Get the look: a kooky yet sophisticated Fifth Avenue townhouse
Located on the Upper East Side of New York City, this remarkable family home thrives on bold, risk-taking decorating decisions. The designer Steven Gambrel took what could, to the untrained eye, appear as a random mishmash of items and created a unified, one-of-a-kind eclectic paradise. He played around the decorating rules and clashed a variety of design eras, colours and patterns, only to end up with a timelessly elegant, yet very comfortable living space.
The eclectic style can be a bit tricky to master, especially if it is heavily layered with juxtaposed periods and motifs. It tends to be difficult to draw a fine line between tasteful and messy as many fail to realise that the eclectic style is not just a random mix of stuff that magically work together, but rather a curated collection of objects with a common thread. It takes a lot of care and patience, but it is by no means unattainable.
If you dream about turning your home into an eclectic retreat, yet feel overwhelmed by the very thought of the actual makeover, fret not! We’re here to walk you through the steps you need to take to get this fab look.
1. Reimagine the old interior decorating rules and equip yourself with patience
To be able to pull off something as extraordinary as this Upper East Side space, you will need to think outside the box. Truly unique concepts are daring by design and always, always bend the rules. However, this absolutely doesn’t mean you should forget everything you know about interior design. On the contrary! It means that you should be open to experimenting with the known and reimagine the traditional vision of decorating.
It also means that you will need to learn to be patient and to deal with the analysis paralysis when the right opportunity comes along. Sourcing one-off pieces with character like this chandelier takes time and won’t leave much room for second thoughts as it won’t be long before someone else grabs it.
2. Layer the look
Layering is key to the eclectic interior style. It creates visual intricacy and makes it easy to work in a bunch of different ideas and influences. Your goal here is to create a sense of a controlled chaos by planning out the layers from foundation to decoration. For this journey, you will want to start with a solid, adaptable background and save the wacky stuff (like eccentric arts and crafts) for later down the road.
Miss-matched furniture, juxtaposed decorating styles and finishes all add up to the timeless aesthetic of eclectic spaces, so always think in contrasts and repetition (to develop the theme and prevent the items from coming off as random).
Multi Colour Abstract Painting Acrylic Canvas Original Art J Lucas
3. Look for the common thread
All that mixing needs to be balanced out with some matching. The trick is to find a common thread between the objects and develop it across the space to create a sense of harmony.
This can be a colour, or a colour family, statement feature, shape, pattern or an art piece. Anything that can help unify the space.
In our today’s example home, this common thread has to be the painting by Stephen Pace, hung above the Chesterfield sofa. If you look closely you will see that the entire interior colour scheme is developed from this abstract expressionist statement art. Everything from the sofa to the book collection (well even the fresh flowers on the ottoman table) is a part of this exciting colour story.
4. Play with texture
A clever use of texture is another way to play with contrast while at the same time boosting up the cosiness. Contrasting textures like marble and fluffy throws, rattan and brass finishes, or leather and wood will add on yet another layer of interest, tactility and an extra dimension to the room.
Just look how Steven Gambrel used a leather ottoman, silk velvet sofa, golden office table, drapes, sculptures, rugs and natural stone to create a multidimensional space.
5. Own it!
Whatever stylistic direction you decide to pursue, make it yours! The eclectic aesthetic is all about personality and unique solutions. Follow your intuition and sneak in small hints of your memories, dreams and goals to make your personality shine throughout the room.
Let your home tell the story of who you are and what you strive to become. Make it your everyday reminder to celebrate life and your personal values.
This is the whole point of the eclectic interior style. Eclectic homes are always one of a kind and impossible to replicate, so if you are seeking the remarkable – start putting together your home puzzle by choosing the perfect jumping-off piece right this second.
To help you get started we created this styleboard inspired by the very apartment we talked about today.
What do you say – is it a Go or a No?
- Elegant Modern Chandelier With Lucite Shades
- Table Lamp In Art Glass 24 Karat Gold By Marcolin Art Crystal Sweden
- Vintage Styled Blue Velvet Armchair Antique Style Living Room Seating, Office Chair
- Mid Century Ceramic Vase From Scheurich, 1950s
- Vintage 1930s Curtains Pale Yellow And Olive Green Satin Brocade Curtains 1930s French Style Satin Brocade Curtains Olive Fringe Trim B
- Multi Colour Abstract Painting Acrylic Canvas Original Art J Lucas
- Jean Daum French Crystal Table Lamp, 1960s
- Antique, French, Louis, gold, carved table with fluted legs
- Emerald Green Velvet Chesterfield
- Carl Harry Stålhane/Staalhane For Rörstrand/Rørstrand, Ceramic Vase, Black Glaze
- Marsia Decorative Tray Black 27.5 Cm
- Stunning Beautiful Mid Century Ceramic Table Lamp | Iridescent Blue And White Pearly Color | Verceram Céramique France
- Early 19th Century Mother Of Pearl Necessaire
- Sweet Corn
- Chesterfield Storage Stool
Title image: elledecor.com