The Bookshelf Wealth hype has led to a rise in eclectic interiors – here's how to get the look according to designers

Eclectic interiors are the go-to for infusing spaces with character and personality. Here, we find out from experts how to nail the look

Eclectic interiors
(Image credit: Original BTC/Isabel Ladd Interiors & Kevin Miyazaki/House of Hackney)

Eclectic interiors are a growing trend that interior designers just can't get enough of. Steeped in character and personality, these schemes champion lived-in style and daring designs, making them bang on trend for 2024.

This year's interior design trends all seem to have a running theme – gone are the days of perfect, photo-ready homes, hastily replaced with homes that feel loved and showcase the owner's personal style. Eclectic interiors are an ideal example, where spaces can evolve and are styled with collected pieces and trinkets proudly on display.

If you're new to the eclectic interiors scene, we've turned to interior designers who love the style to offer tips and ideas for introducing eclectic style to your home.

What are eclectic interiors?

A green living room with large picture windows and eclectic furniture

(Image credit: Future)

Eclectic interiors describe spaces that showcase the homeowner's personality in a way that isn't overly perfected. Rooms are decorated with collected items, quirky trinkets, and designs that fill a room with character and interest.

'Eclectic interiors incorporate an unexpected combination of colors, patterns, and materials that bring uniqueness to the design of a space. They reflect the personality of the people who live there by putting favorite, one-of-a-kind, unique treasures on display,' explains interior designer Isabel Ladd.

'My approach to these spaces is very intentional, methodical, and curated. I’m not just throwing things together to see what sticks. Though I do layer a lot of color, pattern, eras, and styles at once, I innately know when to keep going, and when to restrain. It's an intuitive approach,' she explains.

6 ways to create eclectic interiors

Designing eclectic interiors might seem daunting, but it's simpler than you might think – it's about creating a space that showcases your personality. 'The key to getting this look right is removing the fear of doing it wrong,' says Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin. From mixing old and new to pairing contrasting patterns, these tips will ensure you create an eclectic scheme you love.

1. Mix vintage and contemporary pieces

Eclectic living room with a mix of old and new furniture and decor

(Image credit: Matthew Williamson/Damian Russell)

Eclectic interiors are characterized by a space where the furniture and decor don't match. So, by introducing a balance of old and new pieces, you can create a scheme that feels collected and layered.

'Achieving eclectic style in a scheme is all about mixing and matching different elements to create a harmonious yet visually engaging space. Start by selecting key pieces that speak to you, whether modern, vintage, or somewhere in between,' suggests interior designer Matthew Williamson.

Once you've chosen your key pieces, introduce pieces of different ages and designs to create interest. 'Layer in diverse textures, patterns, and colors to add depth and personality – this is often easier to do with accessories and lighting. Don't be afraid to experiment and let your individuality shine through,' Matthew adds.

2. Decorate with inherited and collected items

A dining room with a full bookcase

(Image credit: Fanny Radvik / Cathy Nordstrom)

An eclectic approach to decorating doesn't mean throwing everything at the space. An ideal place to begin is by choosing the decorative items you want to use, and creating 'moments' with them.

'Eclectic interiors offer insight into people's personalities. It is an emotional way of decorating because it's driven by the things we love all fused together. Often, eclectic interiors have relics from people's travels, family heirlooms, and an array of found or collected pieces,' explains interior designer Sasha Bikoff.

While there are no hard and fast rules to eclectic interiors, curating spaces that showcase your favorite items will ensure your space feels intentional. 'It's more about adding visual interest and creating moments where these eclectic pieces can shine,' she adds.

3. Infuse your personality into the scheme

eclectic living room with large soft green sofa and statement accessories

(Image credit: Studio Duggan)

Personality is so important in eclectic interiors. The items you introduce should be things you love, collected overtime, or showcase who you are, so don't buy and add decor pieces just to fill a space.

'Your home should reflect you and your personality, so an eclectic ‘brief’ is perfect as it means you can add in everything you love,' says Martin. Consider the things that bring you the most joy – this could be vintage frames filled with your favorite photographs, a trinket from your childhood, or even patterns that reflect your signature style.

4. Focus on the walls

Eclectic home office with matching green patterned wallpaper and curtains

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Decor plays a big part in eclectic interiors, but so does the way you decorate the bones of a room. in any room, the walls are a large focal point, and when they're decorated right, they can really set the tone for your eclectic scheme.

'The first area to tackle should always be the walls. There is more wall than anything else in any scheme so adding interest here is key. This can be achieved through textured wallpapers, murals, or bold hits of color,' suggests Martin.

The pattern drenching trend has been embraced in this home office, with a green design used on the wallpaper and the window treatments. Paired with the collected decor on the desk, the space feels personalized and eclectic.

5. Use the main decor as reference for the rest of the room

Eclectic bedroom with a patterned wallpaper, mis-matched artworks and chequered bedsheets

(Image credit: Isabel Ladd Interiors/Kevin Miyazaki)

To ensure your eclectic scheme feels curated rather than thrown together, try to keep to a consistent palette and design style. This way, your scheme will still feel intentional and collected, but in a more elevated and finessed way.

Isabel suggests starting with one pattern, color, or print to use as the basis for your design. This could be a patterned wallpaper, like in this bedroom, that dictates the color scheme for the rest of the pieces in the room

'The room starts taking shape around that piece. I take into consideration how the client wants to feel, how the room needs to function, and what things are most important to them, and I develop a scheme that is a reflection of those factors,' she explains.

6. Limited the number of patterns to avoid overwhelming the space

Eclectic living room with three different patterns

(Image credit: House of Hackney)

Mixing different patterns can be a scary prospect, but an achievable way to create a pattern-filled room that feels cohesive is to choose two or three patterns for the space. With this approach, you can create an eclectic feel without completely overwhelming to room.

Eclectic interiors are a form of art, which takes time and patience as it's a slow building process. Start with a few key items that you love then slowly start building around them,' suggests Katrina Dalley, interior design executive at House of Hackney.

'For example, in this living room, we have played with three patterns but have kept the color palette to warm neutrals, greens, pinks, and blues so it still all ties in together,' she explains. The result is a space that feels eclectic and full of personality, but still has a relaxing feel to it.

Eclectic interiors champion spaces filled with character and personality. It's about decorating with the things you love most and designs that bring you joy. While designers don't advise simply filling a room with random stuff, don't over-curate your space – the key takeaway here is to design your scheme around your favorite pieces.

Molly Malsom
Content Editor

Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.