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Eclectic furnishings bring out homeowners unique taste in home design

September 18, 2013

Hardwood FloorsPeople sometimes call their home design style "eclectic" when their furnishings are a mix of vintage and modern or a lively collection of pieces gathered over the years. But home decorators have to walk a fine line between coordinating period pieces with trendy ones and putting together a haphazard mix of furnishings. Having classic features like Anderson Floors' Southern Vista collection, can provide a unifying theme in eclectic decor.

Finding an inspiration piece is a good starting point for homeowners who want to develop a room design that's eclectic, but highly individualized.  In that way, a home will truly reflect the style of the people who live there.

Interior designer Michelle Homme is a fan of eclectic decor because it's the best way to combine old and new furnishings. Whether they are making choices in upholstery, hardwood flooring or window treatments, she said homeowners have greater freedom to combine styles than ever before. She encourages them to have an open mind about including vintage pieces with modern furniture.

"It's always helpful to collect a few things, but don't go overboard," Homme told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Stick to your gut. The biggest mistakes occur when you try to do something someone else is doing."

Focus on contrast
When consumers go shopping, they should determine how well a unique accessory will fit their existing furniture selection. They need to ask themselves whether they really like the piece or if they chose it because it reminds them of something they saw in someone else's home.

According to, consumers should aim for a variety of textures and colors as well as old and new furnishings. By contrasting pieces in this way, it highlights the differences and brings out  the unique beauty of each piece.

Homme's particular passion is for vintage instruments and globes that look as if they've been plucked from a social studies class. The way she displays them is a lesson to home decorators in how to best show off their personal treasures. Homme takes the globes off their metal bases and groups several of assorted sizes together or shows a particularly distinctive one by itself.

As an inveterate shopper of flea markets, she advised homeowners to frequent local shops where they will find one-of-a-kind home goods. Supporting the work of local craftsmen is another way to ensure they'll collect pieces that can't be found in furniture showrooms.