The movement towards a mixture of styles, materials, and eras, in Interior Architecture and Design has become a leading trend. This “nouvelle eclecticism” is not so much mix and match, as it is mix and mix. For an Interior Designer this opens the door to new conceptual ideas of what a space can look like and also perhaps some new challenges when dealing with a Client with many ideas that need to be developed into a cohesive plan. A concept is still imperative for good design. The mixture of pattern, materials, and colour still need to be cohesive. There is also this movement to mix periods, decades and styles. Modern with Traditional….Urban with Ethnic and so many other combinations that is interesting and innovative.
How do we work with the Client and organize their eclectic desires? It all starts from preference, what the Client’s likes and dislikes , what makes them feel comfortable and happy in their space and what works for their lifestyle. The designer is there to conceptualize, organize, and suggest the best solutions for their needs, resolve challenges that the Client once saw as unresolvable, and sometimes even be a mind reader .
The word Eclecticism literally means (from the Dictionary)
“a tendency in Architecture and the Decorative Arts to mix various historical styles with modern elements with the aim of combining the virtues of many styles or increasing allusive content”
With this literal definition, it is truly an “art” to mix styles and elements of a certain period in a way that looks fresh and “now”. There is serious thought to what can really work in regards to colour, pattern, shape, material, and proportion. I think the “mix” is a very trendy way to say this type of approach and this mix is not only in Interior Design, but in Fashion and Beauty, and even Cuisine. There is this reenergized movement to look to the past, derive what you like from it, and then translate and interpret it into something innovative, aesthetically beautiful and modern. As a Designer, fitting into only one niche can be precarious. Modern does not necessarily mean spare and minimal, but it means fresh, unbothered, harmonious and functional for today.
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