Go with your instinct. Choose furniture pieces because you love them and not because they are in fashion, or they are on sale or for any other reason. This applies for all purchases for your home. We tend to buy far more than we need and at times the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Avoid that. If you absolutely love a vase, a lamp, a bed, or any piece – get it, it will find a place for itself in the home, and would look great. Look at magazines. Be a magazine trawler or perhaps surf on the net. Try and identify rooms that appeal to you again and again. This would help you choose or rather develop your own style. Most of the time we can’t express what we like because we lack a reference point, we don’t know how to articulate what we want, we simply lack the vocabulary and the jargon. So educate yourself. Hunt for treasures. Value the old. An eclectic look is all about a mixing of styles and things. Old things like old lamps in the family that seem outdated, sofas and tables that are hand me downs, old textiles and quilts, worn and and washed out fabrics… having that patina of ages gone by are absolute gold and need to be held on to and used with aplomb.
Display pictures in a group. Fill up a whole wall with different size pictures, paintings. It oozes impact and gives punch to a room. You can if you want stick to a loose theme here; like display old botonaical prints or just vintage oil paintings, or mix modern and period pictures. Just monochromatic pictures like black and white or sepia colored ones work wonders too.
Another one of my favorite tricks is to use mirrors, either one large over-sized one propped against a wall or several smaller ones in different shapes and sizes on the same wall. Mirrors reflect light and create glitter. They make the room seem full of light. More is less! Create layers. Pile up sofas with tons of cushions and throws. Fill up coffee tables and side tables with knick knacks, little mementos, photos, flowers, clocks etc. The idea is to make still lifes – experiment with arrangements and you will get it right. A rule of thumb while displaying groups of similar objects, place things in a pyramid shape, a straight line, or according to height with the tallest ones at the back.
Color is crucial. Usually I find people scared of using color, they are comfortable sticking to magnolia, ash-whites and off-white in our country. The logic being lighter colors make the rooms look bigger and brighter. This is a myth. Small spaces look dramatic and get definition if colored in darker deeper colors..my favorite choices this season is charcoal grey, royal blue, a dark sand and adding to the list a deep rich peacock green! Using sharper colors in a good color brand is worth all the investment for it gives the right canvas to build the room on. So go on use color. Having said that, an all time favorite of mine is pure brilliant white. It may seem like a contradiction, but white is a deep color and is one of the hardest to use in our sunlight. In european countries the light is far more diffused and soft and white looks less harsh. In our climate, use only bright white without adding blue neel! but this color is best used with soft color/nuetral color upholstery. Keep accessories to minimum with white to get a bare look. It is a paradox in our climes white with bright colors looks overdone. Shelves is another way of adding character to a room, but displaying books, ornaments and pictures on them is the key.