sun-faded fabrics and furniture with distressed finishes. These laid-back items will look great combined with western elements like leather or metal accents," Ms. Stone said. "One idea for a seating area is to use a slip-covered cottage chic sofa in combination with a leather armchair. Add a faded floral print throw pillow to the chair, and then add tasteful leather pillows to the sofa. Western themes can be subtly brought in with natural materials like stone, slate, or wood. Cottage chic vibes can be instilled with floral arrangements and flea market finds."


When merging diverse design styles, harmony can be achieved with color, finish, pattern, shape, or texture. As you combine colors, furniture, and accessories, make sure there are common elements which create design cohesion. For example, you would want to choose your seating wisely when creating a room that combines cottage chic and western style. "If you want all leather seating for a more western feel, then choose a light color like cream which will play into the cottage chic style," Ms. Stone said. "As long as the color palette complements one another, you can safely combine fabric, leather, and animal hides."

Separate Personal Spaces

While you can certainly merge design styles in the same room, creating separate personal spaces is an option to consider as well. "If the western style is just too much for the main living areas, maybe your husband can decorate one adjacent room to his liking," Ms. Stone said. "An office, study, den, or game room would be the perfect spot for his Wild West style to shine."

Seeking Professional Help

Combining diverse design styles can be done, but it's not always easy. If you're having trouble coming up with a solution that's acceptable for everyone involved, you might want to seek out an interior design professional who can offer suggestions that incorporate everyone's perspective and style considerations. The LoveToKnow article Hiring an Interior Designer offers tips for finding a professional in your area.

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Eclectic Home Design: Expert Tips to Avoiding All or Nothing