Eclectic. That is how I would describe the style of most of the homes I’ve ever been too. This is a style that can be described as ‘mostly this, but a little bit of that.’ Though I have been to some homes that are straight up and down done in one distinctive style, most homes I’ve seen fall under at least two categories. For example, classic and neutral, but also a little bohemian. Theatrical and unconventional yet spare and modern. Mixing it up keeps things interesting, more original and up-to-date. Limited to one genre, a room and appear artificial, sort of like a showroom. Layering and mixing styles keep it real. One trick is to choose a key piece, like a large console table or a sofa that is cut in the style that you want then surround it with other things. One great piece may be all you need to convey your idea.
Fashion guru Tim Gunn has this to say on color. Save the brighter, more offbeat colors for classically cut pieces, and keep trendier silhouettes from looking cheap by buying them in neutral, classic colors. Alber Elbaz, designer for Lanvin, reinvents heavy, sumptuous fabrics like taffeta, and silk by going heavy on the yardage, keeping edges a little rough and unfinished. Traditionally stuffy fabrics are given a modern edge by giving them a touch of recklessness. Meanwhile, young designer Jason Wu, wowed the world with his very modern take on dresses. Though cut quite classically, he uses bright, saturated colors in unconventional combinations.
Top: A bridal gown by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Left: A Jason Wu gown.
The roll arms make this sofa quite traditional, but the exposed legs, low back, pillows, shorter length of 68″, and most of all the deep blue upholstery keep this piece up to date.
Kendall sofa in Indigo, www.roomandboard.com
Top: Traditional pieces look edgy and not stodgy when mismatched and done in pretty bright colors. www.housebeautiful.com, Bottom: Modern and spare living room in classic monochromatic gray. www.roomandboard.com