Just calling your style "eclectic" doesn't magically make everything work well together. It can seem chaotic and feel jarring to the senses.
But it doesn't have to. If, like me, your taste in home furnishings and décor is wide-ranging and you find yourself drawn to pieces from different style eras, you might find it a little challenging initially. But it is possible put them together so that your home feels like it has organically evolved, but still thoughtfully put together.
The secret is to weave a "red thread" (also known as a golden thread) throughout your home. Basically, this is a common thread or theme that you integrate throughout your home’s décor. It is the magic trick that can create a sense of cohesion if the colour palette or furniture styles differ somewhat between adjoining spaces.
Even if the look and feel of our rooms vary dramatically, we still want to create a harmonious transition from one space to the next.
The easiest and most obvious way to achieve this is to apply a similar colour palette throughout your home, varying in shades rather than colours in different rooms.
But not everyone wants to do that…it’s just not their thing. So find another way of applying a red thread and it will help to overcome any sense of disconnect.
Your thread can be a single colour that carries through in each room’s individual palette. It can be a predominant colour in some rooms, and an accent colour in others. Or an accent colour in every room, never featuring as the dominant colour.
It could be a single splash of the same colour in each room of the home – an armchair in the living room, the fridge in the kitchen, a lamp in the dining room, a plant pot in the hall. If it’s picked up repetitively throughout the home, it will make everything feel more cohesive.
And it doesn’t have to be a colour.
Your red thread could be a feature piece of vintage furniture from the same period in each room. Or maybe a collection of trinkets or art that are showcased in smaller doses throughout the home rather than as a single and large installation in one room.
It could be using the same style of wood throughout the home, be it oak, natural pine, or rustic-feeling reclaimed boards.
How about a pattern used in wallpaper in the downstairs loo, cushions in the living room, tea towels in the kitchen…maybe even on coasters?
When the eye can pick up a sense of repetition as you move throughout your home, the transition from one room to the next will feel more harmonious than if there is no common thread between the different spaces.
Equally, a red thread can be used within a single room to help a mix of different styles of furnishings work together. If your taste is eclectic but you don’t want the overall effect to be an incoherent mish-mash, then a great option is to use a particular finish as the common thread.
It could be wooden furniture from different periods but of the same tone. Or using brass, or another metal, to blend vintage with modern. Maybe it’s marbled or mirrored surfaces. In the image above, there is an eclectic mix of pieces, with the exception of one style of cane chair that is dotted around the room to unify a space that is zoned into different conversation areas.
That is the key to making it work – spreading the pieces with the commonality around the room rather than grouping them all together. Then, as the eye travels around the space it will pick up the various items with a similar theme and it will make the eclecticism gel rather than clash.
You should do the same with accent colours – repeat them throughout the space rather than concentrate in one area. This creates a subtle rhythm to the room’s décor that creates that sense of harmony we’re all looking for in our homes.
Because a home that is put together so that everything works together in harmony is a home that is more soothing to our senses, and consequently our wellbeing.
Ultimately there is no right or wrong way to decorate our homes. They are individual reflections of the people who live in them. I personally believe the best homes feel like they evolved organically.
But sometimes they can evolve in a disjointed manner – and the red thread can be the solution.