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Eclectic interior design ideas: Where vintage and modern meet in 2023

Mixing modern and antique furniture is the emblem of vintage decor lovers, and we’re here to inspire them and the non-believers. Antique rooms and their aesthetic are about to get a revival!

Interiors by And Studio
Eclectic interior design ideas: Where vintage and modern meet in 2023
Clara Carlino de Paz
January 10, 2024

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This article was originally posted on Making Space, a Substack penned by our Cofounder, Matteo Grand. Subscribe below to receive more content just like this.

In today's world, interior design is not just about creating a beautiful space; it's also about expressing yourself and telling a story through design. One of the most interesting and unique design styles today is eclectic interior design. 

If you're a visual learner...

What is eclectic design you may wonder?

First of all, eclectic style is not a solid, immovable aesthetic, rather, it is a way of describing a space that can’t be categorised specifically. Second, eclectic design is all about combining elements from different styles, eras, and cultures to create a harmonious space that reflects the homeowner's personality and creativity. It's a style that allows for a wide range of imagination and personal expression, making it a popular choice for those who love to mix and match different pieces to create a cohesive look.

It may seem easy to simply mix and match pieces with no rules, but it is actually one of the hardest styles to master. With no specific guidelines and utter freedom, designs can easily go off the rails and appear cluttered. But there are ways to avoid this – and they’re no longer secrets!

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can incorporate design ethos into your own style or space – without going overboard. If you like interior design content and want to see more, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter.

Combine vintage and modern furniture

When it comes to eclectic interior design, the key is to strike a balance between vintage and modern styles; the old and the new; the minimalist and the maximalist. A good way to achieve this is to mix modern furniture and accessories with vintage or antique pieces. For example, pairing a contemporary sofa with an antique coffee table or an old Persian rug can create a stunning contrast that adds character and depth to a room.

One of the best things about eclectic design is that it allows you to showcase your favourite pieces in a unique way. A vintage piece can add a sense of history and nostalgia to a modern space, while a modern piece can add a touch of sophistication to a vintage space. For example, if you have a vintage chandelier that you love, you can hang it in a modern space to create a stunning contrast.

White entryway with vintage coat of arms, round table and bench with rattan rug by Joanna Gaines

Play with colour and texture

Colour schemes are absolutely necessary for eclectic interior designs to feel cohesive and well put together. Some designers prefer to choose a neutral base, such as white or beige, and then add pops of colour through accessories and decor. Others prefer to go bold and incorporate bright colours and bold patterns throughout the space. Either way, the key is to find a balance between light, dark, colour and neutral, so that the space is visually interesting yet not too busy.

Once your colour palette or scheme has been chosen, it’s time to play a little! Mixing and matching different patterns and textures can create a unique and visually interesting space, and the eclectic style allows designers to combine elements from everywhere in time and space: so there’s no excuse to be dull! For example, you can pair a modern sofa with a vintage Moroccan rug, or perhaps a colourful mid-century chair with a sleek glass coffee table. The result? A stunning look that is both chic and modern.

Minimalist bathroom with historic fireplace and modern sculptures by Athena Calderone, and photography by Adrian Gaut

Invest in your walls

Another way to incorporate vintage elements into a modern space is through art and decor. Vintage posters, antique mirrors, and old family photographs can add a sense of history and nostalgia to a room. Hanging a gallery wall of vintage prints, or displaying an antique vase on a modern bookshelf, can create a stunning visual effect that brings together the best of both worlds.

Tiled entryway to studio with wooden doors, a green bench and modern African artwork by Chan and Eayrs

Never forget about lighting

Lighting is also an important element in eclectic interior design. Combining modern light fixtures with vintage lamps or chandeliers can create a beautiful contrast that adds warmth and character to a room. Choosing a mix of different lighting sources, such as overhead lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps, can create a layered effect that adds depth and interest to a space.

Living room with natural lighting and modern lighting via Reserve Home by Mallory Fletchall

Choose your mood carefully

Because eclectic interior design opens up your possibilities so far, you have to have a sense of direction when picking out your pieces; and that’s where “mood” comes in. Do you want a space that's cosy and inviting, or one that's sleek and sophisticated? Whatever you choose, eclectic design is a tool that can help you create a space that's uniquely your own.

One way to achieve a cosy and inviting look is by incorporating vintage pieces that have a warm and rustic feel. For example, a vintage wooden coffee table or a vintage leather armchair can add a sense of warmth and comfort to a space. You can also use soft and inviting textiles, such as velvet or chenille, to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a more modern and sleek look, you can incorporate clean lines, minimalist design, and monochromatic colour schemes. You can still add vintage pieces to the space, but focus on choosing pieces that have a more streamlined and modern feel. For example, a mid-century modern credenza or a vintage Eames lounge chair can add a touch of vintage charm to a modern space.

Living room with modern couch and standing candles on walls by Chan and Eayrs

The final touches will seal the deal

In terms of accessorising an eclectic space, there are endless possibilities. You can incorporate unique and interesting decor pieces, such as antique clocks, vintage cameras, or old maps, to add character and depth to a room. 

Living room with mid century, vintage and modern items by Shelby Girard, and photography by Kylie Fitts Photography

Overall, eclectic interior design is a wonderful way to showcase your unique style and personality. It's a style that allows for endless creativity and personal expression, and it can be a lot of fun to mix and match different pieces to create a cohesive and visually interesting space. Whether you're looking to create a cosy and inviting living room, a sleek and modern bedroom, or an eclectic home office, the key is to strike a balance between vintage and modern elements, and to let your creativity and personal style shine through.