It is said that in order to find balance you need to go to extremes. But every norm has its exceptions: sweet and sour in Asian cuisine, instrumental fusions in jazz melodies, eclectic trends in the world of design or the exquisite combination of meat and fish in the typical Catalan dish “Mar o muntanya”, are some few examples.
We have asked ourselves how eclecticism has become the meeting point for many designers. After centuries of schools following a same pattern, all of which can be easily identified at first sight, as Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic… up to contemporary minimalism, we have evolved to a more open model where different currents come together in different points. Why is that? The answer is simple: our inspiration does not know of frontiers between present, past and future. Breaking prejudices, daring to try, to combine, is the way of achieving eclecticism.
How to create a coherent eclectic design?
To experiment does not imply losing the aesthetic sense. Eclecticism as we understand it is simple, based on small subtle details which provide a touch of nostalgia that makes us feel good. A longing for the past that comes back to us like a dejavu. Grandma’s boudoir, distressed iron objects in the garden, a charming teapot from a Turkish antique shop… Passed memories should not be forgotten among the hurries of the century we live in.
What should we avoid in order to be eclectic?
Mainly, being abrupt, falling into excesses. Always looking for harmony in colours, shapes and lighting. Contrast can be achieved in many different ways and the pre-fab concept of filling a space with as many colours as possible should be avoided. Can you imagine being able to walk on the walls? Well, parting from the idea of human spiders you can create a space where walls have the same intensity as the flooring. This way the exterior is integrated into the house.
There are many ways of avoiding the established and of being eclectic in design, but what cannot be forgotten is that what makes a space more comfortable for those who live or work in it is the coherence among the differences. By being able to find the meeting point among what seems impossible to combine at first sight, we will achieve emotional eclecticism.