Explores with you

Eclectic interior style: all you need to know!

While most people still say "eclec-what?", it has surely not escaped the notice of interior design enthusiasts: the eclectic interior design style is incredibly popular. The eclectic style is not actually a particular style. It is the 'borrowing' of a variety of styles and ideas from different time periods. Think mixing a Sixties Space Age lamp , a Memphis design cabinet and a sleek Scandinavian dining area. The whole thing is dressed up with bright colours and graphic patterns with the aim of creating harmony. That sounds quite complex and it is, but when done right it's a picture. So in this Whoppah explores with you, we like to take you on our quest to find out what is eclectic design? You can see a beautiful example on the right. Photo rights: Ian Phillips

EvelienAugust 2023
Eclectic style - photo by Ian Phillips

The origins

Despite the fact that it may not be officially recognised as a distinct style in the world of design, for many people eclecticism is still seen as a distinct movement. The first person to use the term 'eclectic' reportedly did so for the work of Carracci, who created his work by combining the classical tradition with Renaissance elements.

David Hicks

A well-known 'eclectic designer' is David Hicks. Originally a freelance advertising illustrator in London, he became famous in the design world in the 1960s after a magazine published the groundbreaking makeover he did at his parents' home. Hicks went against the traditional and pretentious English interior design style and became a master at creating distinct, amazing but cohesive mixes. His eclectic interiors are a combination of debauched colours, patterns and design styles that create a seductive and impressive whole.Among his most notable projects were rooms for Prince Charles and Princess Anne and a sparkling nightclub on an ocean liner and yacht for King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Going with eclectic design yourself? Here are the do's & don'ts we learned.


  • DO: Choose one main colour that forms the basis of your interior design. Based on this colour, you can combine elements with different styles and textures more easily.
  • DO: Give your eye a rest. In an eclectic interior, it is nice if you can give your eyes a rest too. Therefore, keep some corners quiet and keep some space empty. Think of a half-full bookshelf or a table with minimal decoration. The art of omission also applies to this style.


  • DON’T: It's not a museum. It's certainly not about displaying as many unique decorative items in different styles as possible. Place decoration only if it adds value to the space.
  • DON'T: To avoid the feeling of a cluttered interior, it's a good idea to decide in advance how many styles you want to combine at most. Set a limit to avoid chaos.

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