It's All in the Mix
To me, the most beautiful spaces are not necessarily the ones that are filled with expensive luxuries, or grandiose architectural elements. Often, they're the ones that simply encapsulate the evolutionary process in mixing ones past, present, and future style. They are reflections of an evolving process representing an individuals tastes that truly creates a sense of soul.
To be able to pull this off effectively and without having the space look like a mish-mash of random things, there are a few simple rules to follow... and a few you'll need to break. It's really all about the mix. Here are a few of my tricks...there has to be a common theme, either a repetition of colour or texture throughout the space. In the room shown above, there is a common theme of black and white with varying degrees of yellow, blue and coral which I pulled from the picture below. Note that the colours blend but don't necessarily match. Matching is taboo in an eclectic room. Always avoid the urge to match and instead, aim for a blending of colour tones. Otherwise, your room will look like you purchased the floor display from a big box outlet lol!
Try starting your room off with a few favourite pieces and build around them. I started out with this painting...now I do realize it's a tad small for above the bed, but I'm okay with that. Why as a designer would I turn a blind eye to such and obvious decorating no no? Well, it was painted by my best friend Marlene, who sadly is no longer with us. I think of her every time I look at it and it makes me happy. I'd say that's a pretty good way to feel at the beginning and the end of each day wouldn't you? So, it's a rule I'll happily break! How did I compensate for this blatant faux pas? I added height on each side of the painting, both with lamps and a large mirror leaning against the wall. It gives the illusion that the entire back wall is an artfully placed gallery wall, rather than several separate things for your eye to focus on.
Mix it up! I have 5 different patterns going on in this room. It works simply because I used patterns of differing sizes. Notice the pillows in the back, they are a very traditional toile. In front of them, I use plain white pillows to help tame the pattern a bit. In front of the white pillows I chose a fairly large open patterned pillow with a pale blue background. They work because the pattern size is dramatically different from the toile pillow. It's a modern take on a traditional pattern so they visually tie together. In front of the blue pillow, I've placed a bold yellow pillow which also has an open modern pattern. The pattern on the yellow pillow is a little smaller in scale than the pattern on the blue pillow. Patterns of this size often trick your eye into seeing it more as a texture than a pattern. Finally, at the very front I've placed a pillow that your eye reads as white with a pop of black. Again, its a tie-in with the black in the toile and the dark bed frame.
There you have it...pattern mixing demystified!